A Quick Isometric Exercise to Build Strength on the Bike

Anne Haug indoor training set-up
Anne Haug Indoor set-up


It’s a really good idea to supplement your endurance training and high intensity training with some exercises off the bike to help build your strength. The actual time you need to spend on strength exercises is really very short, but very important if you want to make your muscles stronger, not just faster.

Here’s one of our favourite isometric exercises – we challenge you to give it a try and see if you notice the difference in your quads.  

Due to its nature, cycling is to a large extent a non-load bearing activity, however humans are designed to take load, so we need to do some load bearing exercises. You can use weights if you wish, but one of the best weights is the human body.

An isometric exercise is where the muscles are placed on under tension but are not contracting (in the below example not rotating on the crank).  This isometric exercise is best when your bike is fixed on a trainer.

  • Lock the bike down safely so the cranks can’t move, you might for instance apply the rear brake as tightly as you can.
  • Then position your cranks at around 30 degrees and apply all the pressure you can till you lose form.
  • Stop, perform the same exercise on the other leg, then rest and repeat.
  • Build up both time and pressure.

You can measure the instantaneous torque with your InfoCrank (via the VINC app available from the Google Play store) and then strive for new records every week. It’s likely you can probably only hold the maximum torque for 15 seconds, so doing a couple of sets is not a real time issue – but the payback is huge.

Here you can see a set of two Isometric exercises and then a Zoom into one exercise. These charts and data are available for subscribers to VINC Pro – get in touch to find out more. 

Isometric exercises graph 1 Power Meter
Isometric exercises graph 2 Power Meter

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