Wednesday, 31 October 2012

5 Core Exercises for Cyclists

Legs are the major power source for cyclists, but this doesn’t mean that cyclists don’t need the other parts of their body. The lower back and abs also play a crucial role in cycling, as it helps with the body’s movement and balance while cycling. These muscles should get as much exertion as your legs are getting, or else you’ll get overdeveloped legs and flabby abs. You can easily prevent this by doing some core exercises in between your indoor cycling classes.

Here are Exercises to Build Your Core Muscles
  1. Boxer Ball CrunchThis exercise for cyclist’s works out your abs, lower back, and oblique muscles. To do this exercise, lie on a stability ball with the centre of your back to the ball. Bend your knees in a 90-degree angle, with your feet flat against the floor. Put your hands at the back of your head to prevent neck strain. Squeeze your belly then lift your back out of the ball and while in this position, make a clockwise move with your torso. Use your lower back to keep the ball still. Do 15 reps clockwise and 15 counter clockwise.
  2. Plank - This exercise works out your abs, upper back, and lower back. Lie on your belly, using your elbows and forearms for support. Raise your hips away from the floor and keep your back straight, your abs tight, and rest your toes.
  3. Transverse Plank - With this exercise, you will be working out your front and side abs. Lie on your right side, keeping your elbow and forearms for support. Stack your right foot to your left and keep your right arm over your head. In one move, raise your hips to make a straight line to your right side. Lower your hips and repeat. You can do 10 or 15 repetitions and switch sides.
  4. Catapult - This exercise for cyclists works your entire core muscle group. Sit with your knees slightly bent and your heels pressed on the floor. Stretch your arms forward and keep it at the same height of your shoulders, keeping your palms facing each other. With a straight spine, inhale deeply, and then exhale while slowly lowering your torso to the ground while you take a deep breath. Keep your arms overhead and with one smooth move, exhale and explode to the start position. Do 20 repetitions.
  5. Boat Pose - You will be working out your lower back and abs with this exercise. Sit up straight and rest both your hands gently behind you. Lean back until you reach a 45-degree angle. Keep your legs together and raise them away from the floor while you extend your arms forward. Your thighs, abs, and torso must be kept tight. Hold the position for 60 seconds. This exercise is very tiring, but it can do wonders for your abdominal muscles.
No matter how strong your legs are, it will be irrelevant if you don’t have a stable core. It’s like having a really nice car on the outside but with a low quality engine. Having a good core will help you use your legs properly, and get rid of any unnecessary upper body movement when cycling. All this contributes to your stamina and smooth pedal stroke.

Photo Credits: Flickr Creative Commons

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