Perfection… The perfect cycling arms are lean and strong, able to hold the same position for long periods of time. Not known for carrying much in the way of ostentatious muscle, these arms are functional but not flashy. Reality… The unshowy nature of cycling arm perfection is a surprisingly difficult thing to pull off. Most of us have larger upper limbs than the pros and bingo wings are a perennial issue. For many, getting back on the bike results in mid-bicep ‘muffin-tops’. The quest for a race-fit top that doesn’t cut off upper arm circulation is legendary.
All in the wrist: For Ivan, mobilising the wrist is the key. He believes many arm issues begin with the wrist being in the same position for long periods of time. Stretching the wrist before and after a ride is essential, “flexibility and mobility are more important than strength”. Get on all fours, with your knees under your hips and wrists under your shoulders. Put your index fingers aligned with your shoulders, lock your elbows out. Stretch your fingers, so they grip the ground. With a straight spine, push the body forwards until you feel a pinch in the wrist. Once you feel the pinch return to your original position. Repeat. Remembertoresist: For Peter, resistance training is crucial. Bench presses, dead lifts and squats incorporate a lot of muscle groups, increasing skeletal muscle in the arms (and throughout the body). This muscle type exercise has the bonus of raising the number of calories burned, even during less active periods.