You want to stay fit and not lose the love for the bike, but can’t get out right now? You’re not the only one in these crazy times!
As cyclists, we often have certain needs that others may not fully understand. That’s why we’ve given some thought to how you can best spend your time in the home to fulfil these needs and have collected the best tips and exercises for you to do.
Right from the start, one thing is very clear, cycling is a very versatile sport and requires a lot more than just turning your legs. Therefore, we’ve come up with 8 tips for staying fit at home, that address every important aspect of fitness, that can still be easily done.
1. Indoor Training
Although we’ve said above that there’s more to keeping fit than just the pedalling, the best way to keep your fitness up is to still hop on the turbo trainer. We’re lucky as cyclists, even indoors we can continue to train well and effectively.
The old issues of sitting alone for a boring, monotonous hour are gone. Smart trainers, smart training platforms and virtual cycling worlds are all easily available. Whether you’re just riding socially, completing a training session or looking for a race – Zwift, RGT, TrainerRoad and The Sufferfest (and much more) all offer riders a chance to get lost in riding, even indoors.
If you’re struggling for sessions to do on the trainer, take a look at our blog on Smart turbo training. Here Jana explains how she gets the most out of her sessions without getting bored of gazing at the wall.
2. Strength training
Weight training is not often associated with cycling by many, but everyone who has done a long few days in the saddle knows that it’s not just the legs that hurt after a while. Whether it’s on a mountain or road bike, going uphill or downhill, flying over drops in the bike park or sprinting for a signpost against your mates, a little extra strength can never hurt.
Balanced training includes working on all areas of the body and even cyclists shouldn’t neglect their upper body. Exercises such as pushups, planks, twists and squats should also be in your training plan and with more time at home, there’s no excuse to not add some in! In their blogs, Red Bull and our ambassador Claire Williams provide some of the best strength exercises that can be easily done at home.
3. Stretching & Recovery with Yoga
Recovery is also a huge part of training correctly. In order for the body to best convert the training and hard work done into progress, we must also rest. However, as great as lying vertically in bed as much as possible is, you can help further recovery with specific exercises. We therefore recommend yoga. Since cycling only encourages the use of specific muscle groups, it’s important to carefully stretch those specific muscles sufficiently and to relax them with counter movements.
A major aspect of yoga exercises is targeted breathing, as well as the simultaneous strengthening and stretching of specific muscle groups. Bicycling.com has summarised the benefits of yoga for cyclists and provides 11 essential poses which are easy to to work on at home in their blog here.
For some it’s a means to an end, for others it’s an art … and no, we’re not talking about cycling this time. In the fourth point, we devote ourselves to the right nutrition. As the saying goes, you are what you eat. This is exactly the motto you should keep in mind when it comes to cycling nutrition. A balanced diet should therefore be at least as important as a well-equipped bike.
BikeRadar provides some great recipes for all bikers. From healthy summer barbecue, fast and light fish based or smoothie recipes, there is plenty to try. Let yourself be inspired by the variety of recipes, discover your inner cook and importantly, always listen to your body because in the end, it’s all about making you feel good, both on the bike and afterwards.
5. Getting the bike ‘experience’
Training, recovery, eating… everything sounds good, but you still don’t really get that great feeling of freedom that cycling offers. Fortunately, we are at a time with technology in which you can easily bring at least a small piece of your bike experience home.
On platforms like YouTube you can now find almost an unlimited number of videos about cycling. You don’t have to go searching for the best channels either, as we have done it for you. In our blog Top 5 Cycling YouTube channels to watch, you will find the perfect mix of the videos and channels for both the mountain bike and racing world.
In addition, Red Bull has collected a few of their films from the bike world that are currently online for free here.
Meditation is recognised as a great way to help mental wellbeing. Staying fit isn’t just necessarily about the physical side. It’s also extremely important to stay fit mentally, especially at a time where we are confined to the home more and being less social because of it. Based around breathing and mental-awareness exercises, meditation is potentially a great way to reduce stress. Headspace offers lot’s of different techniques and also how-to’s to help you get started here.
7. Take a walk
As well as cycling, walking outside is still an activity we are currently allowed to do (as long as we adhere to social distancing). If you’re training on the bike indoors, it means you take a quick walk outside and sometimes it’s nice to simply get out into the fresh air, take it slow and get in touch with the basics of life. It’s a chance to step away from the house, work and your training for a moment and take a break, which can be great for you mentally.
8. Video Calling your cycling mates
Similar to the last few points, staying social where possible is great for your mental wellbeing and therefore mental fitness. There are now plenty of apps available for group video calls and it’s a great way to chat to friends. Sure, you can catch up and ride with them on Zwift or a similar app, but sometimes it’s good to just chat with people you haven’t seen or ridden for a while.
We wish you a nice time at your home. If you are looking for a bit of a change from your routine, why not follow us on Facebook or Instagram as well. Here we can keep you up to date with some of the news from the cycling world.