6 Balancing Exercises to Make You a Better Cyclist

Marc Lindsay
by Marc Lindsay
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6 Balancing Exercises to Make You a Better Cyclist

Great balance and stability are obvious characteristics of strong cyclists so we can control our bike better, provide a stronger base to push against while you pedal and make bike handling while cornering and descending much easier.

Give these balancing exercises a try to improve your performance on the bike:


This exercise works your single-leg strength and stability to improve lower-body muscle imbalances.

The move: Balancing on one foot, squat while keeping your other foot behind you. Keep your knee in line with your foot, avoiding movement towards the midline of your body. Go as deep into the squat as you can while maintaining good form. To make this exercise more difficult, add hand weights or stand on a Bosu ball.

Reps: 3 x 10 (each side)


The stronger your core is, the better platform you’ll have to push against the pedals. This exercise strengthens your back and hamstrings while forcing you to use your core to balance.

The move: Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in one hand and keep the same side leg on the ground. With the knee slightly bent, lean forward by bending at the hip. Extend the opposite leg behind as you lower the kettlebell. When your body is parallel to the ground, return to the starting position and repeat.

Reps: 3 x 10 (each side)


While the plank is a staple core exercise, this variation helps you get comfortable shifting your weight, which translates well on the bike.

The move: Starting in a pushup position, lower to your elbows. Tighten your abs and glutes and keep your body in a straight line, avoiding raising your butt. Maintaining that position, raise your right leg 6–12 inches off the ground. Hold for 1–3 seconds and lower. Repeat with the left leg.

Reps: 3 x 10 (each side)


This exercise helps core stabilization and creates a solid base for your legs to push against as you pedal.

The move: Start in the pushup position, but with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your core tight and raise the opposite arm and leg off the ground at the same time so they are parallel to the ground. Hold for 1–3 seconds and lower to the ground. Repeat on the other side.

Reps: 3 x 10 (each side)


Using a stability ball helps to activate smaller abdominal muscles needed for balance and stabilization of the core than more traditional crunches.

The move: Lie on a stability ball with your lower back touching the ball. Keep your knees bent and your feet on the ground. Your upper body will be hanging off the ball. Cross your arms over your chest and perform a crunch, tightening your abdominals as your reach the top of the range of motion. Hold for 1–2 seconds and lower slowly to your starting position.

Reps: 3 x 20


While most of these exercises focus on mid- and lower-body balance and stability, this exercise helps your upper body between the shoulder blades for better control of the bike on fast descents and cornering.

The move: Similar to a regular pushup position, place your hands on the stability ball, keeping your back straight and your body in a straight line. Don’t let your butt sag or rise. Lower yourself down and push back up, trying to keep the side-to-side movement to a minimum.

Reps: 3–4 sets of 15

About the Author

Marc Lindsay
Marc Lindsay

Marc is a freelance writer based in Scottsdale, Arizona. He holds a master’s degree in writing from Portland State University and is a certified physical therapy assistant. An avid cyclist and runner of over 20 years, Marc contributes to LAVA, Competitor and Phoenix Outdoor magazines. He is the former cycling editor for Active.com.


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