Swimming is, in general, more gentle on the joints, and can improve flexibility as well as offering some additional cardiovascular fitness.
This is a good option if you are a cyclist without any background in running sports or have some injury problems/joint issues, or if you know you are stiff and don’t really enjoy stretching. Obviously having easy access to a pool is a useful pre-requisite, too!
Stability ball work
A recognised tool for improving your ‘core’ or back strength is the stability ball (also Swiss ball/core ball).
Because the ball moves and is ‘unstable’ when you work with it, exercises using a ball can stimulate your neuro-muscular systems, ‘waking up’ areas long dormant in a cyclist’s body.
Together with dumb bells or medicine balls, a stability ball can provide quite a comprehensive workout with little expense and not a lot of space, making it an ideal option for a home exercise program.
Ball exercises can also be a good way to introduce strength work if you don’t have access to a gym, are not very strong, or have no experience of lifting weights.