Glendora Ridge Road, Glendora, CA

If you are cycling more than 100 miles a week, this has become a healthy passion vs. a casual ride at the beach. Want to ride longer, or perhaps climb hills faster? Well, it takes more than just pedal and saddle time, it takes strengthening certain key muscles groups. Here are a few tricks up my sleeve!
FIRST, activate your PEACH POWER!
DID YOU KNOW that most cyclists use their quads and hamstrings much more than their glutes when cycling?


The largest muscle in the body is ASLEEP? 🍑💤👎🏼

We need to change that…

Adequately applying our glutes will significantly power up our pedal strokes! 🚴🏼‍♂️💥🚴🏼‍♂️

🍑PEACH POWER is made up of 3 muscles:
gluteus maximum,
gluteus medius,
and gluteus minimus,

all working together to raise your thighs, rotate your legs, or thrust your hips forward.

Well shoot! Doesn’t that describe what a cyclist does all day long?  🤣🚴🏼‍♂️🤣

However, do know that WEAK GLUTES will lead to injuries! 😱😱😱

Poor PEACHiness 👉🏼overworked quads & hamstrings,
sore lower back,
tight IT band,
and/or knee pain

Cycling is a POWER SPORT.  Adding ENDURANCE to your cycling requires more than just completing the distance, it’s having the fatigue resistance in your muscles to cope with that sustained power for a long period of time.  You MUST then tap into MUSCLE endurance.

In essence, the stronger you are in using your glutes, hips, quads, and core, the faster and longer you will be able to ride.

Here’s a combination of exercises I use throughout the week to increase my endurance and climbing ability:

Standing Fire Hydrant-Shuffle-Squat with Bands

Muscles Involved: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings
3x1min with each Leg Standing Fire Hydrant
3x Shuffle Squat for the 2nd min

💡EXTRA TIP: Use the Standing Fire Hydrant Static Stretch before every ride. Get your glutes warmed up for the climb!

Step Up Reverse Lunges

Muscles involved: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, core
3×15 reps with each leg for endurance gains

In the beginning, maintaining balance was difficult, however, I found stepping to the tempo of music allowed me to improve my coordination which aided my balance.  The flow from step up to reverse lunge quickly became much easier.

Stay consistent with this unilateral leg exercise weekly, and you’ll notice your hip flexors and quads will develop EXPLOSIVE LEG POWER on each step up, while they are dynamically stretched with each reverse lunge repetition. Use small dumbbells for an added challenge.

All-in-all, this has been very effective in boosting my climbing speed, muscular endurance and balance. I love it! 😍😍😍

Angled Lying Leg Raises (Both, Single Leg)

Muscles Involved: Hips, Abs
3×20 Lying Leg Raises
3×20 Lying Single Leg Extension

Leg Raises build strong abs (core) and hip flexors. After completing the lying leg raises, switch to the single leg rotation as a set.

You want your abs (core) to hurt? Well this is the exercise for you! You will see an improvement in posture, reduction in lower back strain, prevention of groin injury, and overall leg power to smooth out your pedaling style. Achieving smooth pedal strokes can only mean one thing, efficient climbing and optimal cycling cadence on longer rides! Woohoo!

Note that abs do need time to recover. Wait at least 48 hours between ab workouts

Planking with Bands or Weights

Muscles Involved: core, neck, lower back, shoulders
3x3min Planking

You can do a ton of variations with this exercise.  I do love this 3-min perfect plank workout by Bowflex (below)

I incorporated stretching a band (sometimes, even with 5lbs weights, hubby above is even doing 20lbs weights) while I plank to strengthen my neck flexors.

If you suffer from neck pain like I do while cycling, this could be more than a bike fit issue, your posture and neck muscles are weak and need to be strengthened.

Single Dead Lifts

Muscles Involved: Hips, Hamstrings
3×10 reps for each leg

When I tried this for the first time, I immediately noticed my right leg was much weaker than the left. It was frustrating to be falling over! 🤣🤣🤣

This exercise helped me correct my muscle imbalances and loosen my hamstrings. Make sure to MASTER PROPER TECHNIQUE first before adding more weights.

All of the above exercises can be done at home or outside in your backyard if the gym seems too intimidating.

This can easily be done in 30min. 🚫 NO EXCUSES! 🚫

You WILL reap the benefits once you get on that saddle!

Definitely , a PR Producer-galore! 💯💯💯

Last but not least, I want to thank my amazing coaches, mentors, personal trainers, and physical therapy team for taking my cycling up a whole new level for me this year. It takes a village to master something great in life!  More to tweak, but I love getting educated and seeing the results.  I hope you do too as you benefit from the 5 strength exercises!

SPECIAL THANKS to Michele Rebozzi of Covina Hills Sports Medicine for starting me off on some of the exercises above. It’s not just for strengthening, but for PREVENTING INJURY!

Below is the GEAR I use at the gym or at home for the above exercises. You can shorten the band, increase the weight, or add height to boost a challenge! CLICK on the pictures below to direct you to the products on Amazon.com.

Any questions about Strength Exercises, Climbing, or Endurance Tips? Got other exercises that have worked for you in the past? Drop me a message in the comments below!


Hey there, I’m Monica Busby — I started cycling seriously 5 years ago across 48 US States and Cebu, Philippines after being fed up of the rat race.  “There has to be more to life than this”, I said to myself.  So I picked up a bicycle and have been on a pilgrimage to cycle the world ever since.  Adventure Travel and Entrepreneurship are my passions. Let me inspire you to cycle travel more with wild stories, scenic views, and business tips to live a lifestyle you have always wanted.

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