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Arm muscles?

u05harrisbu05harrisb Posts: 531
edited November 2010 in Health, fitness & training
currently i ride loads have good stamina and muscles in my lower body however they are pretty much nowhere else! i quite often after a ride have tired/soreish arms after being out riding for several hours more so when i do more hilly routes when out of the saddle more often, the thing i was wandering as would be doing some dumbell weights help to bulk up at least my arms if not upper body a little and would it make much of an improvment to my riding? i ride XC if that helps at all so no needing to lift bikes or jump etc.

cheers guys and girls!


  • I would not bother with dumbells as they will only target one area and you will get used to them quickly.

    I would look to do more versatile exercise that targets more muscles and will improve core strength. By far the best three are press ups, dips and pull ups. you can get a pull up bar for 10-15 quid that attaches to a doorframe. Would be far better than dumbells.
  • anto164anto164 Posts: 3,500
    Or, start doing climbing. You'll build all sorts of muscles that way, and it's hellishly fun!
  • From personal experience of doing weights although from a rugby playing veiw dumbells aren't great as said before they only really target one group of muscles. Depending on how often you can train makes a big difference as it's about recovery as well as varying the excercises, in simple terms when you lift a weight it tares muscle tissue and thats when protein repairs the tear leaving new muscle. I used to train 3 times a week with Monday being chest work, wednesday shoulders and fridays would be an arm work out giving your body a rest day inbetween is important as it always needs time to recover from what you have just put it through. As i've rediscovered my love of mountain bikes i've just dropped from 17st to 12.5st and have now got down to the point where i can start some weight training to get myself back up to my optimum wieght which i think is around 13.5-14st which means if i train correctly i should have good upper body strength to go with the lower body strength i already have.
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  • I am an ex rugby man as well and used to do the weights regularly. I find now I want to do more cv based exercise. Being 40+ I want to work on the heart and general health. Thats why i find the three i mentined are usefull because they can be done regularly and quickly and give me time for CV. Obviously I appreciate others have different requirements.

    Agree about climbing.......the few times I have done it it has left me a wreck.....:)
  • anto164 wrote:
    Or, start doing climbing. You'll build all sorts of muscles that way, and it's hellishly fun!

    I start my first climbing course tommorrow so I hope so :D

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  • You're doing xc, arms are kinda wasted.

    Ride more and you'll reach the point where your arms are suitable and they'll stop hurting.
  • Ber NardBer Nard Posts: 827
    I'm also a climber but find the one area it doesn't target well is the upper arm. I can come back from a long ride on the road bike and still feel a bit of soreness in my triceps.

    As mentioned above, dips would be good holding your position briefly at the top and bottom of each rep.

    Press ups are also good but remember to keep your hands closer together to work the back of your arms more than your chest.

    They're my thoughts, anyway.

  • well my arms have been used to what ive been riding but ive just started a load of new routes that have bigger and longer hills so its just come as a little shock there not "dead" after a ride however i think there is somthing missing a little bit, i think im gonna do pressups and just carry on riding mabye get out of the saddle more and pump the bike to get the arms moving a little more see how that goes :D

    cheers guys!
  • springtide9springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    As above - you want to improve your core - but endurance rather then strengh.

    If looking fo gym ercersises.. try the cross trainer or more preferably the rowing machine (I like the rower)

    Lots of people say that the rower is 'all in the legs'.
    A good friend of mine once told me that if you come of the rower and your arms ache, you are not using your legs enough. And if you come off the rower and your legs hurt, you need to work harder with your arms. So basically, if both arms and legs hurt, you've cracked it. Look to building up to 30 - 45mins

    Another one I've always planned to sign up to is 'circuits'. Aparently finding a good circuits class run by an ex army bloke works wonders with your core - but hurts lots.
  • unfortunatly cant really do gym stuff so ive been doing 30 pressups morning and evening everyday so far less achey which is good so i aim for 100/day and will add 5 morning and evening as time goes on, il probably start doing the plank too, chin ups would be cool but have nowhere to put it really :( i know what im doing wont do loads and loads but hopfully with doing this reguraly everyday i hope to at least have it so that its better and more usefull than it currently is :D anyother sugestions on home simple and easy things let me know

    cheers guys!
  • you can put a pull up bar in any doorway, just need a convenient one.

    you could get an exercise ball- there are endless things you can do on them and they are good for the back and the core.

    If you had dumbbells you could do press ups holding them and lifting each arm alternately to full reach-that kills.

    Or a medicine ball- brings new meaning to press ups......
  • I would suggest varying the press ups from just traditional ones

    do some wide arm press up and some with your hands close together maing a triangle between yourthumbs and forefinger

    I find I get more from exercise if I keep it varied.

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  • thats a good plan! what about those ones whereyou put your feet on a chair then do press ups like normal i think thats ment to be harder, might give both of them a go
  • Yea, just watch the angles, if its too high you might put pressure on the back.

    there is an awesome variety of press up. The imagination is the only limit. you could also go for slow reps. From the top count to 5 in your head so you re at the botom when you get there. On the push you cannot get right up until you reach ten on a steady count.
  • dame thats also a good one humm i wander if i could think of an awsome one....ow here i go hows about i stand upright and just push my arms up in the air then mabye if im in the mood pop them back down again haha :D slow ones do sounds like a godo plan too!
  • How about each press you raise a leg straight up. do each leg alternately.

    Or each press keep legs flat and move knee up towards hip as far as it can go.

    Or Donkey punch yourself with alternate fist each time............
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