Cycling Exercises You Can Do Without a Bike


Injury, tor­ren­tial down­pours, and bliz­zards are no excuse for slack­ing off dur­ing your bike train­ing time. You’ve got to stay on top of your game every sea­son even when you’re in recov­ery mode. Here are a few exer­cis­es to help keep you in shape and increase your cycling skills even when you can’t get on a bike.

squatThe Wrestler’s Squat

Keep­ing your legs on point and capa­ble of bear­ing tough loads is the focal point of the wrestler’s squat. Not only does it help devel­op leg strength and endurance, but it also helps your bal­ance and focus­es your core.

It’s sim­ple to do, in the­o­ry. Kneel on the floor or on an exer­cise mat and slow­ly, one leg at a time, step up into a squat­ting posi­tion. Your legs should nev­er be straight dur­ing this process, and you shouldn’t be stand­ing straight up either. Now, one leg at a time, step back into the kneel­ing posi­tion. Con­tin­ue this for at least 60 sec­onds, go for two if you can, and alter­nate the lead leg halfway through.

changeoverOne-Leg Bridge Changeovers

Don’t skimp out on blast­ing the glutes while you’re tak­ing time off the bike. This exer­cise is also great as a warm-up before going for a ride once you’re back in the game.

Lie on your back and place both feet flat on the floor. Your arms should be flat on the floor or lying across your chest. Now, push your pelvis up off the floor so you’re cre­at­ing a flat plane from your knees down to your chest. Hold­ing this posi­tion, lift your right leg into the air until it’s straight. Squeeze your left glute tight and hold for three sec­onds. Low­er it back down and repeat with the oppo­site leg.

Con­tin­ue for 60 seconds.

skip ropeSkip Rope

This might sound a lit­tle sil­ly to peo­ple who aren’t used to it, but skip­ping rope is actu­al­ly a great way to build calf strength and increase your endurance. Unless you’re sport­ing a gnarly ankle or knee injury you should be able to pull this off.

To amp up the exer­cise, with each skip dri­ve your knee up toward your chest and back down, alter­nat­ing legs every few skips. Do this for five sets of 12 reps, or 60 seconds.


You don’t have to get fan­cy to increase your cycling skills, and lunges are a great cycling-spe­cif­ic exer­cise to help increase your quad strength. They’re also good for increas­ing hip flex­i­bil­i­ty and strength­en­ing the ham­strings, so make sure to fit them into your work­out program.

It’s impor­tant to remem­ber when doing lunges to avoid jerk­ing move­ments or extend­ing your knee too far for­ward. A slow, con­trolled lunge with the front of the knee lin­ing up with the edge of your toe is the goal. Aim for 5 sets of 15 reps with­out weights when you’re start­ing out.

Look for Alternatives

If you’re nurs­ing a sprain or hip injury, con­sid­er switch­ing to an ellip­ti­cal or sta­tion­ary bike at a low lev­el until your body can take more strain. If you’re sim­ply going out of town for busi­ness and can’t take your bike with you, enroll in a local spin class for the day.

You need to find ways to get your heart rate up and keep burn­ing fat while you’re side­lined from your bike, just don’t hurt your­self try­ing to do so. Jog­ging and run­ning are accept­able options, but they won’t give you the same range of motion in your legs as cycling will. It’ll do in a pinch, though.

Most impor­tant­ly, remem­ber to stretch your mus­cles and keep them in shape so you’re ready to go once you’re all healed up or once that snow­fall has melt­ed into oblivion.