View Full Version : Cross Training for Cycling: Roller Blading?

08-01-2007, 04:20 PM
Gals, I'm needing to do some sort of cross training for my lower half. Used to do rollerblading and it would be the easiest thing to do. But I worry that it would only wear out my legs and I wouldn't be able to bike as much. Any of you rollerblade? Thoughts? Jogging is out, because it overstresses my knees and lower back... I'm not a swimmer...

08-02-2007, 06:28 AM
Liberty, my cross-training for cycling is yoga. I gave up running a long time ago because my body just couldn't tolerate it. Stress fractures, shin splits, pulled this and that. I'm not much for indoor gym equipment either, although I like spin classes. And I've never been much of a swimmer either.

So, with that in mind, I find that yoga really balances out the time I spent on my bike, which provides plenty of cardio for me. Yoga helps works out all the kinks from spending long hours on the saddle, builds core strength, tones my upper body, and increases balance and flexibility. I credit it, at least in part, for allowing me to really ramp up my miles in what is my first full year of cycling. Some of the stretches we typcially do at the end of class really help my hips and hamstrings stay loose. I also think yogic breathing has helped me on my bike.

Putting cycling aside, yoga has helped me manage stress better and generally just makes me feel happy and balanced. I've been lucky in that I found an instructor who really suits me. She teaches Vinyasa "flow" classes that move quickly and are quite the workout. Not all styles of yoga would likely suit me, nor all instructors. It pays to take a variety of classes, at least when you first start, to see what you like.

08-08-2007, 02:05 PM
Liberty - I'm an inline skater and I use it as one of my non-impact cross training exercises. I find that it helps me with core strength and also gives my legs a nice stretch without pushing them to the limit. Inline skating is my exercise of choice as my last session before a big ride and as my choice the day after a big ride. So, yes, I think it is a good cross-training choice for a cyclist.

Susan in Dallas

08-09-2007, 09:38 AM
I do walking / hiking, and weight training. Climbing stairs in your house with weights is a great exercize. Lunges (with free weights) are good, too.

08-09-2007, 09:43 AM
Liberty, I don't rollerblade, but I have heard that speed skaters cross-train by cycling. I'm trying to think of the name of the Olympic speed skater of several years ago (the name escapes me); both he and his sister were speed skaters, and as I recall, he was also a champion cyclist.

08-23-2007, 11:58 AM
yes, yes, yes!!! and yes! :D

My hubby and I both started out as inliners. He uses cycling as xt, but I decided I like cycling 50 miles MUCH more than skating 50 miles, and skate more to xt!

Skating really helps build and maintain leg strength. I suggest taking lessons to maybe "unlearn" any bad habits and learning the right way to push (with your heels, no toe-flicking) and the right posture (you said you used to skate, but didn't say your level of interest--hardcore? scooting around the park? Even though you can skate already, knowing the proper stance is best).
I would try to space the activites apart. I don't know how often you ride but one or two days of 45 min skating would help leg endurance/strength. Some cities also have skate clubs like cycling clubs!

That being said, I gave up skating after kid #1 in 9/2004, and just rode. Now I'm pg with #2 and have been doing a little skating again.

I think once #2 comes, I'm going to go back to skating as xt. I'm beginning to miss it!

08-23-2007, 12:03 PM
Skating seemed to work for Eric and Beth Heiden.

08-23-2007, 01:17 PM
Yeah, I'm sure I have really bad form. :D Know I use my toes instead of my heels... And I'm just a scoot around the park skater. I am having a hard time getting myself interested in roller blading again because for those first few weeks I have to deal with the roller blade blisters that come up. :( It would interfere with cycling! However, my roller blades have a permanent home in the trunk of my car, so they are prepped and ready!

08-25-2007, 06:43 PM
I'm enjoying elliptical training and the rowing machine at the gym just now.

Like the elliptical because I can really vary all the settings, from elevation and resistance to pace and whether or not I'm going "forward" or "reverse."

Also, I am back to really enjoying the rowing machine just now. It definitely uses some of the same lower body muscles, and I think also is relevant in that you have to correctly use your core and back...which is super helpful for cycling. And, using both lower body and upper gets the cardio up easily.

Also, I have been amazed at how much my ab and back work have helped my cycling this year.

08-25-2007, 10:02 PM
Well, I jog, but that is just because I am training for a half marathon. As soon as that is over, I'm sure the jogging will be over as well as I can't say I enjoy it too much - the memory of my aunt (in whose memory I am running this race) is what keeps me going.

Anyhoo, don't laugh, but two favorite forms of cross-training are Tae Bo and Power Yoga. Yes, I said Tae Bo, as in Billy Blank's Ultimate Boot Camp. http://www.amazon.com/Billy-Blanks-Ultimate-Bootcamp/dp/B0009ORTKG/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/002-6745844-1564864?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1188103717&sr=1-2 Lots of lunges, squats, and kicks for the lower body and resistance band training for the upper body. A pretty good ab workout as well. For yoga I use Bryan Kests' Power Yoga Series. http://www.poweryogastore.com/miva/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=D-BKS&Category_Code=D&Product_Count=0 It is a dvd with three 1 hour programs. Very good for the core and arms as well as the legs. The other dvd I use is Shiva Rea's Yoga Shakti. The cool thing about this dvd is that you can create your own practice using the "yoga matrix." http://store.soundstrue.com/vt00819d.html

Anyway, just some ideas - especially with winter coming.