Training & Nutrition - Core Strengthening
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06-22-09, 02:54 PM
I completed my first century 2 weeks ago. I felt good, my legs werent that tired, but when I finished I instantly knew what I had to work on...my core strength. About 50 miles in, my posture on the bike started to slump and I felt generally weak in the mid section. I am admittedly overweight and my legs are about the only "in shape" thing on my body. Ok, enough background, here is the question:
I am looking for a good half hour workout I can do every morning that can really strengthen my core muscles. There are thousands of dvds, books and workouts out there, but I am lost as to which one is for me. Has anyone been in this similar position and found somehting that worked? Is there a routine you do that has given you a rock solid core? Videos? Books? Any help is much appreciated.
Cyclo-core and cyclo-zen are great products, if you can get past Graeme's marketing approach.
For long-distance comfort, it's a combination of core strength, flexibility, and fit. Cyclo-zen has both strength and flexibility.
Get an exercise ball and two pieces of fairly thick surgical tubing about 15ft long at a medical supply house. You can start with one piece of tubing.
She does crunches wrong, don't bend back. Sit up higher on the ball, and rock the ball a bit when crunching. Works best on a soft ball, but most exercises are better with a firm one.
Stand on the tubing, grab it and do deadlifts and squats. Throw in some straight leg deadlifts. On squats you want to go down until your thighs are parllel to the ground. Keep your head up doing deadlifts to keep your spine aligned. These are toning exercises, no need to do dramatic increases in difficulty. If you want that, go to a gym, get The New Rules of Lifting, and rock your world. The length is so that you can double up for more resistance from the tubes. 8 strands of tubing offers resistance.
Lots of other exercises, but that's likely to burn through your time.
06-23-09, 09:24 AM
You might look into the "Fit Chick" area on the bicycling.com site. She has some workout videos just for the core workout.
06-23-09, 01:36 PM
Wow, great advice. Thanks for the input. I will have to take a look around and see which of these work for me.
06-23-09, 08:57 PM
Ditto Cyclo Core
Also P90X, but it's a bigger committment.
06-24-09, 09:35 AM
$10 at Amazon
planks, planks, more planks, deadlifts, crunches on the ball
They work for me.
Jim from Boston
06-24-09, 11:31 AM
I completed my first century 2 weeks ago. I felt good, my legs werent that tired, but when I finished I instantly knew what I had to work on...my core strength..Is there a routine you do that has given you a rock solid core? Videos? Books? Any help is much appreciated.
I like yoga. I am self-taught using Richard Hittleman's Yoga 28 Day Excercise Plan . Besides core strength. it helps with breathing, balance and what I call "energy flow." It may not be the most intense workout, but I like it enough to do almost daily, now for about three years.
06-24-09, 12:46 PM
Or just ride your bike. Bike riding very good for core as you just found out. I did core exercises for years. Didn't work as well as more miles. Do that 1/2 hour every morning on the trainer or rollers before breakfast.
06-25-09, 07:41 AM
Kettlebells or you can go even cheaper and just work out with a sledgehammer.
06-25-09, 01:59 PM
you'll find some but the key for you (everyone me too) is diligence and patience
06-26-09, 11:23 PM
I love deadlifts for core strength, you don't have to go super heavy, but I like to stick to 3 sets of 8 reps.
06-27-09, 07:29 AM
I would do deadlifts and squats (classic exercises) if I didn't have 50 yr old knees and back with previous injuries and surgeries with chronic issues of discomfort and spasms. Yeesh, I'mm surprised I get out of bed every morning! :-)
Do what you can, be diligent and patient. Eat clean.
06-27-09, 09:17 AM
The goal of your abs is stabilization. Exercise which forces your abs to remain motionless and stabilize the body are going to help a lot...aka planks, deadlifts and riding your bike, which has already been mentioned.
ALSO do NOT neglect your lower back. I've seen a lot of "Core" programs that didn't involve the lower back at all. Again, deadlifts. I'm only saying this because when people talk about their core, they almost exclusively mean their abs, and trying to research how to strengthen it can be very confusing.
06-27-09, 11:01 AM
re: lower back - good point - I've been working out a lot and I'm sure I'm not doign enough for my back. I'm always looking to fine tune my training - so I guess a good resolution for me would be to strengthen my back. I've already included upright seated rows and I've noticed some good improvement with my upper back. I like to measure things by months and years. however when I switch things up like when I started running and swimming - each new item shows very quick results. I guess it's that muscle confusion thing.
07-18-09, 08:30 PM
All the exercises mentioned are great, especially focusing on the lower back. Crunches, reverse crunches, leg lifts, side bends, russian twists, deadlifts are all simple and easy workouts for your core. As far as your time constraints, I would look into doing tabatas. The workouts are short (but hard) and very effective. As a graduate student with a full time job, time is a valuable commodity and they've done wonders for me.
07-19-09, 12:03 AM
Kettlebells, I hear, are great for cyclists because they are a more endurance oriented weight than just regular dumbells and barbells. Plus, they tend to activate ALOT of muscle groups while swinging then around. Think about it, if you are swinging a 40 pound kettlebell (you MAN!), imagine all of the muscles that would contract to keep you steady.
They're fun, too.
07-19-09, 01:55 PM
07-27-09, 06:01 AM
How are pushups for core exercise?
I notice when I haven't done any core work or pushups for a while that when I do pushups I get DOMS the next day in my triceps (obivously) and my core. But are pushups adequate (like 5 sets of 30 every other day)?
07-27-09, 09:04 AM
pushups are basically plank exercises, you're just working your arms/chest/shoulders too.
07-28-09, 01:04 PM
look online for the P90x Core Synergistics workout. its one of the P90x workouts from the program but i'm sure you can download just that one somewhere.
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