At the Core of Things: 3 easy steps to more power and comfort on the bike
Without a strong core, transfer of your available power is neigh impossible.
With that in mind, core strength work is more than getting a six pack, much more.
We spend an inordinate amount of time these days sitting down, far too often slouched, placing larger amounts of stress on our backs, necks and shoulders.
This also reduces the tone of our "core" muscles, rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus, internal and external obliques, not to forget their counterparts on our backs.
Here are three exercises you can do to strengthen the large and small muscles that will help your power transfer on the bike and may help alleviate some of this pains and niggles associated with reduced posture control.
Best of all, these can be done in front of the TV, even if you have small children...
Try doing this series 3 times per "session", should take maybe 5-6 mins per round.
Remember to remain within your personal limits, and if you experience pain seek the advice of a health professional.
Lie down on your stomach,
rest your forearm on the ground so your elbows are at 90 degrees
Straighten your body, making sure you bottom isn't raised or dipped.
Hold for 30 sec, and build over a few weeks to 90 secs.
Progression: raise and lower one leg at a time, activating glutes, shoulders and core stabilisers.
2. Jack Knives
Like a situp on steroids.
Lie on your back with legs straight.
Lift your legs off the ground to get them as close to straight up in the air.
Try to touch your toes. No jerky movements.
Start with 5, Build to 30 over a few weeks.
Lie on your back with knees comfortably bent, feet flat on the floor.
raise your chest off the floor, til you feel some strain in your "abs", lead with your chest, not your head or shoulders, there should be no strain in your neck or shoulders.
Try to touch the floor on the opposite side of your body.
Start with 5 each side and build to 30 each side over several weeks.
Progression 1: use a weight to increase resistance, be it a dumbell, medicine ball or a bottle of milk.
Progression 2: lift your feet off the ground, engaging your lower abdominal group.
For more helpful exercises check out:
note - Domestique Cyclewear has no affiliation with any of the above websites. I just think they're good sources of information.