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7 ab exercises every cyclist must be doing

Propelling your body on two wheels takes more than just strong legs and endurance. Core conditioning can make or break a successful ride and it all starts with your workout. Try out these 7 must do moves.

Workout Tip: We recommend trying each exercise individually to perfect the form and to better understand any modificiations needed. Once you are comfortable with the exercises, perform in a circuit fashion doing 10-15 reps of each with small rest in between. If timed exercises fit you best, try to do each exercise for 20 seconds with a 20-40 second rest in between. Starting with 2-3 sets is a good goal.

1. Elbow to plank on ball

This exercise is normally done with feet on the floor. We suggest starting there and adding in the ball when you feel ready. Any plank position is great for abdominals, obliques and lower back. Adding the ball will up the intensity and test your balance abilities.

2. Alternating Superman

Core isn’t all about the crunch. Supermans’ seem like an easy exercise but don’t be too sure. The alternating motion provides great coordination training for your mind and targets the postural muscles needed to stay upright in the saddle.

3. Ball Twist

Adding a spin on the traditional leg lifts, the ball twist exercise better targets the obliques. Don’t be surprised if you feel the burn in your quads, holding onto that ball can be hard work and helps engage the total core.

4. Russian Twist

Every workout class, bootcamp or DVD program has incorporated the well known Russian Twist but for good reason. This exercise is one that ties in a variety of core muscle groups. Having to stabilize with your feet off the ground and incorporate a twisting motion, you not only target lower back and abdominals but you pull in those hip flexors which improve overall posture and hip mobility.

5. Single Leg V-up

The burn might be felt in your abs but this exercise is total core and glutes. The single leg motion allows you to concentrate on the muscle activation of each lift. Not only do we want a controlled lift up but also strive to have a slow and controlled drop back to the floor. If you feel yourself swinging during this exercise, rest and try reducing reps.

6. Ball X

Many have done the bicycle crunch or elbow-to-knee crunch, ball x exercise brings in the best of both worlds and adds a touch of challenge.

7. Ball Pike

Done with straight legs, these can be modified by bending your knees and dragging the ball to your chest. A perfect way to practice balance and can be paired with tradition plank holds to better core endurance.

Please Note: Before following exercise routines or changing your fitness regime, please consult a certified fitness professional. Always talk with a medical practitioner before following dietary advice or taking supplements.

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