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Cross Training for Cyclist


San Diego is an ideal place for cyclists, as demonstrated by the MANY cycling groups touring the 101 all weekend, every weekend. Cyclist put hours on the bike each week and they have the legs to prove it. While we are big fans of cycling, we also believe that cross-training is necessary to improve performance, maintain full body fitness, and for injury prevention. Whether you are a mountain biker, road biker, or spin class superstar, some things are true across the board. Here are our 2 cents on cross training for cyclist: 

First, prioritize mobility when you are off the bike, especially thoracic extension and hip flexors. In a study with 60 elite cyclists and 60 master cyclists, more than 50% of both categories displayed thoracic hyperkyphosis in their standing posture. Hyperkyphosis is an abnormal increase in the curvature of the spine which can lead to an array of dysfunction at the thoracic spine itself and surrounding joints & structures. The study did acknowledge this can occur due to other factors other than sitting on a bike since handle bar positioning can decrease amount of thoracic kyphosis observed. This brings inadequate postural habits or thoracic muscle fatigue into question. With this in mind, it is still important to address mobility first for adequate range of motion, then reinforce with posture specific training. In addition to thoracic mobility, positioning in the saddle places cyclists in a prolonged posture of hip flexion and anteriorly tilted pelvis. It’s important to balance out these postures by moving in the opposing directions to avoid overuse injuries from occurring.1  

Secondly, regular participation in resistance training has been linked with reductions in injury incidence in athletes, especially overuse injuries (up to 50%). Not only can it reduce injury risk but a solid strength training program has been shown to improve endurance performance.2  

Here is a 30-minute foundational mobility and strength program you can use 3 times a week to keep the body balanced and moving efficiently: 

Open books 


Thread the Needle 


3W hip drives 


Lastly, don’t ignore your upper body/core strength and the benefit of some impact for bone health and power development. 

Core: Plank/Side plank/ Plank variations, Anti-rotations 

Upper Extremity: Press/Pull 

Rotational work: Wood chops, pull/punch, Medball slams 

Plyo-work: Box jumps, Speed skaters, Stairs, 





1 Source: 

2. Source: Proximal Position Dictates Hip Performance and Health by Greg Spatz, PT, DPT, PRC, CSCS, Trevor Rappa, DPT, PT, PRC, CSCS, and Doug Kechijian, DPT, MA, PT, PRC 
NSCA Coach June 2017 
Vol 4, Issue 4