Studies have shown that endurance cyclists just like athletes can benefit from strength training. It helps the cyclists by improving the power generated by the lower back muscles and thus making each pedal effective which assists in preventing fatigue. Apart from improving the general performance, it also decreases the risk of common cycling injuries.
According to Bbbike Reviewed, cyclists who want to perform better should have a strength program that majorly focuses on balance, core stability, coordination and lower body strength. With great cycling strength, you’ll be able to pedal quickly and the more you pedal the more you move faster. Below are the top 10 core exercises for cyclists:
It’s a great exercise which incorporates the entire abdominal muscles from the obliques, to the erector spinaes and rectus abdominis and as well as intercostal muscles. When performing this exercise, ensure that you maintain a flat back and check not to raise the butt up in the air in order to compensate for any weakness. To avoid this, you can place a straight stick or pole on the back and ensure it doesn’t fall. Also, instead of facing down, just look straight ahead. You can begin with 3 sets each at 20 seconds and subsequently add even 15 seconds as you continue becoming stronger.
2. Side planks
This plank variation isolates the oblique muscles and factors in hip abductors muscles in small portions in order to keep hips up during movement. Side planks should be completed at least 3 times on all sides for 20 seconds and subsequently adding more 15 seconds as it continues becoming easier.
3. Small resistance band loop planks
It is a different plank variation that includes strengthening of the chest muscles. It requires a resistance band loop or theraband that moves around the wrists. Ensure that you maintain the tension of the band and don’t make it to relax. Begin with the two arms on floor, and move them up onto stacked mats one after the other then back down. This is a single complete repetition. Have 3 sets of at least 10 repetitions. It will reduce weight with proper dieting.
4. Plate movement planks
It’s a more advanced plank that engages the oblique muscles more compared to the standard plank. Males can start with 4 to 5lb plates and females can start with 4 to 2.5lb plates. The plates are stacked on to left hand side and are stacked back to the right hand side while in the plank position. One complete round of this exercise involves moving plates from left to right and back. Ensure that you complete 3 sets of at least 5 repetitions, while maintaining a proper plank throughout.
5. Glute bridges with stability ball
Some people have failed to assimilate the glute strength to be much related with the entire core strength. However, in case the flutes are weak, then more effort is needed from back muscles making them to spasm and thus resulting to pain. The glutes should be lifted from the ground by raising either of the leg in air and then using the other one to lift you into the bridge. Ensure you switch the legs and do exactly the same. Complete at least 3 sets of between 12 to 15 repetitions.
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6. Opposite leg opposite arm
To perform this exercise, you need to maintain similar position to that of the plank and extend on the upward direction with your right arm and left leg, then left arm and right leg. Make sure that your back is flat with the arm and leg fully extended. You can place a stick or pole on the lower back and make sure it doesn’t fall. Ensure you complete at least 3 sets each having 12 repetitions.
7. Glute bridges with the resistance bands
If you want to perform this exercise, you must acquire two heavy or thick resistance bands and then place them at the bottom of the squat rack. You should slide under the bands in order to complete a glute bridge while ensuring that your squeeze your abdominal muscles and glute muscles as you rise up. Ensure you complete at least 3 sets each having 15 repetitions and continuously increase the repetitions as your strength improves.
8. Ab slides
This is an extremely challenging exercise and requires a long resistance band and sorinex roller. You should loop a resistance band around a sorinex roller and then tie the other end to a pole. Next, place both legs in ridges of the sorinex roller and make sure you maintain a push up from where you’ll stretch out upto a point whereby there’s extension on the band. Next, move the roller towards the arms and make sure not to allow the roller move down, straight up and sideways. The Ab slides exercise incorporates the abdominal muscles, glutes muscles and the erector spinaes muscles. Complete at least 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
9. Kettle bell toss
First of all, ensure you use a kettle bell depending on your strength. Next stand with legs shoulder wide apart and tightened core. Ensure you toss a kettle bell from either of your hands to the other while engaging your obliques. At the start, you can complete the exercise for a minute and continuously increase by even 30 seconds as you get stronger.
10. Cable cross over machine abs
This exercise needs more equipment with cable cross over machine as well as two ankle cuffs being involved. First, ensure you lower your arms on the machine to lowest insert and hook your legs to respective hook on this machine. Next, be yourself in a push up position while move your left foot towards your right wrist and vice versa. Complete at least 3 sets with 12 repetitions each.
In conclusion, these are some of the top core exercises for cyclists. In addition, cyclists should also use their time in the gym. Other simple exercises such as the single leg exercises can really help in improving the entire lower body strength as well as coordination. The single leg exercises also allow cyclists to challenge their overall balance while any possible leg strength discrepancies. Normally, when a cyclist’s core fatigues, the peddling efficiency is diminished.