By Barbara Fernandez
Introduction to Resistance Band Workouts
Resistance bands are an excellent way to build strength, flexibility, and balance. By adding resistance band workouts into your training, you’ll be able to cycle more efficiently and for longer distances.
There are many different sorts of resistance bands, but generally the thicker the band, the stronger the resistance. It’s good to get a set of bands of different sizes and strengths so that you can use them for any exercise.
You need to train not just your legs, but your core – a strong core helps you climb those hills and cycle with good posture. And by working on not only the muscles but the smaller tissues surrounding your joints, you’ll be more likely to avoid injury.
Note: Before starting the ‘meat’ of this resistance band workout, make sure you warm up properly with 5 minutes of a selection of moves such as:
- Arm circles
- Jumping rope
- Hip rotations
- Deep lunges
Let’s move on to the main exercises.
Main Exercises- Resistance Band Workout for Cyclists
#1 Banded lateral walk
Lateral walks help improve your hip strength and flexibility.
- Wrap a hip circle band (like the ones at https://victoremgear.com/products/booty-bands) around your thighs. Or you could wrap a smaller band around the middle of your feet.
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and lean forward from the hips.
- Bend your legs a bit to go into a quarter squat.
- Now while keeping your back straight, walk sideways (like a crab). Keep going for ten steps, or till you reach the other side of the room.
- Work your way back, leading with the other foot. Make sure the resistance band stays taut throughout the exercise.
Toe tap variation: Do this exercise with the band around your thighs, but this time walk on your toes.
Video Credit: Susan Niebergall Fitness
#2 Banded plank (with variations)
The plank exercise is an excellent full-body exercise.
- Get into a plank position with a resistance band just above your ankles.
- Tap your right foot once out to the side and then bring it back.
- Do the same with your left foot.
- Repeat as needed.
Side plank variation: Lie on your left side with your weight on your elbow and both legs straight. Stack both feet and raise your right arm straight up in the air. Now use your core muscles (this really targets your obliques) to lift your torso off the ground. Exhale as you lift up, then lower slowly back down.
Now comes the part with the resistance band: stay in side plank and lift the top leg. Pause at the top, and lower it slowly. You should feel the burn!
Video Credit: Criticalbench
#3 Banded bent over row
Bent over rows work your upper back as well as the backs of your legs.
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart.
- Put a long resistance band under the middle of both feet and hold the ends (or loops) in both hands.
- Lean forward from your hips, so your trunk is almost parallel to the floor.
- Keeping your back flat, pull the ends of the band toward your hips. You are pushing your elbows toward the ceiling while keeping your arms close to your body.
- Pause at the top of the ‘row’, then slowly lower the band back down.
- Repeat as needed.
Video Credit: ShapeFit
#4 Banded squats
Squats work your glutes as well as the rest of your lower body and your core. It’s an excellent exercise for improving your balance while you build strength.
- Put a hip circle band above your knees and squat as you normally would.
- You can clasp your hands out in front of you. Or you can put another band around your wrists.
- Pulse your straight arms away from each other with each squat for a double burn!
Just make sure that your knees do not bend further forward than your toes, and that your chest is facing out, and your back is straight.
To add an extra challenge, you can add a jump between squats. Jump up out of the squat and then back down again.
Video Credit: RitteDevMovement
#5 Bicycle crunches
Bicycle crunches work your quads, core, and hip muscles while replicating the movements you make when cycling.
- Put the resistance band around the middle of both feet.
- Now lie on your back with your hands by your ears.
- Raise your legs so that both thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Now straighten your right leg so that it almost touches the floor while you raise your chest. You are aiming for your right shoulder to reach toward your left knee.
- Repeat the movement with the other leg and shoulder, moving slowly to keep the band taut.
Video Credit: TTwinsFit TV
You’re now all set for a resistance band workout for cycling!
Barbara Fernandez is a freelance health and lifestyle writer and voiceover artist. She writes about all aspects of health and fitness, wellness, and nutrition. She also voices narrations and podcasts: everything from a character voice giving math lessons to children to a friendly voice for SaaS instruction videos.