In your biking adventures, have you ever experienced being short of breath, not being able to push to the next level and just not able to finish that race. Having cycling strength training for core muscles is what a biker needs, as much as any other athlete. Whatever sport you are into, having a strong core gives you that extra push, extra strength and stamina for that last stretch. Don’t let yourself be frustrated with a weak core.
Why a Biker Needs Cycling Strength Training
In two short words; core muscles. The cyclist’s legs are the most tangible muscles which give that power to the ride but the real source of a cyclist’s power is the core. Even if you take short rides, you will feel the pain in your abs and lower back if they are not properly trained, much more the pain on your legs and thighs. The legs provide that strong start in a ride but the core muscles are the vital foundations to a cyclist’s movement.
As Graeme Street, a well known personal trainer for cyclists would say, “leg strength is can give you that hard push in a race but a stable core will make you use all your needed muscles efficiently.” He even compared it to having a body of a Ferrari but only having a Fiat chassis. Therefore, if you have great leg power, you should be able to give that leg power the proper support – the proper core muscle.
Another benefit of cyclists from having a solid core is that unnecessary upper body movement is eliminated, which results to smoother pedal strokes, which in turn is good for the ankle joints and muscles. Having a solid core eliminates muscles and joint strains in the ankles and knees.
Factoid: It is sad to note though that although the biker’s movement relies on the core muscles, the biker’s position while pedaling doesn’t built core strength. This is why you have to train your core muscles to achieve strong core muscles.
Cycling Strength Training for Strong Core Muscles
Here’s how to strengthen your core muscles. Do this intense routine 3 times a week to create a strong core that can let you ride faster, longer and more powerful.
- For: Transverse abdominus, obliques, lower back
- Position: Lie on a stability ball with the middle of your back on it, bend your knees to 90 degrees with feet flat on the floor. Place hands behind the head. (Warning: Do not pull your neck.)
- Movement: Squeeze your belly toward the spine; lift upper back from the ball. Trace a clockwise oval with the torso. Do 15 clockwise and 15 counterclockwise Boxer Ball Crunches.
- For: Hip flexors, glutes, lower back
- Position: Lie on your back. Bend knees. Place heels near the glutes. Arms are at your sides. Palms down.
- Movement: Smoothly raise your hips from the floor and push up from your heels to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Make sure that your toes come slightly off the floor. Hold the position for 2 seconds. Do 20 repetitions.
- For: Lower back, hamstrings, glutes
- Position: Lie with hips and stomach on the stability ball. Put hands directly on the floor just under your shoulders. Extend legs with your toes resting on the floor.
- Movement: Lift both legs off the floor on a straight line. Hold for 2 seconds. Do 20 repetitions. This is meant to add backside strength.
- For: Transverse abdominus, upper and lower back
- Position: Lie on your stomach. Place elbows under the shoulders and make sure your forearms and hands are on the floor.
- Movement: Lift hips from the floor. Keep back straight and tighten abs. Rest your toes. Maintain this position for 60 seconds.
- For: Transverse abdominus and obliques
- Position: Lying on left side, with left elbow under your shoulder and forearm in front for stability. Stack your left foot on your left. Raise right arm over the head.
- Movement: Lift your hips in one motion to create a straight line down your right side. Lower the hips a few inches from the floor. Do 15 reps and switch sides.
- For: Transverse abdominus, hip flexors, inner and outer thighs
- Position: Lie on your back. Straighten legs. Place hands with palms down under your lower back.
- Movement: Push elbows down the floor and pull your belly button toward the spine. Raise the shoulders from the floor. Raise your legs about 4 inches from the ground and do the scissor motion: left over right, then right over left. That’s considered 1 rep. Do 100 reps.
- For: Entire Core
- Position: Sit with a slight bend in your knees. Press heels against the floor. Extend arms to the front just about shoulder height. Palms face each other. Gaze upwards and straighten the spine. Exhale slowly.
- Movement: Exhale slowly and smoothly leading the arms upwards. It is a sit up with arms in the position described above. Do about 20 repetitions.
- For: Transverse abdominus and lower back
- Position: Sit and keep your torso at a 45 degree angle. Rest both hands behind you.
- Movement: Keep legs together. Lift legs from the floor while extending arms forward at shoulder height. Keep abs tight and torso should form a 90 degree angle. Make sure that hamstrings do not tighten. If so, bend knees a little. Hold position for 60 seconds.
Training your core muscles is paramount to any other muscle trainings. The core muscles are the foundation of all other muscles to perform better and give you that extra push, extra time and longer performance and power. Do not neglect training your core to achieve maximum results in every game, race or just ordinary exercise day.
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