26 Core Exercises for Mountain Bikers

Breaststroke

Lie on your front with your arms stretched out overhead. Pull your abdominal muscles in towards your spine and keep them locked in throughout the whole exercise. Lift your arms two inches off the ground then arc them around to your sides in a breaststroke fashion while lifting your chest and chin. Hold here for a few seconds, then dive your head down and your arms forward again in a breaststroke fashion back to the start. Breathe as if in water. Inhale as you lift and stroke back and exhale as you dive forward.

Heel-Beats

Lie on your front with your arms stretched out overhead. Pull your abdominal muscles in towards your spine and keep them locked in throughout the whole exercise. Straighten your arms and legs and keep them straight throughout the whole exercise. Raise your arms and legs two inches off the floor. Clap your heels 20 times. Rest, stretch and repeat four or five times.

Crawl

Lie on your front with your arms stretched out overhead. Pull your abdominal muscles in towards your spine and keep them locked in throughout the whole exercise. Raise your arms and legs two inches off the floor. Hold your left arm and both legs still. Drop only the fingertips of your right hand to the floor and lightly drag them along the floor towards your right shoulder. Raise your elbow up as high as you can towards the ceiling as your arm comes in. Continue dragging your fingertips along the floor and graze your thumb along your side until your arm is straight. Pause here and feel the opposition stretch with your left arm reaching forward and your right arm stretching back. Reverse the finger drag making sure to keep your elbow high. Repeat with left arm. Exhale as you stroke back and inhale as you stroke forward. To reduce the intensity keep your legs on the floor.

More: Indoor Cross-Training for Improved Climbing

Front Pillar or Front Plank

Hold a push-up position for 30 to 60 seconds. Keep head in line with spine and don't sag or bend.

Side Pillar or Side Plank

Balance on your left side supporting yourself with your left hand and both feet. Left arm is straight without a locked elbow. Right foot is stacked on top of left foot. Legs are straight. Keep hips pushed forward and don't sag or bend. A straight line is formed from feet to neck. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds then switch sides. Only the side edge of your bottom foot and your left hand should be in contact with the floor.

Ball Pikes

Start in push-up position with legs together and shins resting on top of a physioball. Slowly raise hips up to the ceiling rolling the ball towards your shoulders then lower back to start position. Repeat 10 times. Legs remain straight and together throughout the movement.

Handwalk

Stand with your legs straight and hands on the floor in front of your feet. Keeping your legs straight, walk your hands forward until they are in front of your head. Your body should be in an extended push up position. Then, keeping your arms and legs straight, use little steps to walk your feet forward up to your hands.

Burpee

Start standing with hands at sides. Bend forward at the waist and place hands on the ground in front of feet. Jump both feet back at the same time into the plank (or push-up position). Your body should now be straight and tight in a flat plank. Jump both feet forward landing behind hands. You should now be in a low squat position. Explosively jump up as high as you can.

More: 8 Core Exercises for Cyclists

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