We all know that core strength is important to improve performance in sports, however, a recent study was done to test the effects of core strength specifically with cyclists. A group of 15 competitive cyclists participated in the study at the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. The participants performed a “core fatigue workout” prior to cycling.
According to the November issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2007; 21 , 1300-1304), “a core fatigue workout altered the mechanics of the lower extremity”. The author suggests that cyclists “ integrate a year-round core conditioning program into current training to promote lower extremity alignment while cycling.” We couldn’t agree more.
Increased core strength in cyclists is key in increasing performance, as well as in preventing injuries. The MIHP Think Tank has developed the Cyclist’s Daily Dozen. These 12 exercises are designed to improve performance by strengthening and lengthening muscles in the three planes of motion that we move in. Two of our favorite core exercises for cyclists are as follows:
Prone Leg Swings:
Begin at the top of the push-up position and swing your right knee toward the left hand. Without touching the leg to the ground, return to starting position. Perform this exercise 10 times and repeat on the other side. Do three sets on each side. (this is also a great shoulder stabilizer and glute activator).
Begin at the top of the push-up position and then rotate to the right, lifting your right arm and leg straight up. Hold for 20 seconds (work up to that if you need to), come back to the starting position and repeat on the left. Do five times on each side.
Let me know how it goes…