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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 11-02-07, 07:30 AM   #1
Tom Stormcrowe
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Core Muscle Exercises?

What do you do to strengthen your core muscles? I'd really like to know.

Personally, I'm learning Yoga for this. I'm just starting on the path though, but I can tell you, it's a real workout and not the least bit froofy
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Old 11-02-07, 07:34 AM   #2
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Crunches, lots of crunches and rotary torso exercises. I end each gym workout with 200 reps (sets of 50) on the crunch bench and 3 setsx20 (for each side) on the rotary torso machine at moderate weight. I also do reps on the lower back machine at low weight.
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Old 11-02-07, 07:37 AM   #3
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Yoga also. It's nice to surprise people when you can touch your toes with your forehead on your knee. It's not something people expect out of 240lbs. I personally prefer the slow-paced stuff* which emphasizes breathing and stretching vs the more fitness oriented stuff*.

*I think I'm right in saying that "stuff" is the correct way for a yogi to differentiate forms of yoga.
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Old 11-02-07, 08:14 AM   #4
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I'm starting Bosu workouts, it's amazing how much of a workout you get on that half ball.
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Old 11-02-07, 08:17 AM   #5
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I am doing multiple things for core strength. Crunches on an inline/decline bench. I also do full sit ups on the same thing, with my hands in front of me and not behind my neck. I also do 10 second holds at about 30 degrees where it is the toughest on me.

Then I do 3 sets of 50 reps with 100 pounds on one of the cable machines with a rope end made for both hands. I do 3 sets facing the weights and 3 sets facing away from the machine. If you don't have a gym where you exercise, you can also do the leg lifts at home. You hold your straight legs out about 5 inches off of the ground for 5 to 10 seconds and then relax back to the ground for the same amount of time and lift them again. Do as many as you can and then when you are done.

STRETCH!!!!!! Long stretches without bouncing. Hold your stretches and feel the pull, but don't over do it. A long stretch is over 30 seconds. If you can try to make your body reach a little farther every 10 seconds or so.
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Old 11-02-07, 08:19 AM   #6
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There were some tips in this thread.

One thing I do is try to incorporate stretching into everything I do. Waiting on line? Stretch. Grab a can off the bottom shelf? Stretch. That way you keep it up without having to really set time aside for it.
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Old 11-02-07, 08:27 AM   #7
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The best thing I've done is deadlifts and squats. Good ol' fashioned power lifting stuff. Kind of fun as most clydes should be able to move some impressive weight.

Other than that, I do some weird pilaties type moves I've seen other people doing. Usually leg lift type stuff. I try and engage my legs in my core exercises as much as possible.
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Old 11-02-07, 08:52 AM   #8
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Yo, core muscles are those things that mankind has needed throughout our history to do anything we have ever done. Being active is the best way to work on your core strength. Games are great. I work out all the time, but nothing can compete with a game of basketball or a nice long run. Bike riding is also really good for your core strength. Think about it, balance (as you know from yoga) is core strength based. Also, when you accelerate up a hill you are pulling from your core through your arms onto the bars. Don't go crazy trying to isolate, sure it is important, but more important is being active.
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Old 11-02-07, 09:06 AM   #9
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1+ to Yoga also... I know fellas i know! hahah but trust me..it helps, it works and you'll be happy you tryed it. But not Yoga alone i throw in Stabil ball and the old standbys Squats,Crunches,etc... Mix it up.
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Old 11-02-07, 09:34 AM   #10
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Crunches, pushups and stretching. I need to stretch more though. I wound up pretty tight and have lost a lot of flexibility over the years.
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Old 11-02-07, 09:49 AM   #11
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Start new exercise routines slowly and as mentioned above, stretching is key. Here are the exercises I'm doing:

Dead bug : Start without weights, I'm up to using 5 pound weights in my hands and on my ankles

Bridging : Again, start without weights. Now I use ankle weights on the one leg extensions

On All Fours: Same here. Start without weights. I'm up to 5 pounds in my hands and on my ankles.

That and crunches mentioned above.

Start a 12 week plan.
First 4 weeks
Do the above exercises for 3 weeks without weights building to 1-2 pounds in each hand depending on how it feels.
Do 2 sets of each (8-10 times, holding for 5 seconds)

Weeks 5 - 8
Do the above exercises for 3 weeks starting at 1-2 pounds and building to 3-4 lbs in each hand depending on how it feels.
Do 2 sets of each (8-10 times, holding for 5 seconds)


Weeks 9 - 12
Do the above exercises for 3 weeks starting at 3-4 pounds and building to 5 lbs in each hand depending on how it feels.
Do 2 sets of each (8-10 times, holding for 5 seconds)

> 12 Start adding ankle weights

Every 4th week, take an easy week (really, do it). Cut the weights in half. If you're doing other lifting, cut it back, way back on the 4th week.

If you're doing other lifting, start with these then do those. These hit a lot of muscles crunches, squats etc do not hit. These secondary muscles support your primary muscles and allow them to get stronger with less chance of injury.

Oh yes. STRETCH!!!!!!!
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Old 11-02-07, 09:53 AM   #12
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Plus one on deadlifts and squats. Front squats, if you can.

As an added bonus, squats give you some serious leg drive.

If you are really serious about core strength, do some olympic weightlifting...snatch, clean, and jerk.

Anything else you do in the weight room will feel like a waste of time. You will never do another sit-up or weighted crunch as long as you live.
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Old 11-02-07, 09:59 AM   #13
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Canoeing or Kayaking are probably the best excercises for core strength and you don't have to say sissy words like Yoga.
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Old 11-02-07, 10:08 AM   #14
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To build your core strength you must do lifts that use multiple muscle groups. To target back and core I like inverted back extensions:


As this lovely lady is demonstrating, you basically bend over, lock your abs, then raise back up at the hip. When you get good at it cross your arms in front of you and hold a weight plate.

Front lateral raises are also good:



Don't throw your weight into it for momentum. Do not arch your back, you'll hurt yourself.

T Dumbbell push ups:



Pick two dumbbells about 10 lbs, assume push up position with your arms slightly wider than shoulder width, go down and touch your chest, on the way up before your elbows are fully locked rotate into the T shape as pictured. This will work your balance as well as your core strength.

I have a ton of experience in the gym powerlifting, if you want to PM me and I'll be happy to set up a good three day workout plan for you (or anyone else whose interested), pics included just tell me your goals.

Bau

Last edited by bautieri; 11-02-07 at 10:09 AM. Reason: holy typos
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Old 11-02-07, 11:04 AM   #15
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I do like the inverted back extensions, and I only do three sets of 40 of those every other day. I don't add a weight plate, but I do have my arms crossed in front of me.
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Old 11-02-07, 11:54 AM   #16
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I used to do no core exercises (which was probably part of my problem). Lately I've done some that my physical therapist gave me. They were to help back, but some were good core strengthening too.

Lately, I've been thinking about looking in to Yoga. I think the community center right by my house offers yoga classes for pretty cheap. I keep meaning to look in to them. The only thing that's held me back so far is with the Physical therapy still going on, I just don't know if I have time. But soon, I will be done with PT and looking in to it.
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Old 11-02-07, 12:09 PM   #17
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If NFL,Navy Seals,Fighters the world around do Yoga or some form of it.... I think we'll be ok! lol

I dont get into the whole "spiritual" Yoga but more the pure stretching and breathing it helps. Some class get into that and some are about the pure exercise of it..
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Old 11-02-07, 03:36 PM   #18
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Cycling does a lot for the back already, but the abdominals and rest of the core gets a bit weak. So, I do weights on machines at the gym.

Abdominals - 60 reps, 2 sets
Hip extensions - 60 reps, 2 sets * good for hamstrings too
Lower back (lumbar) - 45 reps, 1 set
Rotary Torso - 60 reps, 1 set
Torso Flexion - 60 reps, 2 sets * good for quads too

I go a minimum of once a week and really try to shoot for two, but sometimes I'm short on time. In that case I'll do crunches in the morning (200, broken down into sets of 40).

BTW, Pilates are supposed to be fantastic, but unfortunately we don't have a pilates studio nearby that has flexible hours and doesn't want to charge $200 for an initial screening.

Oh yeah, Yoga's great. Keep it up! It'll help with flexibility too.. I did Bikram for a year with the wife until she decided she was "done with that", and I noticed I had gained a lot of strength and flexibility while doing it; I may go back a few times over the winter.
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Old 11-02-07, 06:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tombailey View Post
Yoga also. It's nice to surprise people when you can touch your toes with your forehead on your knee. It's not something people expect out of 240lbs. I personally prefer the slow-paced stuff* which emphasizes breathing and stretching vs the more fitness oriented stuff*.

*I think I'm right in saying that "stuff" is the correct way for a yogi to differentiate forms of yoga.
Yoga is a great way for building core strength. There is a pilates video for cyclist that I have been using that is very good. If you are going to do crunches doing more then 40 or fifty is a waste of time. Try doing 4 sets of ten. As you get used to them add weights because your body gets accustomed to them very quick.

One variation you can do is to do a reverse hyper extension. Lay flat on your stomach and have your legs perpendicular to your body. Lift your legs up to straighten out your your body to a flat position. hold for a second and return to neutral.

If you have the equipment side sit ups are great also. Squats are phenominal as someone else mentions but beside the standard do them with barbells and with your heels elevated.

One of the most challenging lifts I have ever done is the dead lift.

Charles Poliquen has a book for weight loss through weight lifting that is great. The title of the book is Berman Body Comp Program. He is the premier strength training coach in the US and perhaps the world right now. You can order his book at www.charlespoliquen.com
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Old 11-02-07, 08:34 PM   #20
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deadlifts and core moves like supermans, planks, leglifts. Also row on an "Erg" rowing machine....excellent core workout...
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Old 11-02-07, 11:06 PM   #21
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Yoga is a great way for building core strength.
+1

Yoga also gives you flexibility, which is just as important as core strength.
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Old 11-03-07, 12:05 AM   #22
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here is great website with lots of core exercises.. you will need to scroll down a page to see all of them..

http://www.frixo.com/sites/fitness/exercises.html
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Old 11-03-07, 12:11 AM   #23
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Nothing is better than diet, flatten the gut, and do ab exercises. Nothing else will be as effective as far as increasing flexibilty and core strength on the bike. Bottom line!
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Old 11-04-07, 09:33 PM   #24
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I personally cannot stand traditional gyms and think that lifting weights or working on a machine is about as much fun as watching paint dry... So, I got a membership to the climbing gym, it was mostly for the fun aspect, but I ended up getting quite buff (actually no longer a "official" clydesdale). Also, it really pushes you mentally once you start getting into it.

Also, if you live near hills, go out of your way to bike up them.
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Old 11-05-07, 06:46 AM   #25
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We are lucky to have a gym, let alone something specific like a climbing gym.

I also thought I would hate lifting weights, but it is a goal thing with me. I push myself to reach a goal, and that is easy enough to do with weight lifting, running, biking, actually any exercise at all.
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