Core Strength Training: Cyclists

by Mackenzie M. | February 27th, 2012 | Core, Strength Training

As young professionals and college students are opting for a bike for transportation over a car, more and more information is becoming available about the benefits that riding a bike can provide – for health and for the planet.

Not only does it reduce harmful exhaust and emissions, it also tones the entire body; however, many cyclists do not realize that the most important part of the body to work on when trying to get in shape for cycling is not the legs, but surprisingly, it is the core. Trainers from a number of sources claim that even if riders have the strongest legs in the world, without a strong core, riding regularly will be difficult. On the contrary, once a strong core is built, a rider can go for miles. Below are some great core strength building exercises for cyclists.

Boxer Ball Crunch

This exercise works the abs, obliques, and the lower back. Lie in the middle of your back on a stability ball with your knees bent 90 degrees, with your feet resting firmly on the floor. Squeeze your belly button toward your spine, and lift your upper back off the ball. Then, keep your shoulders off of the ball and trace a clockwise oval with your torso. Do 15 clockwise ovals, and 15 counter-clockwise ovals. This fluid and circular exercise builds control of the core, keeping it in line and reducing wasted motion.

Power Bridge

This exercise works the hips, glutes, and lower back. Lay down on your back and bend your knees, placing your heels near your glutes. Be sure to keep your arms at your sides with your palms down. Then in one smooth motion, squeeze your glutes, raise your hips off the floor, and push up from your heels to form a straight line from the shoulders to the knees. Hold this position for two seconds. Keeping your toes raised, lower your body three-quarters of the way down, and hold to complete one rep. Repeat this twenty times. This exercise stretches the hip flexors, which often become very stiff in cyclists. The bridge also strengthens the muscle link between the lower back and the glutes.


This exercise will work the entire core, and it can be used as a great strength training exercise for cyclists and non-cyclists alike. First, sit with a slight bend in your knees and press your heels against the floor. Extend your arms forward at shoulder height with your palms facing each other. Keeping the spine as straight as possible and keeping an upward glaze, inhale deeply. Then, slowly lower your torso to the floor over five counts, all while exhaling. Keep your arms overhead at this point. In another smooth movement, lead with the arms, exhale, and explode back into the starting position. After doing 20 of these, you will feel the burn in your core, and you may also have a little bit of fun.

Comments on Core Strength Training: Cyclists

All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.