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  1. #1
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    what are the best abs exercices for cycling?

    I've been doing some crunches where you lay on your back and slightly put your feet closer to you and cross over on each side to work both sides as well. An other one I've been doing is to lift your legs up straight, lifting your waist of the ground, and slowly bringing your legs back down, almost touching the ground without having your back loosing contact with the ground. But now, I feel like I could go for harder ones. I just don't realy know which ones will be more benefitial and useful for cycling. Perhaps some of you can inform me a little more on this aspect, as I believe good abs are crucial for good endurance en force propulsed to the pedals.

    thanks,

    youngster

  2. #2
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    Yeah. What you described is a great hip flexor exercise. Not very much about abs.

    Koffee

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    I have found holding plank to be one of the best for core strength (like a push-up, but on forearms with hands clasped and holding for a minute at a time). Also anything that works the obliques (side abs) is great. If your working the abs, don't forget the back . . . such as laying on the stomach and lifting the head a few inches. Doing regular ab crunches while on an exercise ball is one of the most effective ways to work the abs I have found.

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    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    Yeah. What you described is a great hip flexor exercise. Not very much about abs.

    Koffee
    The first exercise he described is usually refered to as a cycling crunch or bicycle crunch, and is labeled as the best ab exercise on a few online fitness sites, as it works the abs and the obliques. From what i read anyways, then again, maybe I mistunderstood what he was describing.
    Jarery

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  5. #5
    Senior Member oilfreeandhappy's Avatar
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    I bought my wife an AB Lounger for Xmas. I tried it, and it didn't seem like it was doing anything. I've always prescribed to the "no pain, no gain" philosophy, and it doesn't seem to fit that ideal. But when I work out with it, I can feel some different muscle groups. However I'm still doing all the crunches and floor exercises. I agree that ABs are critical to every other endurance and strength exercise.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarery
    The first exercise he described is usually refered to as a cycling crunch or bicycle crunch, and is labeled as the best ab exercise on a few online fitness sites, as it works the abs and the obliques. From what i read anyways, then again, maybe I mistunderstood what he was describing.
    I know the bicycle crunch- knees bent, then opposite elbow to opposite knee, and reverse. Keeping legs straight up and pressed together, then slowly lowering to the ground is NOT an abs exercise. People think it is, but it's not. Or at least, not unless you only lower the legs to the point just before the lower back lifts off the ground. Not too many people have the lower back flexibility to lower the legs all the way to the floor. Then it just becomes a hip flexor exercise. Cyclists already have strong hip flexors. Overtraining them may just create more of a muscle imbalance and set you up for a groin injury later on down the line.

    Koffee

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    Banned. FXjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    I know the bicycle crunch- knees bent, then opposite elbow to opposite knee, and reverse. Keeping legs straight up and pressed together, then slowly lowering to the ground is NOT an abs exercise. People think it is, but it's not. Or at least, not unless you only lower the legs to the point just before the lower back lifts off the ground. Not too many people have the lower back flexibility to lower the legs all the way to the floor. Then it just becomes a hip flexor exercise. Cyclists already have strong hip flexors. Overtraining them may just create more of a muscle imbalance and set you up for a groin injury later on down the line.

    Koffee

    Do you have nice abs?

  8. #8
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    No. I like ice cream.

    Koffee

  9. #9
    Senior Member Matt Gaunt's Avatar
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    A good one for cycling is this:
    I use a 22kg weight, but whatever you feel comfortable with, held in my right hand whilst standing, legs shoulder width apart. Let the weight pull your body down on the right side, and, using just your oblique muscles (and obviously abs) pull yourself to the opposite position i.e. rocked over to the left as far as you can go. Repeat 25 times, then do a few sets of this and you will notice greater strength on the bike.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Albany-12303's Avatar
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    Why do you need strong abs for cycling?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Gaunt
    A good one for cycling is this:
    I use a 22kg weight, but whatever you feel comfortable with, held in my right hand whilst standing, legs shoulder width apart. Let the weight pull your body down on the right side, and, using just your oblique muscles (and obviously abs) pull yourself to the opposite position i.e. rocked over to the left as far as you can go. Repeat 25 times, then do a few sets of this and you will notice greater strength on the bike.
    That is a very good exercise for lateral flexion of the spine so you can strengthen the spinal muscles (erector spinae muscles). It's ok for obliques, but think "spine" when you're doing that exercise.

    Koffee

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    Banned. FXjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    No. I like ice cream.

    Koffee


    Me too

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    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    Ok, if everyones favorite abs exercise gets shot down for not actually working abs, what IS a good abs exercise that doesnt take equipment?
    Jarery

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    -If two bikes are going in the same direction, ITS A RACE!

  14. #14
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    Just try crunches, oblique crunches, reverse crunches, and hanging knee raises. Oblique twists with a medicine ball are fun too. If those do not work for you, dunno what else to say.

    Someone asked why strong abs are important in cycling. The reasoning is that a strong core is key for maintaining strength and endurance on the bike. Look at Giddeon Massie, he's ripped. Having strong abs and a strong lower back help maintain proper positioning and help with power transfer to the pedals through the lower back and upper leg muscles.

    EDIT**** Check this article on what the "core" really is....

    http://www.endurotraining.com/public...ails.asp?id=13
    Last edited by milani; 02-15-06 at 10:18 AM.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz...rt05222001.jsp

    http://exercise.about.com/od/abs/ss/abexercises.htm

    http://207.57.18.214/gmf04/artinfo/bestabsintro1.htm

    Excerpt :

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In 2003, ACE (American Council on Exercise) recruited Dr. Peter Francis, Ph.D and Jennifer Davis, M.A., at the San Diego State University Biomechanics Lab, to conduct a study on which exercises were the most effective for the abs. The results appeared in the ACE Fitness Matters magazine in an article, "New Study Puts the Crunch on Abdominal Exercises".

    The study examined a wide variety of abdominal exercises, including standard and modified crunches, partial body weight exercises, and both home and gym exercise equipment. Thirty healthy men and women, both occasional and regular exercisers, with an age range of 20 to 45, were recruited to participate in the study. Muscle activity in the upper and lower rectus abdominus, the external obliques, and the rectus femoris (hip flexors) were measured using electromyography (EMG) equipment.

    The results of the study indicated that the exercises that required constant stabilization and rotation recruited the most muscle activity in the obliques. At the top of the list were the Bicycle Manuever (#1) and the Captain's Chair (#2).

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    According to these the bicycle crunch is listed at the top for abs work, which is why I question Koffee's reply.

    Are these sites wrong, or are they just old and this study has since been refutted?
    Jarery

    -If you cant see it from space, its not a real hill
    -If two bikes are going in the same direction, ITS A RACE!

  16. #16
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    There are numerous good exercises for the abs....and some work different areas of the abs than others. But, for a good ab workout with one exercise, try the following:

    Lay on your back with your fingers interlocked behind your head, and your legs up in the air, bent at a 90 degree angle at the knee. Raise your shoulder blades off the floor, and then touch your right elbow to your left knee while bringing in your knee a bit, and then sorta "cycle" your legs and touch your left elbow to your right knee. The leg motion will almost imitate pedaling a bike, but with no real circular action. This is a real ab burner, especially at the end of a strenuous calisthenic workout.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  17. #17
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    incline crunches....
    Nothing like like a massive ab cramp while hanging upside down like a bat.

  18. #18
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    If you are not sufficiently in shape, you can easily pull a hip flexor with incline crunches.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  19. #19
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    I do Nautilus crunches until I get to 100 pounds. Then I start, going up a notch every couple weeks. Good point.

  20. #20
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by youngster
    I just don't realy know which ones will be more benefitial and useful for cycling. Perhaps some of you can inform me a little more on this aspect, as I believe good abs are crucial for good endurance en force propulsed to the pedals.

    thanks,

    youngster
    youngster,

    the best ab excercise for cycling would be one that allowed for spinal flexion against resistance immediately followed by passive spinal extension to the starting neutral position. this should get you to where you want to be...good luck!

    ps correct you are...not only for biking, abdominal fitness is important for good health at any age
    Last edited by mx_599; 02-15-06 at 12:01 PM.

  21. #21
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if this has the koffee_brown Seal of Approval(tm), but I have been doing planks (elbows and toes on the ground, back *flat*, no cheating by rasing your butt in the air). First-timers start at 20 seconds; over the course of a few weeks work up to 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes . . . 2 or 3 reps. You have to contract your abs to keep the proper posture, and it is tough!

    Though I could be wrong, and it could turn out to be some sort of elbow or toe exercise in disguise. Waiting for my review!
    Can you pass the test?
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  22. #22
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 'nother
    I'm not sure if this has the koffee_brown Seal of Approval(tm), but I have been doing planks (elbows and toes on the ground, back *flat*, no cheating by rasing your butt in the air). First-timers start at 20 seconds; over the course of a few weeks work up to 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes . . . 2 or 3 reps. You have to contract your abs to keep the proper posture, and it is tough!

    Though I could be wrong, and it could turn out to be some sort of elbow or toe exercise in disguise. Waiting for my review!
    this is primarily working the soleus muscle...keep trying!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarery
    http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz...rt05222001.jsp

    http://exercise.about.com/od/abs/ss/abexercises.htm

    http://207.57.18.214/gmf04/artinfo/bestabsintro1.htm

    Excerpt :

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In 2003, ACE (American Council on Exercise) recruited Dr. Peter Francis, Ph.D and Jennifer Davis, M.A., at the San Diego State University Biomechanics Lab, to conduct a study on which exercises were the most effective for the abs. The results appeared in the ACE Fitness Matters magazine in an article, "New Study Puts the Crunch on Abdominal Exercises".

    The study examined a wide variety of abdominal exercises, including standard and modified crunches, partial body weight exercises, and both home and gym exercise equipment. Thirty healthy men and women, both occasional and regular exercisers, with an age range of 20 to 45, were recruited to participate in the study. Muscle activity in the upper and lower rectus abdominus, the external obliques, and the rectus femoris (hip flexors) were measured using electromyography (EMG) equipment.

    The results of the study indicated that the exercises that required constant stabilization and rotation recruited the most muscle activity in the obliques. At the top of the list were the Bicycle Manuever (#1) and the Captain's Chair (#2).

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    According to these the bicycle crunch is listed at the top for abs work, which is why I question Koffee's reply.

    Are these sites wrong, or are they just old and this study has since been refutted?
    What I am saying is that what the guy is explaining is NOT the bicycle crunch. It's not even a crunch.

    Koffee

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
    There are numerous good exercises for the abs....and some work different areas of the abs than others. But, for a good ab workout with one exercise, try the following:

    Lay on your back with your fingers interlocked behind your head, and your legs up in the air, bent at a 90 degree angle at the knee. Raise your shoulder blades off the floor, and then touch your right elbow to your left knee while bringing in your knee a bit, and then sorta "cycle" your legs and touch your left elbow to your right knee. The leg motion will almost imitate pedaling a bike, but with no real circular action. This is a real ab burner, especially at the end of a strenuous calisthenic workout.
    That's the bicycle.

    Koffee

  25. #25
    Guest
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    Quote Originally Posted by 'nother
    I'm not sure if this has the koffee_brown Seal of Approval(tm), but I have been doing planks (elbows and toes on the ground, back *flat*, no cheating by rasing your butt in the air). First-timers start at 20 seconds; over the course of a few weeks work up to 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes . . . 2 or 3 reps. You have to contract your abs to keep the proper posture, and it is tough!

    Though I could be wrong, and it could turn out to be some sort of elbow or toe exercise in disguise. Waiting for my review!
    Very good core stabilization exercise.

    Koffee

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