Stronger Core Training

When it comes to a strong core, most people think of crunches.  While this may be a typical way to get a six pack, they can only do so much.  A linear crunch or any other variation will create a core that is strong in one way.  When you ride, your core twists, bends and contorts in crazy ways.  So this results in weak points in the core, which as you know, is a crucial muscle group in riding.  Here is a little workout to make sure your core is strong before the real races start:

One Legged Deadlift

When you do a deadlift, you are engaging your lower back, hamstrings and more importantly, your core.  When you perform this exercise on one foot, you actually use your core much more.  Balance is required to keep you upright and the weight in control.  Keep the weight light on this exercise.  To avoid injury, pivot at the hips and as you lower the weight, raise your other leg higher.

Knee Up Chin ups

Pull ups are a great way to work the back muscles and build up strength and power.  When you raise your knees and keep them there, your abdominal muscles are used to hold them in position.  This adds a whole new dimension to any kind of chin up or pull up.

Russian Twist

This really works the oblique abdominals well.  Begin by sitting down on the floor and lifting your feet off of the ground.  Balancing yourself on your butt, clasp your hands together and touch your hands on either side of you.  By adding some light weight (about 10 lbs), you strengthen the sides of your abdomen and gives you another dimension to your core strength.

Alternating Dumbbell Presses

For the most part, bench press should only be used for strength training.  When you lay down, you isolate your chest and your body is supported by the bench.  However, when you lay down on the bench so only your head, neck and shoulder blades are touching, this more emphasis is placed on your core.  The alternating motion works the sides of your abs, while the overall motion helps build up core strength.

Here’s a little workout to get that core nice and strong:

One legged deadlift – 3 sets, 12 reps each leg

Russian Twist – 2 sets, 30 reps (touching both right and left sides is one rep)

Knee up Pull up – 3 sets, rep out

Alternating Dumbbell Presses – 3 sets, 20 reps

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Posted on Mar 11 2010, under Training | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Stronger Core Training”

  1. Great post. All of these exercises are winners. I do them all personally and by incorporating them into your workouts not only will you see an increase in performance, you will also increase the likelihood of staying injury free. There is numerous research demomstrating the value of a strong core in keeping your back healthy and strong.

  2. Dr. John,

    You are completely right. In our sport, a strong core is essential for any movement on the bike. There’s more than just getting a set of 6 pack abs!

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