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Take Your Cycling to the next level
While you can build your leg muscles to the point of bulge research has shown that improving your core strength could be just as important in improving your cycling stamina.
Cycling’s tripod position, which requires the saddle, pedals and handlebar to support your weight, relies on core strength, but unfortunately doesn’t help to build it. So if you’re ready to take your cycling to the next level why not try the following core-building routine as recommended by 1 South West (http://www.1sw.org.uk/
a. What it works and why: Transverse abdominals, upper and lower back. This will help to build strength and muscular endurance in your torso which will prevent reliance on the bike’s handlebars.
b. Lying on your stomach place your elbows at shoulder level with hands and forearms in front. Keeping feet together lift your hips off the floor, creating a straight line from shoulders to heels.
c. Hold for 30 seconds and rest for 15. Repeat 3 times.
2. Power Bridge
a. What it works and why: Hip flexors, glutes and lower back. This movement will stretch hip flexors and strengthen the link between your lower back and glutes.
b. Lie on back and place heels near glutes with arms at side. Squeezing your glutes raise your hips towards the ceiling to form a straight line from shoulders to knees and hold for 2 seconds before lowering your hips a couple of inches from floor before raising again.
c. Repeat movement continuously for 20 seconds before resting for 10 and repeat 3 times.
a. What it works and why: Transverse, abdominals and lower back. As with the plank this move will improve the core strength needed for when bent over the handlebars for hours.
b. Sitting on the floor lift your legs straight to form a 90 degree angle with your upper-body by extending your arms forward at shoulder height. Hold your abs tight. If you feel your hamstrings tightening bend your knees a little.
c. Hold the following move for 30 seconds, followed by 15 seconds rest. Repeat 3 times.
4. Scissor Kick
a. What it works and why: Transverse abdominals, hip flexors, inner and outer thighs. Improving these muscles which help you achieve hip, knee and forefoot alignment, which will deliver an efficient pedal stoke.
b. Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms by your sides. Raise your shoulders off the floor as your raise your legs around 3-4 inches off floor and cross them over one another repeatedly, ‘scissor’ them.
c. Do exercise continuously for 20 seconds before resting for 10. Repeat 3 times
5. Transverse Plank
a. What it works and why: Transverse abdominals and obliques. By improving these muscles you will improve your saddle stability.
b. Lie on your side with your elbow under your shoulder placing your one leg on top of other and raise your free arm overhead. Lift your hips to create a straight line down your body then lower hips a few inches off floor before lifting again.
c. Repeat exercise for 20 seconds before switching sides. Repeat 3 times each side.