More Powerful Pedal Stroke In One Move

Hit your neglected hammies to spin smooth, strong circles.

Selene Yeager |

Most cyclists do a good job working their powerful prime pedal-pushing muscles in their glutes and quads both on the bike and in the gym with squats and leg presses. But unless you do a lot of single leg pedaling drills or otherwise consciously work the pedal-pulling hamstrings on the back of your thighs, chances are they’re neglected and relatively weak by comparison.

Powerful pedaling demands that all your lower body muscles pull their weight. You can hit your hamstrings with one easy move. As a bonus, this exercise also strengthens and boosts stability in your abs, glutes, and hips, which hold you firmly in the saddle as you hammer down the road. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps with 30 seconds rest in between. Make the move harder by performing it one leg at a time.

Stability Ball Hamstring Curl

Lie on a floor on your back with your legs extended and heels on top of a stability ball. Contract your abs, back, and glutes and press into your heels, lifting your hips off the floor so your body forms a straight line from your heels to your shoulders. Bend your knees and use your heels to roll the ball toward your butt, so your feet are flat on the ball. Pause, return to start, and repeat.

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