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Choosing your core training: for cyclists

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We’ve all heard the word ‘core training’ and ‘core strength’ thrown about in fitness circles. For athletes, whether you run, cycle or swim, you know that having adequate core strength is very important in order to avoid preventable injuries since most activities require a good body balance.

Training for Biking

While many cyclists focus on cardio and leg workouts, it’s also important to focus on the core.

For those crunched for time, check out this workout routine developed by Street. It lasts 10 minutes and focuses on your transverse abdominus, the innermost abdominal muscle. By working on it, you stabilise the ‘girdle’ around your torso, and also on your lower back, obliques, glutes, hamstrings and hip flexors; basically your entire core.

First, the stability ball crunch. Lie with the middle of your back on a stability ball, with your knees bent 90 degrees and your feet flat to the floor. Start by doing crunches – keep your elbows facing outside at all times.

Too easy? Try the boxer ball crunch – rotate your upper body clockwise as you sit up (like you’re painting a circle with your head), and repeat anti-clockwise.

Next, is the glute bridge. Lie down on your back, bend your knees with your ankles close to your glutes and feet facing down. The arms have to stay close to the core, with your palms down. Squeeze your glutes, raise your hips off the floor and push up from your heels to form a straight line from shoulders to knees. Hold for two seconds. Do 20 repetitions.

The third exercise is the hip extension. Lie with your hips and stomach on a stability ball, and your hands need to stay on the floor just under your shoulders. Then alternate raising your legs from the floor. Do 20 repetitions.

Next is the plank. Lie on your stomach and raise your upper body with your forearms on the floor and elbows under the shoulders. Then, starting from that position, lift your hips off the floor to create a straight line from your shoulder to your ankles, and hold the position for 60 seconds.

Follow that with the transverse plank. Lie on your right side propped up with by your right forearm with elbows on the floor and hands pointing away from your face. Then lift your hips, keeping your right forearm on the floor. Keep the position for 60 seconds and then switch to your left side.

End with the scissors kick. Lie on your back with your arms under your lower back. Keeping your shoulders and elbows on the floor, raise your legs 4 inches off the ground and scissor them: left leg over right, then right over left. Repeat the movements for 100 times.

 

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