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Training Considerations for Middle Aged Track Cyclists

Are you a middle aged cyclist?

Have you ever wondered what areas you need to consider in your training once you hit middle age and beyond?

In this short video blog, our Physiological Performance Analyst Michael Jordan talks about some of the key areas that middle aged cyclists need to focus on in their training.

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Why Cyclists Should Squat in Weightlifting Shoes

Often you'll see cyclists wearing weightlifting shoes in the gym, particularly the sprinters, but also endurance cyclists. Particularly following leading research around the benefits of strength & conditioning in the development of endurance cyclists.

So, what are weightlifting shoes?

Weightlifting shoes have a heel that is raised by three-quarters of an inch to one inch. There’s just enough traction on these shoes for what a lifter on a platform needs: to not slip and slide when under a heavy load.

If you have a hard time dorsiflexing your ankles all the way in a squat or clean position, weightlifting shoes will help you a lot. Because of the raised heel, less ankle mobility is required.

In our video blog, expert weightlifting coach Max Dal Santo discusses some of the major benefits of using weightlifting shoes. 

Are you utilising weightlifting shoes in the gym? Leave us a comment below.

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How to Increase Your 'In The Saddle' Strength

With the natural progression and increases in gearing, coupled with the importance of aerodynamics, developing ‘in the saddle’ strength and power has never been so important.

We'll discuss the benefits of improving your in the saddle strength, power and speed levels and the possibilities it will open up for better track cycling performance. 

So, have you ever raced an opponent who looked as though they weren’t even really trying - seamlessly riding past you, or getting away from you whilst remaining in their saddle?

This is usually a telltale sign of excellent in the saddle strength, power and speed.

Here’s a few of the benefits that improving your in the saddle strength, power and speed will have on your performance:

Greater use of the larger muscle groups (resulting in better power numbers)

Developing great in the saddle strength requires you to utilise your gluteus maximus (glute) muscles to a greater extent.

If you find yourself needing to get...

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The Best Core Exercises for Cyclists

Core strength and stability is crucial to cycling performance.

As a cyclist, you can spend up to hours a day in the saddle, whether that be out on the road or at the track.

Whilst it’s generally assumed that the lower part of the body pushes the power through the pedals, the core is a key stabiliser and is put under a great deal of stress throughout various training modes and exercises.

Additionally, a weak core is often compensated with the posterior muscle groups - including both the upper, mid and lower parts of the back.

Back pain is a common complaint amongst cyclists and a weak core will only exacerbate back problems.

One of the biggest benefits in having a strong core, and an easily identifiable strong core, is a stable and efficient rider.

Why is it so important to have a strong core?

Having a strong core enables you to:

  • Ride in a straight line
  • Change directional planes
  • Maintain good bike control
  • Pedal efficiently over longer periods of time

In this short video, Mark...

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Cyclist's Worst Enemy - the ITB (Iliotibial Band)

It's the worst enemy of every cyclist...

The ITB - the Illiotibial Band

What is it?  

And how can you release it to prevent injury and get the most out of your cycling?

The Illiotibial band is fibrous connective tissue that originates on the pelvis, travels down the lateral aspect of the leg, and attaches to the tibia just below the knee (Baumstark, 2010).

Iliotibial band friction, or ITB pain, is very common among people who ride bikes competitively or recreationally and is caused by friction related to the disproportionate usage between the buttocks, and hip flexor muscles such as the tensor fascia lata (or TFL).

It’s not always a problem, and can vary from cyclist to cyclist, but when there is a disproportionate use of muscle groups in the pedalling motions, the ITB can become tight, and sometimes painful and inflamed.  

To avoid over tightening and future issues related to the ITB, we would recommend the following strategies: 

  1. STRETCH!...
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Glute Strengthening Exercises for Cyclists

Yes, strong legs are a trait of cyclist - and an important one. 

But don’t forget the importance of your glutes!

We'll share with you now why glute strength is so important in cycling and offer a few exercises that you can do at home or in the gym to improve this major muscle group.

The glutes are made up of three gluteal muscles:

  • the gluteus maximus (the largest of the three)
  • the gluteus medius (a thick fan shaped muscle lying over the smaller gluteus minimus and underneath the larger) and
  • the gluteus minimus (the smallest and deepest of the three gluteal muscles)

The glutes (or buttocks) collectively make up the largest major muscle group in the body which has the ability to produce significant amounts of power and force when you’re cycling. 

As you can see here, the glutes are crucial in the Push - Power Phase of your pedal stroke.

BUT it's surprising how many cyclists have weak glutes!

A few big problems occur with a lack of glute...

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