Core Strength

Closing out our “Good plan, better body, best athlete” series we’re going to take a look at the importance of core strength for cyclists. Creating a solid core can have a huge effect on your efficiency, endurance, power and overall health. When I refer to core strength I am referring to not only the abdominals (which include the Rectus Abdominus, Transverse Abdominus and Obliques), but the Lower-Back (Quadratus Lumborum and Erector Spinae) and Glutes as well.  While the cycling position (in which the body weight is carried on the pedals, saddle and handle-bars) relies heavily on core strength, it doesn’t do much to build it. By strengthening the core your efficiency on the bike is improved by stabilizing the upper body, eliminating any unnecessary movement and transferring that energy instead into the pedal-stroke. While a cyclist’s legs are the primary source of power, the core is the foundation for all movement.  A strong core provides spinal stability and improves posture. Both posture and stability can help minimize lower-back pain. Adding a couple core workouts to your weekly training routine can go a long way to not only improve overall fitness but can also help prevent injury. SAMPLE ROUTINE (15-20min)   Plank (4 sets. 30sec-1min) 

 Weight is balanced between the forearms and balls of the feet while Abdominals remain tight to keep the back level. Hold pose 30sec-2min. Side Plank (4 sets left and right. 30sec-1min) 

 Weight is balanced between elbow and foot while Obliques and Hip adductors are used to stabilize. Basic Abdominal Crunch (4 sets of 15-25reps) 

   “Superman” (4 sets of 15-25reps) 

 Start by laying on your stomach with arms overhead. Slowly raise both arms and legs off the ground in a controlled motion using the back to stabilize, pause at the top before slowly lowering arms and legs to ground. Back Bridge (4 sets of 30sec-1min) 

 Start by laying flat on your back, knees bent with about six inches between heel and glutes. Raise hips off the ground and hold using glutes and lower back to stabilize. ALL PHOTOS BY ALICIA OSBORNE

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