Improve your Core Strength for Better Cycling
A cyclist's core strength is very important. It can prevent pain and injury, as well as providing a cyclist with a solid muscular base for sprinting, hill climbing, and distance cycling. If you spend some time improving your core strength, it will pay dividends when you are pedalling mile after mile.
Bradley Wiggins spends thirty minutes a day improving his core strength.
Improve your Cycling Posture
Cycling in the correct posture is vital for any type of distance cyclist. The pros support themselves in the saddle through their core. If you can do this too you will not slump in the saddle, or lock your arms into a bone damaging position to support you while riding.
- Osteoporosis - This is a condition where bone mass reduces and as such the risk of injury increases. A good core will relieve pressure on your arms and greatly reduce the risk of bone fracture.
- Lower back pain - When cycling you are in a fairly fixed position for mile after mile. As such without exercises to develop your core, your abs muscles are comparatively weaker. This results in lower back pain at best or a serious back injury at worst. Developing the core will keep your back protected.
Reduces Rocking While Riding
If you have a good developed core you will also avoid rocking from side to side in the saddle. If you rock in the saddle you sap a lot of your energy needlessly, as the best and most efficient way to cycle is with minimal side to side movement.
Your obliques and lateral glute muscles keep you still in the saddle, and good core strength exercise will ensure these are developed enough to help you maintain a still posture while riding.
A Good Core Improves your Sprinting and Hill Climbing Power
Today, we tend to think of our core strength as being our abs muscles. In actuality our core is all the muscles which wrap around our abdomen and encompass our lower back and gluteal muscles. With a good developed core, you will be able to muster more pedal power for the big sprints and huge hill climbs.
How do I improve my Core for Cycling?
Bradley Wiggins uses yoga and Pilates to maintain a strong core. To get you started here are two simple exercises you can do to improve your core.
- Form a plank position and hold it for 30 seconds.
- Ensure your elbows are directly below your shoulders
- Suck in your stomach
- Do not let your lower back arch
- Keep your shoulders and lower back in line with one another
- Ensure you are up on your toes
- Try and maintain the position for 3 sets of thirty seconds. As you get stronger keep adding ten seconds per set
Ensure your feet are shoulder width apart and lift your pelvis from the floor, squeezing glutes until your knees, hips and shoulders are in alignment. Slowly lower yourself to the floor.
Do this eight to twelve times per set. Once you feel confident, extend a leg so that it is straight when you do the exercise.
If you can improve your core you'll be a better cyclist and reduce the risk of injury.
submitted on 29/4/2015