Whether trying to hold onto your current cycling speed or improve cycling fitness, plank exercises that build core muscles are a good place to start.
Here are six plank exercises that will challenge you in the gym while increasing the foundation of your power output.
Single Arm Plank1 of 7
Assume a pushup position and extend your arm in front of you. The key is to keep your body rigid throughout the entire movement.
Hold this pose for the desired time and switch to the other arm. If you are looking to up the level of difficulty, pick one of your feet off of the ground or have your training partner place a weight plate on your back.
2-4 sets, 5-30-second hold on each side
Side Plank Knee Raises2 of 7
If you are a novice, we recommend doing this exercise on your forearm; for intermediate and advanced plankers, you need to be on your hand.
Place your hand on the ground above your shoulder and place one foot on top of the other. Get stable, then slowly raise your knee toward your chest. Return to the starting position and repeat.
2-4 sets, 4-10 reps
Plank Climbers3 of 7
Assume a pushup position and drive your right knee toward your right elbow. Return to a pushup position and repeat on the left side. Go slow; there is no hurry with this exercise—you are not in a boot camp class.
For intermediate and advanced athletes, do this exercise on an unstable surface, like a Bosu or stability ball.
3-6 sets, 10-30 seconds
Lateral Twist Plank4 of 7
Place your hand on the floor above your shoulder, and place your foot on top of your other foot. Before you begin, make sure your hips are not sagging.
With your free hand, reach toward your other elbow while twisting your upper body. Pause and return to the starting position and repeat.
2-5 sets, 4-15 reps on each side (If you have a hard time with this exercise, try doing it on your forearm) 2-4 sets, 4-12 reps on each side
Weighted Body Saw Plank5 of 7
Get into a standard forearm plank position and have a training partner place a weighted plate on your back. While keeping your body rigid, slowly roll back and forth without your back sagging.
Quick tips: For the novice, you can do this exercise without weights. If no one is around to place the weight on your back, wear a backpack and load it with weights, or place your feet into a TRX suspension trainer.
2-5 sets, 10-30 seconds
Plank Plate Drag6 of 7
You will need carpet or tile for this exercise.
Place your feet onto a weight plate and drive both knees toward your elbows, dragging the plate with you. Pause and push the plate back, returning to the starting position.
Adjust the weight up or down to allow for proper form and to challenge yourself.
2-4 sets, 4-10 reps