Doing some specific core strength and flexibility exercises off the bike can really help cyclists improve their performance on the bike.
But with so many exercises out there, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. However, help is at hand. Here are three core exercises that we think are best for cyclists.
This is the most obvious exercise for cyclist as it recruits many of the same muscles that you use out on a bike. So what you have to do is stand with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart, lower yourself down by the knee and simultaneously raising your arms straight out in front of you. The most important thing you have to keep in mind is to keep your back nice and flat.
You can do different sorts of repetitions for this exercise. For example, it is good to start nice and slow then gradually increase the pace and make it more explosive. Through this exercise, you will be able to better your sprints or intense efforts.
2. The Plank
This next exercise is a variation of a plank. Firstly, prop yourself up with your forearms planted on the floor directly forward with your elbow 90 degrees and get a friend to make sure that your body is as flat as it possibly can be.
Next comes the variation of the plank. Lift your foot off the ground one at a time while keeping your leg completely straight, raising about six inches off the floor and holding it there for about 5 seconds before swapping legs. This is going to work all of the core muscles which are key to stabilizing you on the bike.
3. Alternate Arm and Leg Raises
This exercise is going to help strengthen your abdominal and lower back muscles that will benefit you in several ways. To carry out this exercise, you have to first position your hand palm down on the floor with your knees and feet on the floor as well. Then, raise one arm and the opposing leg until your whole body is almost completely horizontal. Hold this position for 5 seconds before swapping to the other arm and leg.
Doing the alternate arm and leg raises will help to make sure that you keep your upper body still and stable when cycling when you’re going hard on the bike. It enables the power transfer to go to your legs instead of being wasted from bobbing around. Furthermore, it also helps address some imbalances we get from spending hours and hours hunched over the bike.
Remember to do these exercises as you cycle for the #TOGORIDE2020 virtual cycling challenge so that you can strengthen your core muscles and better your riding skills. Moreover, you can be prepared for the challenges to come!
Photos by Bicics.com, FitBit Blog, Health Magazine, lifehack.org, Metro, and Pitter Patter