We may be the opinion that cycling is the single best sport out there, but sometimes widening our horizons can make us appreciate time in the saddle even more. While it remains true that the only way to get better at cycling is to ride more, cross training can help you get there. It can help fill in the gaps by building bone density and strengthening muscle groups that may be underused on the bike. Autumn for cyclists is always the best period to take a break from the training routine, take some rest or try something new: here are some of the best cross training sports to improve your cycling.
Why It’s great for cyclists: taking a stroll in the woods, especially if you tackle a mountain, is a great workout for your glutes, quads, hamstrings, core and hips. Those muscles sound familiar? They are also your mission-critical muscles used cycling, so hiking is a great way to build strength and endurance. It also helps build bone density as a weight bearing activity, but without the high impact of running.
Why it’s great for cyclists: a weak core can lead to a whole lot of issues for cyclists, largely sharing up as lower back pain. As cycling naturally leads to underdeveloped core muscles, it is important to find another way to strengthen that area. If this is a challenge for you, swimming needs to be your new favourite thing. It is also a great way to recover after a hard ride.
Why it’s great for cyclists: cycling is a low impact activity, which means it’s great for your joints, but not so great for supporting your bone density. Strength training can help fill the gaps and build stronger bones and complementary muscles to have you feeling stronger than ever on your bike.
Why it’s great for cyclists: Running strengthens your bone density in a way that cycling doesn’t, and will keep you top climbing shape when you can’t put the time in on your bike.