After a 16 year professional career racing on the road and the track and 3 Olympic Games, Jo Kiesanowski credits a consistent base of strength work to her longevity and versatility as a cyclist. If we’ve learned anything from Jo, it’s that strength work is essential to remain healthy as a cyclist, build explosive power, speed and endurance. As we begin the New Year, here are Jo’s favorite exercises that will encourage versatility as a cyclist and get you ready for all the races and adventures you have planned on the bike in 2018.
*Jo holds her USA Weightlifting Certification, USA Cycling Coach Certification and is a TrainingPeaks certified coach. We recommend that you consult a health professional before performing these exercises and remember that proper form is essential to preventing injury.
Set your feet with a shoulder width stance and the kettlebell about a foot in front of you.
Keep your back flat and tilt the bell over slightly to begin.
Hike the bell back between your legs while maintaining a flat back and straight arms.
Forcefully drive your hips forward and open to move the kettlebell out and up finishing at shoulder height.
The first rep is from the floor, subsequent reps are a continuous swing without returning the bell to the floor until you are done.
This exercise is a hip hinge, the forceful movement from your hips is what drives the bell up.
A powerful movement that teaches us how to use our hips and gluts more efficiently and explosively.
(Jo’s personal favorite)
Set your feet in a slightly wider than hip width stance with a wide grip and the bar in a back rack position.
Push press it up until your elbows are locked out.
While keeping your lumbar curve maintained and shoulders pushing up into the bar, proceed down into a full squat and back up.
The bar will stay just behind your head if you’re looking from the side.
Your midline is tight and engaged the whole time.
To warm up this movement and get comfortable in the position, start with either a wooden dowel or a PVC pipe to dial your form in. Make sure you have your technique down before progressing to a barbell, a 45lb barbell will be challenging at first.
This is a tough exercise to master right away so keep at it if it doesn’t come smoothly at first. It requires a lot of mobility, range of motion and core strength to get down to a full squat while holding a weight locked out overhead which is why this is one of my personal favorites. This is more of a core exercise than a squat despite its name.
Read more about Jo in our Prologue, or learn more about how to build a strong foundation in Part I of this series.