I’m just asking what sort of exercises/activities I should do to keep fit. Unicycling is the only really outdoor activity I do and I’m not un fit but just unicycling won’t get me heaps fitter will it? I figured if I did some exercises I could boost the distance I can ride( before getting tired) faster.
I’d say depends on what kind of riding you are doing.
The best total body workout for me is Muni, but for me to be able to ride Muni decently I have to already match a base line of fitness. For me that’s at least doing a half hour on my rowing machine w/ the resistance set to “6”. I realize that info would be irrelevant to you since most rowers are different (and mine works upper hamstrings and glutes more than most rowers, which is more important for Muni IMO), so doing 6 sets of 20 squats of twice my weight w/ 1 min rests is similar, but not as good as a guide for me. Also I work my lower abs: I do single leg lifts w/ 10 lb ankle weights 30 L, 30 R, 30 L, etc for 30 min.
The biggest reason for the core exercises is I’ve found it reduces scary UPD’s, esp when I’m getting tired. I’ve also found it makes my rolling through tech terrain smoother and hill climbing a tad easier (I can engage the top pedal a bit earlier and smoother).
Also doing some push-ups keeps UPD’s where I don’t really land on my feet from getting nasty. Something like 3 sets of 20 finger tip push-ups is good enough for me.
Alright, also side note what does UPD mean? I get the feeling it’s falling off but what exactly does it mean?
I’m a fighter, so my core body strength has always been quite good from the gym workouts at Muay Thai. I have deliberately scaled back my gym time to make room for Unicycling, but the core body fitness has really helped.
I find my legs are the only thing that gets tired, so leg endurance is all I need to work on ready for my long road rides this year.
I have a rower and a static bike for the days when I can’t get out to play on the Yuni
I’d say unicycling itself is a fantastic form of exercise- I’ve always done various forms of training, but last summer when I was unicycling up to 2/3 hours a day, I stopped all other forms of exercise and I was in the best shape of my life, as well as being lighter than I’d been for 2 decades.
So, if you want to get fitter for unicycling, consider just doing more unicycling.
That was an unusual summer, and, over winter, my unicyclings dropped way down, to possibly just 1 or 2 hours a week, which has freed up time to get back into weight training and kettlebells, both of which I think complement unicycling well.
I take it you do not cycle to work? How far is it?
I also feel the need to do those workouts regularly (2X’s a week each is enough) since no matter how much I ride I don’t seem to work the muscles I need to ride well, especially for Muni. (Be aware I have some paralysis in my legs, so my situation is prob not typical.)
I’d say a commute 5 mi or less is very doable. For over a year I did my 2.5 mi commute on a 20 (to improve my practice at rolling over bumps w/ less scarry UPD’s), adding challenges and detours, taking ~ 1hr. I’ve move and now I drive part way and ride the rest, partly to avoid the $60 parking permit at my college.
Commuting has by far been the easiest way of getting practice time.
I understand saeas wants to get better endurance, in a cardiovascular sense. And to achieve that, I don’t think unicycling is the right way, for several reasons.
edit: But maybe I mis-imagine the nature of his “getting tired”.
What are the reasons you think unicycling won’t improve cardiovascular fitness?
Riding up hills on a uni is pretty good whole body exercise. I live in a fairly hilly area, I could just roll out my front door and ride in my neighborhood getting a wonderful cardiovascular workout if I wasn’t so lazy right now :). My opinion is this is the best training for muni, other than riding muni which is a KILLER workout.
Find a hill you can’t quite climb all the way, and keep working at it 4 or 5 days a week, once you can do it find a bigger hill. Your fitness level will increase in no time.
it’s weird. i raced long-distance on road and sprints on track (regular bicycles) for years, and my first few months of uni were a little disappointing since my reason for getting started was to have another alternative for aerobic excercise–I just couldn’t generate the speed / resistance necessary to work myself aerobically. Then, after getting fairly good on the 29er and getting my distances up above 20 miles for regular workouts, I found that I was getting off the unicycle feeling pretty “worked.” Adding the t-handle really helped, because it allowed me to spin at a higher cadence and with more consistency. I haven’t taken my new 36er out on the open road yet, but I’m going to try for 50 miles this Saturday, and I’m betting this workout will be highly effective.
btw: in order to get a really good workout, I specifically choose routes with extensive hill sections–hills on a uni are AMAZINGLY good, aerobially speaking!
Mine goes to eleven.
If you mix your types of unicycling you can get really, really fit and work a lot of body parts. Trials and Street riders get a lot of core and upper body workout, while roadies mostly get legs and cardio. MUni is also a great workout for most of the body.
Of course the unicycle doesn’t work all muscle groups, so some form of cross training will help. If you get too strong on one side of a joint and not the other, the imbalance can lead to injury.
Personally, unicycling has been almost my only form of exercise since I was a teenager. I know I’m a lot fitter than I would have been had I never learned, but I also know I could benefit from more rounded workouts.
Of course it will!
But I don’t think that “unicycling only” is the right way if cardio is his aim.
I think the best way to achieve an intense yet time-efficient cardio training is probably a longish-to-long commute by bicycle, or if distance demands it and justifies the investment, velomobile.
JF- mine maxes out at 9 and as I up the resistance the emphasis moves from my legs to upper body, ESP over “6”.
Yeah if cardio was my focus uni would not be my choice. Biking is better and running more so IMO. My rower is prob somewhere between the two, but I always get leg burn before I run out of breath.
If I could ride Muni for 10+min w/o a UPD and easily jump back on when I did, then I think Muni would be really good cardio, but running out of breath is sometimes a large reason why I UPD (usually its lack of skill) and then I have to rest for a couple of min before I can reliably get back on.
I’m always surprised with these threads to not see more people suggesting running. I started running much more habitually about 4 months ago and am doing 15-20 miles a week right now (trying to train for a strong first half marathon). I almost immediately noticed an increase in my cardiovascular endurance on the uni, including much more controlled breathing and uphill rides. Right now the uni is actually my cross-training for my running, but once I meet some more of my running goals it’ll probably be the reverse.
tl;dr - Running and unicycling compliment each other well.
I’ve recently begun some running. I haven’t been able to do any running since my early 30’s due to loose knee caps. I now run and hike using Kangoo Jumps. They are weird and pretty lame looking, but they take almost all the impact out of running and my knees feel no pain. I also also hike uphills and use my mountain scooter for a fast ride down. Gotta keep it interesting.
The best training…
[a saying adapted from another sport]
The best training for unicycling is unicycling.