Every year, more and more people will engage in cycling in order to get in shape and keep fit. Thousands of people will buy the bike, cycling on holiday, participating races, and even pushing it into the traffic to ride to work. However, the pains and injuries of cycling can bother you for a week or for years. It is no wonder that many cyclists will experience back, shoulder, and neck pains because you have ignored one important point---core muscles. With a weak core, your body will fatigue much more easily. That is why the cyclists need to take some core exercises. Here are 5 useful core strength and stability drills that cyclists should try to combine with their training plan. They are easy to follow and apply. Try now and you will benefit a lot in the coming New Year.
1. Plank exercise
The plank will build your strength and the muscular endurance because sometimes you need to cycle in a tough road condition for a long time. It will exercise your transverse abdominous, upper and lower back which will contribute to your muscle in control of handlebar. The process is following: first you should lie down on your yoga mat, prop your upper body by holding your hands together with your elbows just below your shoulders. Second, you can adjust your position, such as pressing your toes and elbows tightly against the mat. Then, it is very vital step to raise and balance your body until it is parallel to the floor. It is necessary to tighten your belly in order to make your lower back flat. In addition, you should look straight ahead in stead o putting your head down. The last step is to keep the pose for 20 seconds, and then continuously add 10 seconds as you become stronger.
2. The variation of the plank
The variation of the plank is more effective and exercises more your muscle than the standard plank. First, you can do the planks with plate movements. In this exercise, you can install the plates on the left hand side and take the plate to the right side of the plank. You can repeat the movement from the left to the right but make sure that you have completed standardly 3 sets of repetitions. The second kind of plank is the plank with small resistance band loop which will strengthen your chest muscles. You can use resistance that goes around both wrists. Before you take the drill, you should check the tension of the band loop and not allow it to relax because once it becomes loose, they will not work. This movement must be finished with a small stuff, such as the mats to create the difference in floor height. You can start with your hands on the floor, and then move one of them from the tops of the small stuff by one then back down. You can do this repetition for 10 times. The next one is slide planks. This exercise will strengthen your hip endurance. During the movement, you should keep your hips up which should be completed 3 times on each side for 20 seconds and as it becomes easier you can add 10 seconds continuously each time.
3. Glute bridges exercise
Most people don’t understand the importance of the glute strength which is associated with the core strength. However, if the glutes are weak, it will demand more effort from the back muscles that leads to pain. So this time, you must pay attention to this movement. First, you should have stability ball, and then lift your gluts up off the ground by raising one leg in the air and using anther leg to the stability ball. Next, you should switch your legs and do the same but remember to keep your arm upright. Finally, you can do this for 12-15 completions. Another way is to use the resistance bands to take the glutes bridges exercise. First, you should get two thick and heavy resistance bands and place them on the squat rack. And then, you can move your body fro and back, making sure to push your glutes muscles well as you rise up and down. Complete 15-20 competitions each tie and increase the movements as your strength improves.
4. Boxer Ball Crunch
This kind of exercise will exercise your lower back. Despite the straightforward motion of your bike, there is no doubt that your body will move in different directions, such as forward as you cycle in a fast-speed, vertically as your legs pedal up and down or tilt while your body move side to side. So you need to do the process properly. First, you should lie with the middle of your back on a stability ball and your knees should bent 90 degrees and put your feet flat on the floor. And then, you can place your hands behind your head instead of your necks. Next, you can keep your belly tight so that you can lift your upper back off the ball. Later, keep your shoulders off the ball and you can add pressure to your lower back to keep your move on the ball. Finally, you can do the repetitions fro and back for 20 times.
5. Hip extensions
This is a great exercise and movement to build the backside strength in order to improve efficiency on the second pedal stroke. First, you can lie on your hips and stomach on the stability ball, put your hands on the floor directly and extend your legs with toes against the floor. However, you should keep your spine straight, lift your legs off the floor and hold for 3 seconds. Do 20 repetitions.
These core exercises are helpful to strengthen our muscles. You can do that with the coach or just complete these in front of the mirror or with a partner. I hope these exercises can help reduce injury and pains and enjoy your ride.