Strength and conditioning coach Jess Elliott of TAG Performance has worked with many cyclists. She often sees similar issues when it comes to general strength in these athletes.
This video is part of a series of full-body movements in which Jess walks through a multi-planar approach to strength to address those specific weaknesses that she so often sees. The goals are to build stability, efficiency, and resilience.
Learning how to use the lower body appropriately is crucial for a number of high-performance bike skills.
Improving balance assists with our confidence in cornering by managing our center of mass. Improving unilateral movements is great for those times when we are climbing out of the saddle.
Of note, there’s no sophisticated equipment necessary to perform these exercises. For those athletes who want to try the advanced progressions, have sliders, a dumbbell or kettle bell, and a pillow or mat handy.
For more on preventing injuries through strength and conditioning, check out Fast Talk, episode 87: Preventing Injuries Through Strength and Conditioning, with Jess Elliott.
For a better understanding of why it is so important to make time for off-the-bike strength and conditioning work, check out Cycling in Alignment, episode 16: Strength and Conditioning, with Jess Elliott of TAG Performance.
Reverse Slide Lunge (with regressive or progressive variations)
- Equipment: hand towel, paper plate, slider, socks
- lower body pushing and pulling
- better transfer to cycling and pedal stroke
- posterior chain emphasis
- more control over positioning
- unilateral emphasis
- great for barefoot training
- Link to cycling = descending, bunny hop, manuals
- Start with 5-10 repetitions per side, progressing to 2-3 sets
“For this next movement, we’re going to showcase a reverse slide lunge. So it’s a lunge variation, but by using the slide actually functions as lower body pushing movement and a lower body pulling movement. And what’s nice about this is because it’s a unilateral variation, as opposed to bilateral, so going off with two feet, that means that we’re taking away any sort of compensations that can happen as far as favoring one dominant side versus the other. Alright, so Chris is going to start in a standing position. So he has one leg stationary on the ground, so about 90% of his weight is going to be in this foot, about 10 to 20% is going to be on the sliding leg. Okay, so from here, he’s going to stand nice and tall, so head up straight, good. And he’s going to push and slide, this leg straight back, he’s going to keep going until this knee reaches 90 degrees, so tall through the torso. Good. So right there, we want to hit 90 degrees. So the knee is stacked directly over the ankle, and everything’s pointed forward. His leg is going straight back, it’s not kicked off to the diagonal, and now he’s going to initiate the lower body pulling portion of the movement where he slides to return back up to standing. So let’s do one more repetition a little bit faster. So he’s going to slide and push that back. Good, maintain an upright torso position nice and stable, and then when he’s ready, he’s going to pull to slide it back up, and this is how you perform a reverse slide lunge.”