A simple strength training exercise you can do on your indoor trainer

Never get round to doing those strength training exercises off the bike? Here’s a really simple exercise that you can easily incorporate into your indoor training – while you’re still on your bike. We challenge you to give it a try and see if you notice the difference in your quads.

Exercises off the bike are one of the key ways to build your strength and improve your performance on the bike. Supplementing your endurance training and high intensity training with some strength exercises off the bike makes your muscles stronger, not just faster.

Sometimes it’s hard to fit strength exercises into your training due to lack of time or simply the lure of the bike is more appealing. Here’s a really simple isometric strength training exercise that you can do while you’re on your indoor trainer – meaning it’s super easy to slot into the beginning or end of a training session.

Anne Haug Indoor set up Power Meter

An isometric exercise is where the muscles are placed 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. Make sure the rear wheel is safely locked off as you’re going to be driving a lot of force through the pedals.

  • 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 power meter using 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.

Wondering how much time you should be spending doing strength training exercises every week? Check out our article on how to structure your training.

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