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by Verita Stewart
July 6, 2015
Photography by Verita Stewart
WOMEN'S CYCLING BROUGHT TO YOU BY ORBEA
Being a strong cyclist requires more than just strong legs. To prevent aches and maximize power transfer into your pedals, you need a strong core. A strong core will help in your climbing, sprinting, endurance and bike handling.
Yet cycling alone is not enough to build a strong core, and so you should supplement your bike time with off-the-bike strength exercises.
At the beginning of the year, I spent some time in the gym, working on just that. I worked with a strength and conditioning coach who sent me on the right path with a program to follow, and gulp, I even joined my local gym!
I’m not a gym person, and the whole thing was a little daunting for me at first. But after a short time, I realised it wasn’t as bad as I thought. In fact, it was fun and the staff was encouraging and helpful.
My trainer Elliot and I have put together a few of my favorite exercises that I and all cyclists can do at home to maintain and strengthen our core –no gym membership necessary!
These exercises can be performed sequentially, 20 reps of each exercise, twice weekly all year-round with great benefits transferable directly to the bike.
Please note that I’m not a trained PT, and I suggest consulting with a health professional prior to starting any program, especially if you are new to training. There are many factors for this disclaimer, though injury and progressive overload are two main ones that spring to mind.
We are cyclists after all! The bicycle crunch is an excellent exercise for building core strength while also working your legs.
The plank is one of the most simple and effective core exercise that you can do, anywhere, any time. This plank has a modification to make it a little different, engaging your abs, obliques, back, shoulders, arms and also your legs.
This is one of my favorite exercises to do. It gets the heart racing while strengthening and stabilising the core.
I love this exercise, not only for its humorous name, but for the burn I get whilst completing it.
Kneeling Superman exercise is great for cyclists as it challenges the back muscles as well as core. The opposite actions make it challenging and will help with your core stability.
The tagline to Verita Stewart’s personal blog reads: “Not a professional cyclist, yet” and it’s the “yet” that’s most telling. Verita is a Melbourne-based cyclist riding for Specialized Securitor. New to the sport, she’s quickly made the jump from commuting to recreational riding to racing.
She now juggles full-time work with full-time NRS racing and hopes to make the leap to the big-leagues sometime soon. Verita is full of stories and smiles and snark – and will bring all three to you on Ella. Follow Verita on twitter and instagram and strava.