by Allie Burdick
The off season is a great time to begin a strength training program for triathlon. Working to build power and strength through the fall and winter will pay off with better performance and a reduced risk of injury in the spring and summer months.
Why Strength Training is Important
The ability to generate force in a wide range of motions is key to how well you swim, bike, and run. Weak or inflexible muscles will generate less power and are more susceptible to injury.
Surging through the water, climbing hills on the bike and staying fast with good form on the run, are all reasons triathletes need to strength train. And, if you’re an athlete over 40 or have had multiple injuries, building strength and staying flexible is especially important.
Key Muscle Groups for Triathletes
The muscles you rely on for your swim are your lats, chest, and shoulders. For the bike and run you need strong quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Your core also needs to be strong to transfer power from your upper to your lower body and to keep good form for the duration of the race.
Triathlete Strength Exercises
You do not need a gym membership for the majority of these exercises and there are a many training plans and routines that require little or no equipment. Try the following exercises as your base before moving to more compound movements as you progress.
About the author
Allie Burdick is an ACE certified personal trainer and fitness instructor. She has been running and competing her entire life and was recently part of Team USA in duathlon and will be competing at triathlon nationals in 2016. Her writing has appeared in Runner’s World, Women’s Running and ESPNW. She blogs about triathlon and marathon training at VitaTrain4Life.com.