Important areas for cyclists to strengthen include the glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and core. That’s quite a long list, but the humble squat can work all of those in one fell swoop.
Squats are dynamic and functional – they see you exercising the chain of muscles used for cycling in a natural way, rather than in an artificial manner as would be the case when using an exercise machine. You have to use supporting muscles to stabilise yourself throughout the exercise, just as you do in ‘real life’ which is one of the reasons they’re one of the key exercises coaches and fitness experts like to get evangelical about.
Squatting does require good posture – primary concerns are that you should push your bottom out as you sink down and that your knees should not sink on or peep over your toes. It’s a good idea to have an expert (for example at the gym) watch you first until you’ve got the technique nailed.
You can see Anna Glowinski demonstrating a squat in the video we collaborated to make, from around 1 minute…