Does an intense hill climb leave you out of breath and wanting to take a break? Do you want to have enough gas left in your tank to be able to sprint and pass other triathletes along the bike course?
Do you wish you had enough energy to finish the bike portion of your triathlon feeling strong? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to hop off your bike, lace up your shoes and power out of the transition area into the run without your legs feeling like jello?
Here’s a quick and easy triathlon strength training workout that will take you about five minutes and will build power, strength and endurance for your bike ride. You can do this workout anywhere, anytime… all you need is a chair.
The idea for this workout is to move quickly with little or no rest in between each set and to cycle through all of the exercises in about 5 minutes. Shoot for 15 reps, but always make sure you use good form and stop your set before you have to get sloppy. Repeat the circuit 2-3 more times for a great upper and lower body blast.
I’ve also thrown in a couple exercises that will really help strengthen your upper body so that your neck, arms and shoulders feel great when you go for a long training ride.
So grab a chair and let’s get started:
(Make sure your chair is next to the wall so that it doesn’t slide out from under you when you do these exercises. You could also use a weight bench, a park bench, a ledge, a picnic table…the options are endless! You really can do this workout anywhere! No excuses!)
Use this exercise as a warm-up. Get your blood flowing and strengthen your glutes at the same time.
How To: Start with your feet shoulder width apart standing slightly in front of the chair. Squat down until you barely touch the chair and then pop back up into an upright position. Do 25 quick repetitions.
High step lift offs
These target your glutes and quads to help you build explosive power in your pedaling.
How to: Start but by planting your right foot on top of the chair. Press through your heel or to lift your body’s around like you’re stepping up stair. Be careful to keep your balance at the top as you can carry me for an extra crunch. Don’t let your bodyweight fall coming back down but rather stay in complete control by engaging your core. Tap your toe and pop right back up into your next rep. Do 15 on each side.
Bulgarian split squats
These are an awesome exercise that will improve your muscle balance to ensure that you’re pedaling with equal power from both legs. This is a challenging strength move that is great to help you build speed on your bicycle. This strength move works your glutes and quads which are the major muscles in your legs, but it also targets your hamstrings and that’s important to help you develop a solid full circle pedaling technique.
How to: Put one foot up on the chair, and step out with your other foot. Lower your body in the split squat/lunge position until you feel a slight stretch in your hips. Focus on scissoring your legs back together and push through your front foot. Don’t rest at the top, rather go right back down into another rep. Do 15 reps on each side.
Sometimes on a long ride my shoulders, elbows and neck become more fatigued than my legs. It’s important to build strength and endurance for your upper body as well.
How To: Place your feet out in front of you and support your body with your arms. Then drop your body down and press back up, focusing on using your triceps, not your legs. Keep your torso upright and don’t go too low because that will strain your shoulders.
Hammer push-ups off the chair
The hammer grip push-up provides a unique challenge and mimics the position that your hands are in when you’re biking. These really work your triceps and shoulders that will improve your upper body stability on the bike.
How To: Make sure your chair is up against a wall or sturdy surface so that it doesn’t slide away from you. Place your hands on either side of the chair and do as many push-ups as you can do. Keep your elbows in close to really target your triceps.
Lower abs are usually pretty hard to target, but this exercise one that really works your lower abs. It also targets your hip flexors and strong hip flexors are vital for strong pedaling.
How To: Balance on the edge of the chair and kick your knee up to your opposite elbow and then switch sides. If you find that it’s hard to balance with your hands on your head, then hold onto the chair as you kick your knees up… you’ll still get a great core workout!
So the next time you go to sit down in a chair, take 5 minutes and do these strength training exercises and get ready to be able to ride your bike faster and longer than ever before!