7 Core Exercises that Cyclists Should Do

Guest post from ProBikeKit

While leg strength gets most of the attention in the cycling community, the true biking enthusiast should also build up their core muscles. Your abdomen, sides, and back will help stabilise you during the ride by restricting any unnecessary movement and conserving your energy for where you need it most. Here are seven critical core strength exercises which will help build up your key cycling muscles.

Boxer Ball Crunch
This exercise requires a stability ball. Lie with your back on the ball and place your hands behind your head. Bend your knees at 90 degrees and place your feet flat on the floor. Lift your back and move your torso clockwise. Make sure to push down on the ball to stop it from moving around. Do 15 clockwise circles then 15 anticlockwise circles. This will build up muscular control, allowing you to minimise movement while in the saddle.

Power Bridge
Lie down on the floor and place your arms by your sides with the palms down. Bend your knees and bring in your heels until they are flat on the floor. Raise your hips, forming a straight line that stretches from your shoulders to your knees. This should be done in one smooth motion. Your toes should come off the ground as well. Only lower yourself three-quarters of the way back down to complete one repetition. You should only touch the ground once this has been done 20 times.

Hip Extension
Again, this exercise requires a stability ball. Lie with your hips and stomach on the ball and place your palms on the floor for support. Stretch your legs out so your toes are on the floor as well. Keep your spine straight and move your shoulder blades backwards. Raise both of your legs as high as you can, making sure to keep them straight. For maximum effect, your legs should be greater than parallel to the floor. This should be done 20 times.

Lie on your stomach with your elbows positioned below your shoulders. Forearms and hands should remain on the floor. Raise your hips upwards, keeping your back straight while resting on your toes. You should also clench your abs. Try to hold this position for 60 seconds. This exercise will give you added endurance and power while on the road. Instead of struggling forward, you can coast along, leaving other cyclists behind in your wake.

Transverse Plank
For this exercise, lie on your right side. Your right elbow should be parallel to your shoulder on the floor. Your left foot should be resting on top of your right. Raise your left arm until it is all the way over your head. Raise your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line running from your head to your toes. Lower your hips until they are just off the floor. This will complete one repetition. Do this fifteen times then switch sides.

Scissors Kick
Lie on your back and stretch your legs straight in front of you. Place your palms face-down beneath the small of your back. During this exercise, you will need to push your elbows down and bring your belly button towards your spine. Raise your shoulders and face toward the roof. Lift your legs off the ground, keeping them straight. Move your left leg over the right then the right over the left. This is one repetition. Do as many of these as you can. Ideally, you should be able to do 100 for optimal core strength.

Sit on the floor and slightly bend your knees. Your heels should be firmly pressed against the floor. Stretch your arms in front of you at shoulder height. Palms should be placed together. Keep your arms straight and look upwards. Inhale deeply and exhale. As you inhale again, slowly lower your body forward to the floor. Then, exhale quickly and move your body upwards to its starting position. Your arms should always go first. Do this 20 times. Although this movement seems violent, it actually builds up physical body control which is later beneficial when cycling around.

About the Author
ProBikeKit is a leading provider of cycle tyres and other bike components across the UK. They offer a vast  product range on their website and in their showroom.

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