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Alternative to squats?(7 posts)

Alternative to squats?Neo
Apr 30, 2001 8:40 AM
I hear that squats are a good exercise to do for cycling, and I do need to increase my leg strength, but I hate doing squats. Is there anything else I could do to help?
MuscleTension IntervalsSimpleGreen
Apr 30, 2001 8:53 AM
Ride in a large gear with low cadence 50-75. Sit and grind for 5 minutes or so. Then recover for 10 min and try another 5 min. Watch your knees--these can cause knee trouble. You don't need to go fast or push a monster gear. Just make your muscles work harder than normal.

Stair climbing is another way.
re: Alternative to squats?Dinosaur
Apr 30, 2001 10:14 AM
Lunges......or try doing squats with light weight, high reps (15-20).
Use the first set with a very low weight just to warm up. Avoid using really heavy weights, you can blow out your lower back or knees. The key is to be consistent and to use strict, controlled form. Try it for a few weeks and see......remember you want to be a cyclist that lifts weights, not a weightlifter that cycles....
Apr 30, 2001 3:05 PM
To build leg stregth, I do 5 minute or less standing intervals on the trainer, really mashing hard, or ride in a very hard gear up a very steep 1/2 mile hill near my house.

Work up to it. See if you can stand and mash for one minute first, then go longer. At least with this kind of training, it is very bike specific, and will directly assist your riding. Make sure you warm up and down plenty, too.

Apr 30, 2001 6:11 PM
The reason you probably hate squats is because the muscles you need to do them aren't up to the task. Not a slam, so please don't take it as such. Generally, when you don't like doing an exercise it means that you need to do that exercise the most because it is exposing your weaknesses. Do the squats. You'll get stronger faster by attacking your weakness.

It would be like if you hate climbing on your bike. You just need to climb more to get better and be able to enjoy the hills more. Attack your weak spots instead of working around them
re: Alternative to squats?Wayne Scott
May 1, 2001 6:37 AM
Why are you lifting weights? IMHO the only reason for a cyclist to lift weights is to increase muscle mass in muscles used in cycling, then when the muscles are recruited during cycling they can produce more force (a muscle's force producing capability is directly proportional to its cross-sectional area). If hypertrophy is your goal, stick to the 8 to 12 rep range and you should be approaching failure at he end of the set. I feel two sets is sufficient, do a couple of different exercises to hit different muscles or same muscle in a different manner. Higher reps produce little hypertrophy (so what's the point in doing them), low reps while producing hypertrophy (but less than 8 to 12 rep range) rely more on neural factors for increasing strength. I've found that the only time to effectively lift weights is the off season, trying to do a session during the racing season, just leaves my legs dead and ill prepared for the demands of hard cycling specific training and racing. As far as alternatives to squats, try leg presses or lunges, leg extensions are great for isolating the quads.
Have to agree...Thioderek
May 1, 2001 12:08 PM
Smart I think to find an alternative to squats. Too much potential for screwing something up. I do triathlons, and hit the gym all year long. Leg presses, extensions, leg curls (I think that is what they are called on the machine) and calf raises are all part of my routine for my legs-but I do a full body workout. Two sets, two machines at a time, with no rest in between 2-3 times a week. I can bang out 13 machines in 25-30 minutes. Feel the burn. Then its downstairs to do some situps and crunches. Swimming, biking and running happen all week long as well. Longer on a Saturday or Sunday, but at least one day of rest in the week. I lighten the load considerably though for upcoming events.