Core Stability for a Smooth Ride
While cycling by itself will build core strength, it’ll be mostly explosive and in one plane of motion. This makes it important for the avid rider to reinforce stability in the spine to avoid injury, correct muscle imbalances, and improve performance.
Cycling technique requires repetitive ballistic action and with such movements there is always a risk of injury. In the case of cycling, there is a fair amount of stress put on the lumbar spine. Doing a quick routine that focuses on all around core stability will decrease your chances of pain and injury. It will also help improve stamina, handling, and speed.
Do these 3 exercises in a circuit after your ride to reinforce the natural alignment of the spine…
Superman – Lie on your stomach and extend both arms straight out in front. Straighten the legs and lift your chest, arms, and thighs off the ground. With the palms facing down and arms straight, work to slide your shoulder blades down your back. Flex or point your toes and lift with the lower back and butt. Work to get your legs and arms as high off the ground as you can.
Side Plank – Lying sideways, place your elbow or palm directly under the shoulder. Stack your feet and lift your hips high into the air with straight legs. Reach up with your free arm, push through your working shoulder, engage the obliques and keep lifting your hips.
Forearm Plank – Facing the floor, position your elbows directly under your shoulders. With straight legs, come up onto your toes so that you’re supporting yourself with the forearms and balls of your feet. Stiffen the thighs, tuck your hips forward and contract your abs. Push your elbows into the ground, rounding your upper back and separating the shoulder blades. Keep your hips up at the same level as your shoulders.
Hold each position for 1-2 minutes. Or, hold positions for 30 seconds each and repeat the circuit for 3-5 sets.
Be safe out there 😉
Marco is a personal trainer, group exercise instructor and certified nutrition coach based in Seattle. He’s also an avid cyclist. To catch up with Marco, check out his Facebook page!