As a cyclist it is very important to not just work the leg muscles but to also work the core muscles. When riding you use a lot of muscle groups,
Having a strong core is also essential to being a strong bicycle rider/racer.
A strong core will ultimately help to improve your technique, strength, stamina and complement everything you do.
Building strength is key to success. Having a strong well conditioned body can help prevent injury, increase stability and efficiency.
Effective strength training should be a part of every cyclists training. Most people tend to just focus on aerobic fitness however strength/core training should not be disregarded.
As a cyclist a strong core is fundamental. Hours are spent in the saddle and while it is the lower body putting out the power it is the core that keeps the body stable. During a long ride the abdominals, obliques, latissimus dorsi and muscles around the spine are put under a great deal of pressure. It is all of these muscles that keep the body upright and support the hips, thighs and knees and in turn will help to minimise discomfort and injury in the back.
Back pain is one of the most common problems in cyclists and not having a strong core just exaggerates back pain.
Here are a few exercises that myself and some of the team riders will generally do daily within a 10 – 15 minute session.
- The Plank – hold for 30 secs and do in blocks of 3. This exercise works your: Transverse abdominus, upper and lower back.
- Side Plank – Perform the side plank on the right and left sides of the body, holding the position for at least 20 seconds on each side. This exercise works the internal and external obliques and transverse abdominis.
- Back Extensions – Perform 10-15 reps in a slow and controlled manner. (Lie on your front and raise upper body towards feet) This exercise works the lower back muscles.
- Floor Bridge – Lying on your back, bend your knees and place your heels near your glutes. Arms are at your sides, palms down. In one smooth motion, squeeze your glutes, raise your hips off the floor and push up from your heels to form a straight line from shoulders to knees. This exercise works the Hip Flexors, Glutes, lower back. Do this 20 times.