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Cycle uphill to use and improve your hamstrings.
If you struggle to cycle uphill and sound like Tim the Tool Man Taylor grunting for more power, improve the strength and endurance of your hamstrings. Cycling uses all the muscles in your legs whether you cycle along flat roads, hills, or a combination of each. Uphill cycling focuses more of the muscle usage on your glutes and hamstrings, so an endurance-building workout for the backs of your upper legs improves your climbing ability.1.
Devote at least one day a week to a route that contains hills to improve your hamstrings for cycling. Cycle up and down one hill five to 10 times if you cannot find a route that contains multiple hills. Use a high gear and a low speed to engage your hamstrings as you climb.2.
Include calisthenic hamstring-training exercises in your weekly workouts. Perform exercises such as squats, lunges, squat jumps, stepups and side lunges to increase your hamstring strength. For example, perform a stepup by stepping onto a 12-inch high platform. Place one foot on the platform and step up with the other. Step down and then repeat. You can hold onto a dumbbell or barbell for added resistance once the weight of your body becomes easy.3.
Add to your weekly workouts exercises that use machines to target your hamstrings, such as hamstring curls and leg presses. For example, sit in a leg press machine and position your feet hip-distance apart. Bend your knees to lower the platform toward you, and then straighten your legs to press against the resistance.4.
Use stability balls to build your hamstrings with exercises such as lying hamstring curls, wall squats, lunges and bridges. For example, lie face up on the floor with your heels on the top of an exercise ball. Raise your hips from the floor and then bend and straighten your knees as you curl the ball.5.
Train for endurance not bulk. Perform one to three sets of 10 to 20 repetitions with a resistance amount that causes muscular fatigue on the final two repetitions of each set.6.
Use hamstring strengthening exercises two or three days a week with at least one day of rest between workouts. Use your hill climbs one or two days a week with at least one day of flat-road cycling between.
- Weight machines
- Stability ball
- Use a variety of exercises to stimulate hamstring response. Vary your workouts on a weekly basis.
- Speak with your doctor if you experience any knee or back discomfort.