Boost Cycling Performance with Off the Saddle Training

May 20, 2012

Do you conduct an off the saddle bicycle training program in addition to your on the saddle bicycle training?

Many cyclists get so focused with on the saddle training regimens of building endurance and speed that they forget or ignore the importance of core strength, stretching, getting a bicycle fit or participating in yoga classes.

Trying to fit all these different types of training regimens can be overwhelming for sure, especially for the normal competitive cyclist who works 9 to 5, but just a little bit of effort can go a long way in a cyclist’s performance.

Recently at the annual team camp of the Ride Giant-Ride Northstar mountain bike sponsorship program, the theme for the weekend involved incorporating core strength training, bicycle fit, yoga and rest.  As you continue to read, you will find the following topics in order to help boost your cycling performance with off the saddle training:

  • Core Strength – Plyometric Balance Work Out
  • Bicycle Fit – How to Set Up an All-Mountain / Trail Bike
  • Yoga – Bicycle Specific Pose


Core strength is very important to a cyclist’s performance.  With out a stable and strong core, a cyclist will not have the ability to utilize the strength of his or her legs efficiently.  Stability and balance circuit routines are a great way to become a great bicycle handler along with being more efficient.  Here is a great work out that you can try at home.  Focus on conducting this work-out twice a week, one-minute intervals, and two times for each exercise.


In addition to core strength, having a bicycle that is fitted correctly is very important.  The way a cyclist has his or her bicycle set up can effect performance.  Everything from the length of crank arms, saddle height, shifter and brake lever position and stem height, all play an effective role in power output.  Here is a great video with Timmy Evens educating us on how to properly fit an all-mountain bike.


Just like a core-strength work out routine, complimenting your ride with yoga practice can improve your power, strength, speed and endurance.  Yoga can build core and increase flexibility.  In addition to the core and flexibility benefits of yoga, yoga also train us on how to properly breathe.  Yoga gives you a chance to focus on the breath and how it moves through your body and calms your mind.  You can then apply that breath-work to the way you breathe on the bike, creating more oxygen intake for you to process during high intensity riding or riding at high altitude.  Yoga is another great way to build a strong core and should be apart of every cyclist’s training program.  We recommend participating in a yoga class at least once a week and you will notice big results in your performance on the bike.  Enjoy this video with yoga instructor Nikki Dean on a bicycle specific yoga exercise.

Thanks for reading.  Stay tuned for our next training post on lab field testing.


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