– This might be the only
gym video on YouTube that’s not about getting buff,
ripped, shredded and hench. Instead, it’s about getting stronger. Hopefully. (smooth music) (energetic techno music) – Cyclists are not renowned as being a particularly
muscled and buff crowd, even if you wouldn’t get that impression from the two you see before you now. There is a good reason for cyclists to have such slender upper
bodies, and that is because arms don’t really make you go any faster. In fact, these rippling, bulging biceps would just be slowing Ollie down. – Yeah, that’s why I’m so slow. – Exactly. However, there are times where even we have to
admit that being weedy is something of a
hindrance even on the bike, and you can also get
strong without adding bulk. – One thousand and one, one thousand and two. So, coming up are five essential exercises that will hopefully make
you stronger on the bike. Instructing us today is Carl
Constanza of Stanza Fitness. Carl understands the needs of cyclists, as before he became a fitness coach, Carl raced as a top level
downhill mountain biker, racing nationally and abroad. We’ll give you example repetitions, and sets for each
exercise, but before we do, it’s important to stress that to provide maximum
benefit and avoid injury, the key thing is correct technique, and getting the movement right. Only go up in load or weight when you can perform an exercise
confidently and correctly. (smooth music) – First of all, what we’re going to do is start off with a Bulgarian split squat. – Okay. – The reason we’re going to
do that is it’s good exercise. It works your legs unilaterally, and also is good for your
balance and stability. What I would like you to do is step out into the
middle of the platform. – Yep. – Put one leg up onto
the box, or the bench, raise your left arm up
into the air, lock it out. – Okay. – Then, travel down, keeping
your weight on the heel, and the middle of your foot,
and then drive straight up. Lovely.
– Okay. How’s that? – That’s not bad. Let’s get five reps. – Five?
– Yeah, five. – What’s that dumbbell, like 20 kilos? – I’m pretty sure it’s one. – Okay. – Good, one more. Excellent, and rest. Lovely. Okay? Not bad. Good?
– Yeah. Oh, it’s five. It’s five kilos. (smooth music) – So, the next exercise is a step up, and what that’s predominately
working is your quads, your hamstrings, and your glutes. So, what I’d like you to do is if you’d just take
yourself in front of the box. There we go. Okay. Put your leg up onto the
box, your leading leg. That’s correct. Lean into it ever so slightly
to load up your front leg, keep your chest up, and
then drive off the center to the the heel of your foot. Okay, touch your foot down, which will help with your balance, tip forwards ever so slightly
to load up the front leg, and then slowly down. Okay, if you’d go slower,
it’ll help with your stability. Just falling down into it as well will jar the right leg that’s coming down, so lean into it, put
the weight on the heel, and the middle of your
foot, pick your chest up, which will also help
give you a neutral spine. Okay, and then drive up off the front leg. That’s better. Touch the right leg down. Again, keep the chest up,
slowly down, find the floor. That’s better, much better control. Lean into it, load up. Good, and then slowly back down. Excellent. (smooth music) Next exercise we’re going to do
is going to be a dumbbell row. This is predominately
working your upper body. We’re going to be aiming for your lats, also it’s going to work
part of your biceps, and then also your core,
which is from there to there, all the way around 360. – Okay. – What I need you to do is
you’re just going to take up a parallel stance with the bench. – Yep. – Hinge forward, put your
hand down, pick your chest up, and maintain a neutral spine. So, if you could just
do that for me first. – All right. – Once you’re in this
position, that’s correct, what you want to do is pick your chest up. That will then allow you to
get a nice neutral spine, okay? You don’t want to have a
curvature in your back, so if you then hold your chest up, and then now what you want to do is put a slight bend in your
knees, drop down a little bit. That’s right. Then, holding on to the dumbbell, what you’ll do is grab
the dumbbell for me, have it slightly out in front of you, and then lead with your
elbow up to your hip. So, five reps for me. Good, slowly down, not too fast. Excellent. If you sort of sat down quite
a lot in sedentary positions, whether that’s for a job, or even when you’re sitting
down a lot with cycling, there’s not any kind of resistance there. So, by doing this, it’s
creating resistance, which will then build up
muscles in those areas, but it’s only as good as how
good you’re doing the exercise. You want to do it with
efficient movement patterns, and perfect execution. And rest. Cool, good. (smooth music) Next exercise. So, we’re going to do an inverted row, which is predominately
working your upper body, your back and also your grip strength. So, what I would like you to
do is go underneath the bar with your feet facing out
this way, slowly down. Watch your head. So, what you need to aim for
is bringing your body down, and your chest in line with the bar. Okay? Hold on to the bar, shoulder width apart, and you can look for the
smooth part and the rough part, and that typically will be
where the rough part is. The grip that I want you to
do is reverse grip, okay? So, that’s it. Just underhand, underhand. Good, okay. Now, we want to go vertically up, so pull your chest directly
up towards the bar, and then look to squeeze your
shoulder blades together. Good, very nice. Go slowly down, that’s
it, and then back up. Three. Four. Good, one more. Excellent, good, and
then rest on the bottom. So, when you’re doing it, it’s important to come down
nice and steadily as well, because then the muscle is under tension. If you come down too quickly, the muscle isn’t under
tension for long enough, so just up, nice and explosively, and then slowly on the way down. All right? (energetic music) Next exercise is going
to be the walking lunges. What we’ll do is we’ll use a kettlebell, unilaterally on one side of your body, just to challenge your
stability and balance. The areas this is working is your glutes, your hamstrings and your quads. – Okay. – Then, also your core as well, as you’ve got the kettlebell, which is going to be offset for stability. – Okay. – Lovely. So, kettlebell just up to the top, keep your elbow up, and the
kettlebell close to your body. That’s correct. Chest up as always with
the other exercises, and then steadily forwards. That’s good. Excellent. One more step. Then, just change arms, and to make it a bit
more difficult for you, ’cause you look like
you’ve got control of that, what I want you to do is opposed to going
foot together, like so, I just want you to step into
the next step, all right? So, you just go straight forward like so. That’s it, and then straight
up into the next one. You can still move fairly slowly with it, so you’ve got control. That’s right, and big drive
up off that front leg, nice and explosive. Good, one more. I think that was probably cheating. (chuckling) – So, there you have it. Five essential exercises
to help weedy cyclists become slightly less weedy, and improve that strength on the bike. – Thanks, Carl.
– Absolutely, yeah. Not a problem at all. Definitely those exercises will help with your performance on the bike, and also, hopefully avoid injury. – If you found this video
useful, and you’ve enjoyed it, then please give it a thumbs up, and for more cycling fitness content, you can click on my guns. (laughing)