Home Exercises For Cyclists That Will Build Your Strength And Injury Resilience

Woman wearing cycling kit performs the plank exercise in her living room. A bike connected to a turbo trainer is behind her and a smartphone is on the floor in front of her on the exercise mat
(Image credit: TORWAISTUDIO / Shutterstock)

If you want to become a better cyclist, you can’t just cycle. Sure, the bulk of your time will be spent on the bike, but if you don’t put in some supportive strength work you’ll soon hit a plateau with your riding and run the risk of injury.

“Gym and strength exercises are typically ignored by many cyclists, but they have a lot of benefits that riding alone can’t offer,” says Rory Townsend, who rides for the Canyon DHB Cycling Team and coaches with Grinta Coaching.

“While cycling is predominantly an endurance exercise, races are often won or lost from explosive muscle contractions. Furthermore, years of riding can lead to reduced bone density, so it is important to counteract this with frequent strength work to avoid injury.”

Townsend has recommended the following set of bodyweight exercises to do regularly to support your cycling.

“You can add more reps and increase the number of sets as your strength improves,” says Townsend.

Home Exercises For Cyclists

Dead bug

Woman performs dead bug exercise as trainer looks on

(Image credit: FreshSplash / Getty Images)

Reps 10 each side

“Lying on your back, raise your arms straight up and bring your legs up with a 90° bend at the knees,” says Townsend. “Fully extend one arm behind you and straighten the opposing leg, then return and repeat on the other side.”

Jump lunge

Jump luge

(Image credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus / Ziga Plahutar)

Reps 10 each side

“Begin in a standard lunge position with your front foot flat and a 90° bend in the knee, and your back leg behind you with the toes tucked under and a slight bend in the knee,” says Townsend. “Jump up and land in the same lunge position, but swapping the positions of your legs.”


Man performs V-up exercise

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Reps 10

“Lie with your back flat on the ground,” says Townsend. “Keeping your legs and arms straight, simultaneously raise both to meet, then bring them back down to the start position.”

Donkey kick

Woman performs donkey kick exercise at home

(Image credit: Prostock-Studio / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Reps 10 each side

“Begin on all fours with your arms and knees shoulder-width apart,” says Townsend. “Kick one leg up behind you, maintaining the bend in your knee and working the hamstring. If you want to overload this exercise, simultaneously raise the opposing arm out in front of you to target your core.”

Plank reach to side plank

Woman performs side plank with leg lift exercise at home

(Image credit: mirina / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Reps 10 each side

“Begin in a standard plank position,” says Townsend. “Raise one arm and extend it in front of you, then the other. Do these 10 times each side, focusing on keeping your bum low and core stable. From here, move into a side plank and raise the upper leg. Do 10 raises, then change sides.”

More Workouts For Cyclists

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.