Have you noticed how many people are out on their bikes enjoying our beautiful spring weather?! It’s such a great workout and a wonderful way to get outdoors and explore the beautiful Northwest. Cycling strong is key!
It’s important to remind all of you that fitting your bike correctly to your body will reduce your risk of injury to your back, neck, knees, shoulders and wrists. Many local bike companies provide this service which is very important, especially for those of you who ride long distances.
The next most important tip for your cycling safety is to always wear a helmet, obey the rules of the road and always ride defensively.
In addition to the correct bike fit, you need strong muscles to hold you in correct alignment and posture while you’re cycling.
Here’s a couple exercises you can do anywhere with minimal costs and that will strengthen your core muscles, improve your posture and ultimately improve your cycling performance.
Rotary Plank: This exercise is great to strengthen your shoulders, hips and core muscles and is a great exercise for cyclist
- Lie on your stomach. Position your elbows under your shoulders. Contract your abdominal muscles and then slowly lift your body onto your toes and your elbows. Keep your back straight and shoulder blades pulled together. Throughout the entire exercise, hold your abdominal muscles inwards while remembering to breathe. Start by slowly lifting one arm to the ceiling as you rotate your torso. Repeat 5-10x each side.
Supine Bridge Training:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Rest your arms comfortably on the floor at your side. Tighten your abdominal and buttock muscles and slowly lift your hips off the floor. Slowly roll up until your body weight is resting on the top of your shoulder blades and your knees and shoulders are in a straight line. Keep your hips square to the ceiling. Try to avoid letting your pelvis rotate. Hold this position for a few seconds and then slowly release down. Perform 10-15 reps.
- When you get strong enough, you can intensify this exercise by performing the bridge position 10-15 reps on one leg at a time.
Cycling is one of my favorite activities! Be sure to follow these tips and you’ll increase your performance and decrease your risk for injury!
Ride safe and strong!
Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for over 25 years and has received numerous industry awards including International Personal Trainer and Fitness Presenter of the Year. She is the author of five books including “Go For Fit – the Winning Way to Fat Loss” and “Fit over Forty” and is the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and can be seen running, hiking or cycling with her two children, Brianna and Jackson. She can be reached at www.nwPersonalTraining.com or www.ShapeupwithSherri.com
Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started. Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.