Coach Hughes: Cycling Strength Training Connective Tissue pt. 2
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Intelligent Training—Training

Strengthening Connective Tissue, Part 2

Strength Training for Century, Brevet and Other Endurance Cyclists

by Dan Kehlenbach & John Hughes
© 2003 John Hughes, All Rights Reserved

John Hughes and Dan Kehlenbach are the authors of Distance Cycling: Your Complete Guide to Endurance Cycling Kehlenbach has been a contributing editor to UltraCycling and is certified as a strength and conditioning specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and as an expert level coach with USA Cycling and has a master’s degree in sports medicine. Hughes, the former director of the UltraMarathon Cycling Association and editor of UltraCycling, has been certified by the NSCA as a personal trainer and by USA Cycling as a coach. Both have been coaching for over 15 years.

Strength training overview [  Part 1  |  Part 2

Recommended exercises for

  1. Increasing core strength [  Part 1  |  Part 2  ]
  2. Developing leg strength [  Part 1 |  Part 2  ]
  3. Improving muscle balance [  Part 1  |  Part 2 ]
  4. Strengthening connective tissues [  Part 1  |  Part 2 ]
  5. Improving upper body endurance [  Part 1 |  Part 2 ]

Strengthening connective tissues, to reduce the risk of injury.
The knee is vulnerable to overuse injuries such as tendonitis. The following will strengthen the connective tissue around the knee. Do one set of 20 reps with light weight 5 or 6 days a week. Tightening the muscle and holding (the isometric contraction) is what's important.

Single-leg short-arc quad extension: Seated with leg flexed 20 to 30 degrees and a weighted belt around your ankle. Straighten leg and lock knee, hold for 5 - 6 seconds, then lower 20 to 30 degrees. Do not do full range of motion leg extensions, which place tremendous compressive forces on the knee.
Short-arc Quad Extension Short-arc Quad Extension


Single leg abductor: Lying on your left side with a weighted band around your right ankle. Tighten your quads to lock your knee, and raise and lower your right foot.
 Single leg abductor  Single leg abductor


Single leg adductor: Lying on your left side with a weighted band around your left ankle. Tighten your quads to lock your knee, and raise and lower your left foot.
Single leg adductor Single leg adductor