Tube Train

Punctures can be a pain, but turn a negative into a positive by embracing your inner Blue-Peter presenter and transform the stretchy rubber hoop of a holed inner tube into a great off-bike workout tool. Here’s how…

Hamstring heave

WHY: Good hamstring flexibility will help you pedal more powerfully in an aero position. Do after cycling.
HOW: Lie on your back, one leg straight and one bent slightly. Clench your quads and hip flexors and lift the bent leg as high as possible. Use an inner tube looped around your foot to increase the stretch. Hold for three seconds, and lower. Repeat 10 times per leg.

Lateral bent-leg tube walk

WHY: This resistance-band exercise will strengthen your lateral hip muscles. 
HOW: Make the inner tube thinner and by stretchier by cutting in half lengthways. Stand with feet waist-width apart, with the band just above both slightly bent knees. Tie a knot to shorten it if necessary. Side step eight to 10 times with one foot, following each step with your other. Repeat in the other direction.

Squat stretch

WHY: Squats strengthen all the muscles needed for pedalling, and the band helps stability. 
HOW: Tie a knot in the inner tube so it fits around your legs, just above both knees. Arms out in front, feet shoulder-width apart, start with your hips and squat to 90 degrees. Stand up again, keeping the chest and head up and back straight. Keep tension in the inner tube. Progress to squatting without the tube to recruit stabilising muscles. Repeat eight to 10 times. 

Glute bridge

WHY: This works your glutes, abdominals and deep core muscles, while the tube helps stability.
HOW: Tie off an inner tube around your legs just above the knees. Lie on your back, arms at sides, knees bent to 90 degrees so just your heels touch the floor. Clench your glutes to raise your hips until your hips, knees and shoulders line up. Pause, then lower back to start position. Repeat eight to 10 times.

Hip rotation with band

WHY: This exercise strengthens and stabilises the hip muscles.
HOW: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, back straight and hands on hips. Use a stretchy tube – cut it lengthways if needed to make a light resistance band – and tie it so it fits around your legs just above the knees. Holding one leg immobile, rotate the other knee in and then out against the resistance. Repeat eight to 10 times for each leg. 

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