Fitness For Cyclists – By Nadezhda
It’s time to get cycle fit, with our own Nadezhda. Here’s some super training ideas from this exceptional triathlon coach and athlete, to help you get the most out of your cycling. Want more-defined abdominal muscles? Core exercises are important. Although it takes aerobic activity to burn abdominal fat, core exercises can strengthen and tone the underlying muscles. Let’s get started …
Core exercises are an important part of a well-rounded fitness programme. Core exercises are often neglected by most people too, and many cycists simply never do them, not really understanding that these simple exercises can improve your balance and stability. The exercise here will train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony, leading to better balance and stability, whether on the bike or in daily activities. Best of all, you can easily do these exercises at home.
A bridge is a very simple but great example of a classic core exercise. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Keep your back in a neutral position, not arched and not pressed into the floor. Avoid tilting your hips. Tighten your abdominal muscles. Raise your hips off the floor until your hips are aligned with your knees and shoulders. Hold the position for as long as you can without breaking your form.
Start on your side with your feet together and one forearm directly below your shoulder. Contract your core and raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from head to feet. Hold the position without letting your hips drop for the allotted time for each set, then repeat on the other side.
L Over /Twists
Start in a supine position on the floor, with knees and hips bent at 90°, arms out to sides, palms up. Activate core and slowly rotate knees towards the ground, keeping a 90° angle at the hips and knees and keeping the upper body in contact with the ground. Keeping your shoulders stable, rotate as far as comfortable and use obliques to return to start position. Repeat on the other side.
Lie on your back on a mat. Bend your knees and keep your feet firmly placed on the floor. Keeping your hands folded across your chest and your lower back fixed to the mat, raise your shoulders and the top half of your torso until you begin to feel a stretch in the upper portion of the abdominals.
The most obvious benefit of squats is building your leg muscles – quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves and can help build muscle mass too. Squats also activate you glutes and back muscles. Using light gym weights in your hands, keep your arms in front of you. Don’t extend your knees past your toes. Stay in this position for a few seconds. Do this for a minute and don’t rush. Doing around 50 squats in a set or series each day is excellent exercise and you’llsoon be able to increase this number.
Lunges can help you develop lower-body strength and endurance; better still, they’re a great exercise for beginners and regular fitness training too. The benefits are that they effectively target your lower-body muscles without placing added strain on your joints. Here goes then:
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Engage your core. Take a big step forward with your right leg. Start to shift your weight forward so that your heel hits the floor first. Lower your body until right thigh is parallel to the floor and right shin is vertical. It’s OK if knee shifts forward a little as long as it doesn’t go past right toe. If mobility allows, lightly tap left knee to the floor while keeping weight in right heel. Press into right heel to drive back up to starting position and the repeat the exercise on the other side.
All Fours Leg Raise
Get on all fours, your knees bent at 90 degrees. Keep the back straight so that your body forms a line from your head to your hips. Without allowing your lower-back posture to change, raise one leg with knee bent until your thigh is in line with your body. Hold and then return to starting position. Now change and repeat this. Work a few reps then rest.
Here’s another great core and abdomen exercise, the V crunch. It’s simple but verty effective, especially when combined with the other exercises outlined here.
Here goes: lie on your back and lift your legs and arms up so they are extended toward the ceiling. Now lower your legs toward the floor while reaching your arms overhead, keeping your shoulders off the mat and lower back pressed into the mat. Repeat the crunch motion to complete one rep.Create a series of reps and mix it into the other exercises to complete the session 😉
There are you, a great set of 8 core exercises for the cyclist, that will also improve your daily life. Start off working in reps of 10 and build up from there. Maybe starting with 4 complete reps initially as you improve and work up to the right level for you. Then you can get out riding … 🙂
If you want to improve your overall health and fitness and maximise your time on the bike,then spending time off the bike with these exercises will always be time well spent.
Why not take a look at my personal website too, by simply clicking the link here: www.nadezhda-pavlova.com