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Strength Training for Triathletes: Focus on These Exercises

BY Allie Burdick

Strength training can help triathletes avoid injury and perform at a higher level. Coach Allie Burdick recommends some exercises to get you started.

While the off-season is a great time to begin a strength training program for triathlon, it’s never too late to start. Working to build power and strength will pay off with better performance and a reduced risk of injury.

Why Strength Training for Triathletes is Important

The ability to generate force in a wide range of motions is key to how well you swim, bike, and run. Weak or inflexible muscles will generate less power and are more susceptible to injury.

Surging through the water, climbing hills on the bike and staying fast with good form on the run, are all reasons triathletes need to strength train. And, if you’re an athlete over 40 or have had multiple injuries, building strength and staying flexible is especially important.

Key Muscle Groups

The muscles you rely on for your swim are your lats, chest, and shoulders. For the bike and run you need strong quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Your core also needs to be strong to transfer power from your upper to your lower body and to keep good form for the duration of the race.

Triathlete Strength Exercises

You do not need a gym membership for the majority of these exercises and there are a many training plans and routines that require little or no equipment. Try the following exercises as your base before moving to more compound movements as you progress.


Strength Training for Triathletes Deadlifts


Strength Training for Triathletes Squats

Overhead Presses

Strength Training for Triathletes Overhead Presses

Tricep Extensions

Strength Training for Triathletes Tricep Extensions


Strength Training for Triathletes Planks


Strength Training for Triathletes Lunge
Strength Training Plans For Triathletes

Strength Training for Triathletes

Training Plan Store

Become a stronger triathlete with workouts designed to improve your form, build core strength and help prevent injuries.

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About Allie Burdick

Allie is a freelance writer, competitor and twin mom. Her work has appeared in Runner’s World, Women’s Running and ESPNW. On her blog, VitaTrain4Life, Allie chronicles her life as a runner and triathlete and hopes her successes and failures help motivate and inspire others, even the over-40 crowd she somehow found herself in!

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