What you do off your bike can have as big an impact on your riding as what you do in the saddle. We share the best do-anywhere exercises from top coaches to improve your climbing, sprinting and endurance.
3 exercises to improve your climbingThe pro climbers of this world know the difference between their mobilisers and stabilisers, says Andy Wadsworth, director of MyLifePT personal training and online cycle coach. “The chain of movement goes from the tips of your ﬁngers to the tips of your toes, all working in one line,” he explains. “Think of your body like a bike chain – your links are your muscles, which stabilise and provide strength, while your pins are your joints, which provide mobility. “The biggest area of confusion here, which ties in directly with climbing, relates to your glutes. Because most of us sit on them all day we assume they’re mobilisers when they’re actually stabilisers. You need to work them accordingly off the bike for real gains on it.”
Nobody climbed quite like good ol’ Contador. IONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images
Imagine yourself as a table football player with an axle going through your hip so that you only move in one plane of motion with no sideways movement and no hip rocking. “If you’re ever out of the saddle or grinding up a hill, your glutes are paramount to holding the chain of movement together,” Wadsworth says. “If you watch classic footage of a legendary climber like Alberto Contador, you’ll see that his axis of movement was almost perfect because he understood this and constantly worked on his glute strength while off the bike and away from hills.”