If you're not doing core work, you should be. Research on cyclists shows that when core muscles fatigue, pedaling mechanics break down, paving the way for poor performance and injury. No time, you say? That's no excuse. You need only four minutes to hone your core, says Allison Westfahl, an exercise physiologist in Boulder, Colorado. Here she details the moves she prescribes for pro clients like Garmin-Sharp's Tom Danielson.
Perform one set of each exercise, resting 15 seconds between moves. Aim for three sessions a week. If you can, tack the routine onto the end of a ride. A study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research reported that cyclists who cooled down with a core workout had significantly better lactate clearance, which helps reduce muscle fatigue, than those who did nothing.
Read the original article published on Bicycling.com.
Prone Snow Angels1 of 5
Lie facedown, arms extended along your sides. Gently squeeze your glutes and slowly raise your feet, chest, and hands no more than 6 inches off the floor. Sweep your arms overhead and separate your feet. Try to touch your hands above your head. Return to the start position, relaxing your feet, chest, and arms.
Do 15 reps.
Mountain Climbers2 of 5
Start in a push-up position with a small towel or paper plate under each foot. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull your lower abs toward your spine. Without rocking or swaying your hips, slowly slide your right knee toward your chest, then slowly push it back. Repeat with the left knee.
That's one rep; do 15.
Seated Boat with Isometric Side Push3 of 5
Sit on the floor, knees bent and heels lightly touching the floor. Make a fist with your left hand and press it into your right palm about 6 inches in front of your chest. Keeping your legs steady, twist your torso to the right. Hold, pushing your left fist into your right palm for 15 seconds.
Twist to the left and repeat.
Plank with Alternating Knee Drops4 of 5
Get into a push-up position with your forearms on the floor, elbows underneath your shoulders, and feet 8 to 10 inches apart. Your body should form a straight diagonal line. Slowly drop your right knee to the floor, then return to the start position. Drop the left knee.
That's one rep; complete 15.