The following 5 basic components of physical fitness will give you all around endurance and strength allowing you to perform better on the bike.
- Cardio-respiratory endurance is the ability of your heart and breathing systems to deliver fuel in the form of oxygen to your muscles. Also known as aerobic endurance.
Cycling is an excellent way to improve aerobic endurance and further develop your respiratory system. It requires a sustained and continuous effort in the aerobic training zone.
Improve your cardio endurance through more cycling or other aerobic activities such as running or swimming. Swimming is also a fantastic exercise to improve your respiratory system as you learn to regulate your breathing.
- Muscular strength is the ability of your muscles to exert force.
Cycling certainly helps build great quads, but you will want to incorporate additional weight training for balanced overall strength. Mountain biking can help develop upper body strength.
Improve your strength with regular visits to the weight room. Focus on your core, upper body, hamstrings, and lateral strength.
- Muscular endurance is the ability of your muscles to continue work without fatigue.
Cycling’s low-impact nature helps teach your muscles to support sustained work over longer periods of time.
I like to use yoga for improvements in muscular endurance. Holding the poses is a great way to build this endurance, improve flexibility, and develop mental toughness.
- Flexibility is the ability to move through a full range of motion.
It is very important for cyclists have a stretching routine. Flexibility will minimize your chance of injury when you fall. Riding a bike keeps you in a fixed position for long periods that can tighten you up like a knot.
Always stretch after every ride when your muscles are nice and warm. Try to stretch everyday if possible, holding each stretch for at least 30 seconds.
- Body composition is the relative amount of body mass to fat. Also known as body fat percentage.
There’s no doubt that cycling burns fat. But, you should also take care to eat a healthy diet. You can have abs of steel, but no one will know they’re covered by a quarter-inch layer of fat.
Riding a bike is a super fun way to get fit and stay that way. But, in order to have a balanced fit body, you must also incorporate strength training, stretching, and a healthy diet. Heed this advice to address the 5 basic components of physical fitness and you will soon see great improvements in you’re cycling performance.