One of the biggest questions we get from our clientele in the shop is to what extent we think they should weight train while preparing for an endurance cycling event.
We actually wrote a full post on cross training for cyclists a few months ago, but today we wanted to focus on something a little more specific: kettlebell workouts.
What Are Kettlebells?
Before we get into let’s establish what a kettlebell is exactly. They haven’t been common workout tools until recently, so even if you’re a lifelong exercise addict you might not have come across them.
Basically, kettlebells are small cast-iron balls that hace a handle coming out of one end. They come in a variety of sizes and weights, but are typically just a few inches in diameter. This makes them great tools for dynamic exercising and workouts that require you to move the weight quickly, since they’re more versatile than normal dumbbells.
How To Use a Kettlebell
Kettlebell exercises come in all forms. You can use them with almost any weight lifting exercise you would use a dumbbell for, but they’re best used for weight training that requires a larger range of motion.
This makes them particularly good weights to use for things like core exercises, for example if you’re shifting side to side to work on the abdominals. There are tons of exercises available to train just about any muscle or muscle group you could imagine. For cyclists, you might be interested in pass-through leg exercises, which, when combined with squatting and dead lifts, can help to build those calfs and quads.
Checkout kettlebellexercises.co for more training tips.
Why Are They Good For Cyclists?
At the end of the day, the argument for a cyclist using kettlebells is pretty much the same as the argument for lifting weights, with the added benefit of versatility. If you’re not familiar with the benefits of cross training for cyclists, read this post on cross training to learn more, and where we go into the benefits in more detail.
The gist of it is quite simple: weight training can help you focus on different muscle groups, which allows you to workout even when you’re resting your primary cycling muscles (the legs), as well as to help you build endurance, which is absolutely necessary if you’re planning a long ride.