How to improve climbing hills on the bike?

A good climber has to be able to maintain a constant cadence during the climb and maintain the watts or the force applied to the bike during the entire working time.

Our collaborator Personal Running He tells us in this article how to improve our climbing ability on the bike.

As we usually say and recommend in all our posts, to try to achieve the best performance in any discipline or sport, it is essential to complement it with an appropriate strength program.

In this case, moreover, since we are talking about a physical exercise that contains a high component of specific strength, that is, the one that we apply on the pedals.

To the force component, we must add that of the cadence or pedaled per minute.

2 fundamental capabilities

It is important to also work on this factor, because ultimately, a good climber must combine both capacities:

on the one hand be able to maintain a constant cadence during the duration of the rise in question, and on the other hand be capable of maintaining the watts or force applied on the bike during the entire working time.

Proposal to improve

Having said this and without further delay, we propose a first sequence of exercises that you could include in the general phase of your planning, at any time and in any place.

And on the other hand a strength work on the same bike that could be part of your specific phase prior to the competition period that will undoubtedly help you achieve a notable gain in strength and consequently greater performance.

As we have said in other occasions, the main muscles that participate in the action of pedaling are: quadriceps, glute, twin y femoral biceps.

Therefore, these muscle groups are the ones that must be prepared in a general way in the gym or even at home so that later the force that can be used to apply it in a specific way is greater.

If you have access to a gym

If we have a gym, we can do a simple multi-exercise circuit that does not lack the press, the quadriceps extensor, the femoral and calf flexo-extensor.

In this circuit, we could do between 3-5 series of each of 10 – 16 repetitions at 75-80%. We would rest 1' between series and 3' between stations.

if you don't have it

If we don't have a gym, a sequence of exercises that can help us work on strength or as maintenance throughout the year, would be to perform the following 5 exercises consecutively and with 30-40'' of work in each of them .

Then rest approximately half the working time at the end of the 5th exercise rest between 1'30'' and 2' before doing the first one again.

The first few times he does only 2 series, and as you get used to the force work he increases the series until he reaches 4.

Half Squat:

Femoral biceps with medicine ball:

Iron with one leg lift:

Twin on curb:

Half Squat to one leg:

As a second phase, continuation of this first phase of general strength, we would begin to work the force gained directly on the bicycle and on the hill. For this, we would divide the slope work in 3.

As an example, we propose the following types of work:


On slight slope 4-6% with a pedaling frequency between 70-80rpm. 4 Series from 8 to 12 'seated.


 On slopes of 6-8% with a pedaling frequency between 60-70rpm. 6 Series of 6-8 'alternating (sitting and standing).


 On slopes greater than 8% with a pedaling frequency between 50-60 rpm. 8 Series of 1-2 'seated.

With this, we hope that your climbing performance on your bike will improve and help you both to climb better and to enjoy climbing.

Greetings to all.

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