Cyclists neglecting their upper body strength.

Ever seen a cyclist and thought how uncomfortable it must be to be in a seated position, crouched forward and cycling for kilometres on end?

Cyclists focus all their attention on their training on the roads, but how often do they train the rest of their upper body, not as often as they need.

By only focusing on the amount of distance they cover in a week, we tend to overlook the other important aspects of the body, such as core activation, posture and flexibility.

20v Whole-Body EMS strength training, once a week for 20 minutes, can assist in strengthening these areas, without losing precious time on the road.

Benefits of 20v EMS Strength training:

  1. Muscle Strength and Endurance

EMS strength training stimulates our slow twitch and fast twitch muscles fibres, giving us an added benefit of improved muscle endurance and increased strength. Giving cyclists the ability to cycle harder, for longer.

Rob, a client of 20v, is a cycling enthusiast and has given us a testimonial on the positive effects of how EMS training has improved his cycling.

“Although I started EMS training several years ago I found that once I started cycling during the COVID lockdown last year that it made a massive difference to my riding and recovery. 

Initially, I had some issues with the order my muscles were firing between my legs, glutes, and lower back. 

Once we addressed this with my 20v training and we started working towards correcting this, and my performance went up by orders of magnitude, where I was struggling after 25-35km I am now doing 50-100km 4 or more days a week.”

2. Improved Posture

Whilst being in a crouched position on a bicycle, we tend to neglect our postural muscle and put a lot of pressure on our shoulders and arms to stabilise ourselves. EMS strength training focuses on the anterior and posterior muscles of the upper body, improving in one’s postural imbalances and assisting in any aches or pains we may experience after a long cycle.

3. Core Strength and Activation

By strengthen up our core, cyclist will be more balanced and coordinated on the road. Muscles along the lower back, upper back as well as the glute muscles are stimulated with EMS training and will help improve in stabilising the core of the cyclist.

4. Low Impact Strength Training

EMS training has the added benefit of being low impact on the joints. Cyclists need strength to help improve their cycling, and by participating in one EMS strength training every week, we are able to assist in improving strength, without any added pressure on the joints.

Although 20v has made the conscious decision in maintaining the standards of not training anyone under the age of 18 years, a very interesting study was conducted as follows:

Effects of an 8-Week Whole-Body Electromyostimulation Training on Cycling Performance, Back Pain, and Posture of a 17-Year-Old Road Cyclist(Study conducted)

‘A 17-year-old male road cyclist with unspecific back pain and postural deficiency regarding the depth of the lumbar lordosis (flèche lombaire [fl]) and the upper body tilt (forward trunk tilt [tt]) absolved an 8-week whole-body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS) training to improve performance parameters and health issues. During WB-EMS, muscle groups all over the body are stimulated via external electrodes, thus creating an intensive training stimulus due to the electrically induced involuntary muscle contraction. The athlete’s posture (fl 2.2%, tt 64.3%) and back pain (54%) improved, and trunk strength increased (extension 15.5%, flexion 29.2%).

This is the first WB-EMS study of a minor cyclist, suggesting positive effects of WB-EMS as a time-saving strength training method on health and strength parameters.’


Joshua Berger * , 1 , Oliver Ludwig * , 1 , Stephan Becker * , 1 , Wolfgang Kemmler * , 2 , and Michael Fröhlich * , 1

*Berger, Ludwig, Becker, and Fröhlich are with the Department of Sports Science, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany. Kemmler is with the Institute of Medical Physics, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany.