Kaise Posts: 2,498
I've been training for quite a while now and have what i consider a fair amount of strength in my lower body from playing rugby and riding the bike, but i have found that squats have really puished me on in my strength and given my core great stability.

My question is, to all those who use the gym,

which squats do you do?
which type do you find the most effective for strength and power?
do you squat free or use a squat rack?
Has the use of squats helped with your riding?


  • springtide9
    springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    The only squats I do are the one legged variety. You don't need huge muscles for cycling, so double your body weight I find enough.

    I also don't do squats at the gym.. generally do them while cleaning my teeth in the morning :lol:
  • DaveL
    DaveL Posts: 188
    If your squatting with weights, use free weights over the machines. This will engage more of your muscles, and do wonders for your core strength.

    If your using bodyweight, as said above 1 legged squats are good. If you want to target your quads a bit more try Hindu squats (youtube it)

  • joe1890
    joe1890 Posts: 56
    Use freeweights - more muscle activation. Full squats would be better if you're not looking at gaining any mass. Alternate them with bosu ball speed squats in between sets.

    Single-leg leg presses are good, too. Also try lunges and split squats, which'll help to improve overall strength in the lower body.
    Hope that helps!
  • GTI
    GTI Posts: 6
    Kaiser83, you'll get great results from squatting, but can you be more specific with what riding you do?

    If you are wanting to improve a sprint, you would squat a specific way, but if you were climbing, you could adapt your squats accordingly etc....
  • camerauk
    camerauk Posts: 1,000
    GTI wrote:
    Kaiser83, you'll get great results from squatting, but can you be more specific with what riding you do?

    If you are wanting to improve a sprint, you would squat a specific way, but if you were climbing, you could adapt your squats accordingly etc....

    How would I improve my climbing by squatting?
    would like to have a go at that :D
    Specialized Camber Expert
    Specialized Allez Sport
  • GTI
    GTI Posts: 6
    Single leg squats would support bilateral loading of the hip and lower back, which often fatigue during a climb. In this instance, these squats would be more functional for stabilising the core, but could also assist in develping lactic tolerance (although this would be better develped on the bike).
  • GTI
    GTI Posts: 6
    Oh and i only signed up to the forum about an hour ago, so hello all.
  • Steve0843
    Steve0843 Posts: 187

    I'm a mountain biker (enduros mostly) and find that this squat set has helped greatly over the past 2-3 years. I vary it every 6 weeks but only in terms of reps / weight / rest period etc..

    I weigh 74kg's.

    I do a similar sort of thing to road riders - Long hard climbs, sprinting overtakes etc.

    2 x touch squat (ass touches heels - like a frog) 70kg - 60kg
    2 x classic squat at 105 - 95kg (feet slightly wider than shoulder, toes slightly out ass drops just below knees)
    2 x Sumo Squat at 75 - 65kg - feet very wide, use innner quad to push up, short range
    2 x Feet together squat - 80- 75kg (works teardrop / mid quad)
    2 x Bulgarian at 80kg - one leg in front of other, go to failure and swap.
    2 x Power squat - No weight, ass touches floor, power up and jump as high as you can (bend your knees on way down!)
    2 x 1 leg on Equilibrium ball.

    That's it!

    I do a week of this then ....

    5 mixed squat
    4 mixed lunge
    4 weighted side lunge
    4 Side raise
    4 / 4 1 leg calf raise
    Roman sits x 6 to fail.

    Now.... If anyone is selling a road bike in 58cm, I want to join the club. I live in Warwickshire and driving to enduro's is getting comically expensive. Got around 750 quid sadly...
  • aaronmroach
    aaronmroach Posts: 341
    Try plyometrics...

    Set up to Vault horses one quite high and one just high enough to jump onto... about 3 foot apart with a judo mat inbetween.

    Jump of the high one onto the floor and follow into a squat on landing now dynamically spring up onto the other vault horse!!! Do 10 of these as well as your normal leg session....

    Once you can do these easily either raise the height of the second vault horse slightly or add a medicine ball to add weight!!!

    Also try Isometrics......

    With your back to a wall and legs at 90 degrees at knees, feet shoulder width apart, keeping your head up hold for 30 secs static jog it off then repeat a further 9 times. The better you get increase the time to hold!!!!! and increase the weight with a medicine ball..

    You could also try core ability squats, on a bench hang one legg at 45 degree angle off the side and preform a single leg squat holding in the lowest point (squating eg at 90 degrees if you can) for 10 secs do 10 reps on each leg alternatively and 5 sets. Again add weight and or lengthen the hold as you improve.....

    Pushing heavy weights doesnt always help you in cycling its about muscle relationships!!! Pilates does help. Give it a whirl.....
  • Deepunder
    Deepunder Posts: 145
    Some good posts on here.

    I've suffered a few rugby related back/neck/shoulder injuries over the years and still bit knackered but I was advised to so single leg squats to equal out strength as one leg stronger than other and I had glute activation problem on one side, if I'm right the technique is to keep your knee lined up over foot and push us with heel; you can vary reps to train the weaker leg. These are hard to get into but worth it if you stick at it.

    I also suffer lower back ache on long rides but I think this is lack if core strength as someone already mentioned. Now I dont play rugby by upper body and core is turning to crap helped by a desk job but I get less injuries riding, well that's the idea !