T Nation

Leg Strength For Cycling

i have no license and i ride my bike everywhere i go, i have good cardio but i need something to help me more with my leg strength. Any ideas?

Just riding should make your legs stronger.

I’m thinking out loud here. On the downstroke, you’re using your glutes, so deadlifts and squats might help. If you have clipless peddles and use an upstroke, you’re using your hip flexors, so sit-ups would help.

maybe i could do more intense cycling by riding up and down hills or something, thanks for the input

I bet Tabata intervals with bodyweight squats or light front squats would work wonderfully for increasing lactic acid tolerance/muscular endurance, as well as anaerobic and aerobic conditioning.

there was quite and indepth post on elite cyclist training a while a go

prob more than you wanted but an interesting read. otherwise just keep at it and the legs will get used to it, and dont skimp on the heavy legs as per usual, sure hills become a bitch some days but suck it up

Hi p-dubb,

As an Olympic Weightlifting coach, I was good friends with this road racing cycling coach years ago. We would always come up with methods off training for cycling using weights to get the legs stronger.

Both him and I agreed that using single legged squats with some deadlifts, front squats and glute ham work was the exercises to use.

When I asked him why would we use the single legged squat, he said simple you cycle with one leg at a time.

Hope this helps.


You could also throw in some walking lunges, take a couple laps of the gym/length of a football feild with little to no weight. Once you can walk comfortably again you could also throw in some “stomps” where you put the bike in a slightly uncomfortable gear, (50-60rpms) and stomp on the pedals going up a short hill (work interval should be about 1-2 mins) coast down to the bottom and rest about 30 secs then repeat. With cycling it is more about adapting you body to buffer/filter lactate than it is about maximum strengh.