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  1. #1
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    Why Doesn't cycling work the core if its so important for power

    We've all heard it before, that a strong core is the base from which the legs rocket off. Then why is it that cycling on the other hand does not work the core? If its makes your cycling better, than somehow it is involved in the pedaling action, therefore its being used. So it should be getting some work also. Akin to every action has an opposite and equal reaction? Why not?

  2. #2
    Insert witty phrase here TheJackMove's Avatar
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    Cause you sit on azzzz and the equal and opposite reaction when you push the pedals is the wheels turning. It kind of isolates your lower body. You might get some core work if you stand up and dance like Lance though. But sadly, that six pack you have been working so hard on is really just dead weight you are dragging up the hills.

  3. #3
    Sledge Hammer FightingPanther's Avatar
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    ^ sadly i believe he is correct, im still working the abs anyway

    chicks very much more important than the little extra weight
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    Legs of Steel chrisvu05's Avatar
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    ^^^I'm pretty sure you are both a little off.

    Cycling does indeed work your core if you are doing it right. You aren't gonna build a six pack from just cycling alone but it definitely will allow your core to become stronger.

  5. #5
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    ^^^^ Valid point. If it's part of the power producing process it should be getting a workout.

    My assumption is that you get some core workout, but not enough.

    And when your core fatigues, your pedaling form suffers and your power output drops, but pedalling on with the poor form isn't giving your core the trianing it needs.

    In other words good form relies on your core, but you can pedal on with bad form without relying on strength form you core.
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  6. #6
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    Umm...I'm in no way shape or form, but doesn't this kinda get back to the (pun) core of the concept of cross-training? cross-training trains muscles that aren't trained by the primary sport, but somehow synergistically add to the behavior of the primary muscles.
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  7. #7
    bouldertransplant slickyricky's Avatar
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    It does work the core. When I start to feel the pain, I try to focus on getting my pedal power straight from my core. I don't do situps during riding season and my abs don't lie.
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    Mountain Goat dark13star's Avatar
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    If you hold a proper position without putting too much weight on your hands, you are getting more core workout than most people get. Then again, most people don't do any core exercise...

    I supplement with planks and crunches with a medicine ball and that seems to be enough direct core. I also make sure that all my free weight work involves the core.
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    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Cycling does work the core. Just pedalling normally you'll struggle at first. Try double leg, dolphin kick pedalling and you'll be crying from the burn in your abdominals.

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    Although I work my core somewhat regularly off season, during the warmer months I get lazy. I can tell when I'm getting into sprinting shape because my abs get super fatigued after doing a bunch of sprints.

    Other than noticing a correlation between stiff/sore backs and no core work, I can't say anything else.

    cdr

  11. #11
    Senior Member climbhoser's Avatar
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    Core is not just abs, it's your lower back, too! Hams attach above the hips, and are part of the core, which is an essential part of an efficient body position and powerful stroke.

    I do a workout on my single speed near my house when I'm bored/want some intervals...I get my SS out, 42x16, and head to a nearby 1.5 mile long hill at about 7% grade average and sprint it, over and over! If I really want a challenge I'll put my daughter in the trailer and tow that up and down. Let me tell ya, bub, my core is SHOT after that! I usually do it until failure and then creep back home (~5 miles, all downhill from the top).

    Iss good.
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    T-Shirt Guy ehidle's Avatar
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    Cycling doesn't work the core as much as some other exercises, but I'll tell you what, after a 100 mile climbing ride, every OTHER part of my body feels like it got an extensive workout.

    If you can learn to do it properly, bringing your upper body strength to the wheels will improve your ride immensely.
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    What I'm reading is... Does to! Does not!

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    Zebra Treker's Avatar
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    What I'm reading is... Does too! Does not!

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    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    i have a certain minimum amount of core work i need to do, otherwise i start to get lower back fatigue on rides over a couple of hours. same with my arms.

  16. #16
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Back before my semi-retirement fatted up my belly, I had a ripped six pack. I only did two physical activities: one was cycling, and the other, umm, worked the core.

  17. #17
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    Cycling does work the core, and if it isn't for you, you are doing it wrong. But, it won't necessarily work it very well or quickly. When I first started road cycling, I was also still spending a bunch of time in the gym and also doing some gymnastics. I added even more core work to what I already did and really strengthened up my abs and lower back. I haven't done much core work for 2 years or so, but it is still very strong. If cycling didn't work it, it would not still be just as strong.

  18. #18
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    Body alignment and movement result from use of muscle pairs. These groups work by opposing each other. Cycling uses hip flexors, for example. Repetitive use from rding makes them stronger. However, if you don't work the opposing muscles, your glutes, imbalance results. The glutes become proportionally weaker. This can lead to lower back pain and sore hamstrings beause the lower back and hamstrings compensate for the weak glutes. Also weak abs can make it worse.

    Core work, and overall cross training, keeps things in check.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    Back before my semi-retirement fatted up my belly, I had a ripped six pack. I only did two physical activities: one was cycling, and the other, umm, worked the core.
    I'll be able to take up both when I get back to college. I love college
    Last edited by ridethecliche; 07-31-08 at 04:36 PM.

  20. #20
    Sprinters are Sexy
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
    Body alignment and movement result from use of muscle pairs. These groups work by opposing each other. Cycling uses hip flexors, for example. Repetitive use from rding makes them stronger. However, if you don't work the opposing muscles, your glutes, imbalance results. The glutes become proportionally weaker. This can lead to lower back pain and sore hamstrings beause the lower back and hamstrings compensate for the weak glutes. Also weak abs can make it worse.

    Core work, and overall cross training, keeps things in check.
    Quite accurate.

    The only exception I can see are those riders who practice different types of cycling to get a more comprehensive workout. (If I had more time, I'd consistently take out my 29er for the cross training; negotiating technical trails on a rigid hard tail does wonders for proprioception among other things.)

    However, most cyclists, like most people, will tend to find a certain type of riding and do primarily that.

    Any repetitive motion will eventually neglect the muscles that are not directly involved OR those muscles will not develop in harmony which will lead to an imbalance down the road.

    If this doesn't sell ya, strengthening the antagonistic muscle groups will have a carry over to your overall performance AND reduce the chance of injury. If you're not sold, that's okay. Ultimately it's my health that affects the quality of my life; whether or not some a-hole is a well-rounded athlete won't make me perform any better or worse.
    Last edited by LifeIsSuffering; 07-31-08 at 05:00 PM.

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