Emma’s 6 Core Stability Exercises For Cyclists | Beginner Core Workout

– Why bother with core stability training? Well, because it can help you
ride faster and avoid injury. Here are six exercises to get you started in core stability training. I know what you’re thinking. You don’t have time, and I do understand, because cycling is already a very time-consuming sport, and if you also have a job, a family, a social life, why add extra training? Well, just a tiny bit of time every week invested in core stability training can make a big difference on the bike. To be honest, once you’ve fallen off an exercise ball like this, just riding a bike feels quite easy. I think these kinds of exercises are especially useful if you’re planning a long sportive this summer that involves long climbs. The only equipment you
need is a Swiss ball. The first exercise is pretty simple, and it looks really easy. You’ll be familiar with this if you ever go to a yoga class. Basically, gonna lie on your back with your feet about two hand
lengths in front of your bum, and you’re gonna tilt your pelvis so that the small of your
back is against the floor. Then you’re gonna roll your
spine away from the floor vertebrae by vertebrae until
your body’s in a straight line from your shoulder blades to your knees, really slowly and controlled. Then roll it back down,
and it’s very simple, but doing this exercise slowly and with control is actually
surprisingly difficult. If you’re a total beginning
at this type of training, I would start with trying
to do this five times, and remember that doing
it fewer times and right is more important than trying to do it many, many times and
getting the exercise wrong. I would emphasize here
that doing it with control is much harder than rushing it. The next exercise is
called the Superman pose. You might’ve seen it before. It’s pretty simple. Get on your knees and your hands with your hands directly
below your shoulders. Tense your lower abdominals like you did in the previous exercise, and raise the opposite arm and leg until
they’re horizontal, slowly. Hold like that for 10 seconds,
and then lower them slowly. Repeat on the other side. Now, I think you should start out doing five efforts like this. When that gets easy, you
can increase it to 10. The more advanced version of this exercise involves bouncing your arm and leg. Once you’re in position, you
raise them slightly like this, and to raise your leg,
you should be tensing your glute, your bum muscle, and to raise your arm, you should feel the tension in your shoulder blades. When the basic Superman
pose gets too easy, you can increase it to
30 seconds on each side, bouncing like this. Third exercise is called the boat pose. Again, you might know this from yoga. Start off as in the first exercise with the feet in front of
your bum lying on your back. Then gently, and slowly, and with control, raise your feet off the ground, and bring your hands
forward alongside your legs, and hold that, if you can,
for 20 seconds to start with. As it gets easier, you can
try holding it for longer. When it gets really easy, you
can try extending your legs and raising and lowering them very slowly. The whole time, only
the small of your back should be on the ground. Not lying on your back like this. You’re basically balancing on
the very bottom of your back. Exercise number four
is a very simple plank. You want to hold yourself nice and stable with your hands directly
underneath your elbows. Try and keep your body in a straight line from the heels to your shoulders. Keep your shoulders back
and away from your ears, and feel a tension between
your shoulder blades, which is where you should
be holding your back, and keep your tummy tucked under, so not sagging like this,
and not arching like this, but a nice straight line with your lower stomach muscles tense. When that feels nice and easy, try it with bent arms like this, and if you can hold that for 30 seconds, you’re doing pretty well. (laughs) When you can hold the basic
blank for two minutes, and it feels pretty easy, you can try a more advanced version using an exercise ball like this. With your feet on the exercise ball, that’ll make it a lot harder, especially if you bend your arms and try to hold that for a minute. That’s definitely quite tricky, that. The next exercise is a side blank. Basically, it is what it sounds like. You want to be on one elbow, both feet, and if you’re having trouble balancing to start with, use the other hand to stabilize you. The important thing here
is to keep your body, again, in a straight line
from heels to shoulder, but also, not to sag sideways like this, and keep your body as though your back were pressed up against a wall. Now, when you can hold
that for 30 seconds, try raising one foot slightly and holding it like that for 30 seconds. It makes it a lot harder. When that feels easy, try
doing this for 30 seconds. The most advanced version of this one again involves bouncing your leg. I try and do 10 bounces after holding the side plank for 30 seconds. Obviously, you want to do both
sides for this side plank, and it’s quite useful to use a timer to check that you’ve got the
same time left and right. Final and hardest exercise
is hamstring curls on the Swiss ball. You want to raise yourself up with your heels on the Swiss
ball, shoulders on the ground, in a nice, straight line, if you can, from heels to shoulders, and
then curl the ball towards you whilst keeping a straight
line as best you can from knees to shoulders. Your whole body will pivot
upwards from the shoulders. The slower you do this, the harder it is. You want to go from full leg extension to roughly at a right angle at your knee. Try and start with five curls, building up to 10, and then 15. Right, the advanced version
is with just one leg. This is where it gets tricky ’cause you’ve got to balance
and use your core strength. Wish me luck. Right, here we go. Heels to shoulders, straight line, one leg in the air, roll
up with the other leg. Nice and slowly, and controlled. I can just about do 10 on each leg. Ouch. This set of exercises should only take you 15 to 20 minutes, and you’ll
start to see the benefits if you just do them twice
a week for a few weeks. Word of caution, though,
if you’re a beginner at this kind of training,
it’ll feel quite tricky, so start with the easy version, and build up to the harder version. Try to avoid doing this kind
of exercise on a full stomach. You’ll feel sick, and
definitely don’t have a beer beforehand because it’s hard enough to balance on the ball as it is. Anyway, I hope this helps
you with your training. If you’d like to see some more tips on how to train for sportives, why not click down here to see our series on training for the Maratona Dolomiti.