How to Train for Cycling without a Bike

Going out of town and you can’t bring your bike? That’s a bummer if you’re really serious about your cycling training. But, worry not. You can still train for cycling even without your bike.

How can you train for cycling when you don’t have access to your bike? If you can access a gym with an indoor/spin bike, that’s the best way to continue your trainingBut if this option is not availableyou can do off-bike exercises such as running, skipping rope, lunges, and weight training to help keep your body cycling-ready.

Go for a Spin

This is the best option for those who want to keep on training. Go online and search for the nearest gyms or health clubs with spinning facilities.

Do Off-bike Exercises

If spinning facilities are not available to you, the next best thing you can do is exercise. Try exercises that help develop and strengthen your leg muscles, increase your endurance, and build overall strength. Here are some of the best off-bike activities you can do.


Running will help you improve your bone density. This is important for cyclists since cycling alone cannot help you build bone density.

Running also helps you build endurance and increase your stamina. If you haven’t been running for some time, start small. Do short walks or runs and increase intensity as you go.

Skip Rope

Skipping rope is a great way to build calf muscles. It is also a great cardio activity and can help build your endurance. It can also help strengthen your coordination and reaction skills. Like running, skipping rope can also help improve your bone density.


Burpees are a great full-body exercise, engaging all the major joints of your body. Start with 10-20 repetitions and increase as you go through your training.


Lunges work every muscle on your lower body and can thus help build your quads, strengthen your hamstrings, and increase hip flexibility.

If you’re new to lunges, starting without weights and practicing good form first is best. Also, avoid doing jerking movements, and be sure not to extend your knee too far forward to prevent injury.


Squats help strengthen your quads, calves, and glutes– the muscles most involved when pedaling. You can also combine squats with weights for a more intense workout.

Calf raises

The flexing action during calf raises mimics the pedaling action when biking. Calf raises also help stabilize your feet and ankle. Combine calf raises with squats for a more intense exercise.


The plank is a total body workout. It works your core and upper body and at the same time also engages gluteal muscles, hamstrings, and quads.

Be sure you get the proper form when doing a plank, keeping a straight line from your head to shoulders and your feet.

Start with hold times of 30 seconds and increase the hold times. Another way you can level up the difficulty is by lifting one leg while doing the plank. You can also do other plank variations, such as the straight arm plank and the side plank.

Wall Sit

The wall sit engages your core and lower body muscles and helps you build muscle endurance and improve stability.

Weighted Exercises

You probably won’t be lugging dumbells and kettlebells around, so you’ll need gym access for this one. You can probably find a gym with weight training facilities nearby unless you are in a super remote area.

Weight Training builds stronger bones and muscles, which helps protect you from injury. It can also help improve your cycling performance.

Some of the weighted exercises you can do are kettlebell swings, weighted step-ups, dumbbell thruster, and back/goblet squat.


When you’re going out of town and can’t bring your bike and your indoor trainer, you can still continue to train for cycling.

Try to find a fitness center with an indoor cycling or spinning facility and book several sessions during your stay.

If this option is not available, the next best thing is to engage in exercises that can help improve your cardiovascular fitness, endurance, and strength are great ways to maintain your form.

Running, skipping rope, lunges, burpees, calf raises, wall sits, and squats are some exercises you can do to keep your body cycling-ready. Doing weighted exercises is also suitable for building overall strength.

I also recommend including the exercises mentioned above as part of your regular cycling training program. These exercises will help you build strength and endurance, which can help improve your cycling performance.

Related Questions

How can I stay fit when injured? It is best to stay away from activities that caused your injury for a while. Get clearance from your doctor before taking up your physical activities again. Start with low-impact exercises like swimming and other exercises that do not directly involve the injured part of your body. Be sure to eat healthily and get enough sleep to help you recover faster.

How do you prevent injury when cycling? Avoid overtraining. Be sure you have rest and recovery days between your workouts. Incorporate regular weight training into your routine to help strengthen your muscles. Also, try to strengthen all muscle groups to prevent future injuries.

Can cycling improve my running? Cycling is an excellent exercise to complement running. It can help you improve your stamina, endurance, power, and cardiovascular fitness, which are all essential when doing marathons/long runs. Cycling can also help build and condition your muscles and can be used to increase your training volume while reducing the risk of injuries.

How often should I cycle to get fit? CDC recommends having at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. Experienced cyclists recommend two to three riding sessions per week. For beginners, you can start with 30-minute sessions and increase the time and the intensity as you go.

Adam Johnson

As a middle-aged, 40-something cyclist, my riding goals have changed over the years. A lover of all things retro, and an avid flat bar cyclist, I continue to live off past triathlon glories.

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