Cycling Anatomy

Today’s review is Doctor Shannon Sovndal’s book “Cycling Anatomy.”  I first saw this book on the shelf at Barnes and Noble about a year ago.  For the next few months every time I stopped by I would try to memorize an exercise from the book.  Eventually I realized how ridiculous that was and bought the book. 

“Cycling Anatomy” is divided up into 9 chapters, the first dealing with general muscle training for cyclists and the rest focused on exercises for specific regions of your body.  The last chapter details exercises thst train the entire body at once.  Each chapter begins with a short primer of the muscles covered, how they work, why cyclists need to train them and how to warm them up.

Almost the entire book is given over to actually illustrating the exercises.  The format is the same through out the whole book.  Each exercise is shown on two pages, the first page shows proper form and gives step by step instructions.  The second page explains how training the specific muscle groups will benefit a cyclist and gives a varation of the exercise.  What stands out most is the excellent artwork which illustrates a cyclist in motion as a line drawing but details in full color the muscles in question doing their thing.

The book gives an excellent overview of strength training for cyclists, but offers no information pertaining to actually constructing a workout routine saying, “It is not withing the scope of this book to provide complete workout programs.”  The author does gives some general tips, work your whole body, be consistent, visualize riding your bike.  Considering the price and generally small amount of text in the book I don’t think it would have hurt the author to write a chapter explaining how to tie some of these exercises together into a workout program and give some example workout programs for different levels of athlete.

I have spent a lot of time in the gym in the last year, and its paid off, I no longer deal with sore shoulders and back when riding.  I knew a majority of the movements in this book before I bought it, and really don’t feel like I’ve gotten much from it.  The last chapter which covers training the whole body has been the most useful since most of the exercises I hadn’t seen and they give by far the most bang for the buck in the gym.

“Cycling Anatomy” is meant for a serious cyclist who doesn’t know much about strength training.  There are countless free resources on the web that will cover strength training better, but none will be as specific and useful to cyclists.  There is no doubt in my mind that strength training is worthwhile even for recreational cyclists such as myself, but you don’t really need this book to delve into it, of course it wouldn’t hurt.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
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