Planking For A Stronger Core...

Keep your core engaged riders! It's a common word you'll here in the studio from our instructors. A strong core is the fundamental part of cycling. While your legs are the major source of power in cycling, the muscles that make up your core are the foundation. It's important to incorporate core exercises into your workout regime to become a stronger rider and to prevent injuries. One of the best core excerises you can do riders, is PLANKING! Check out below how to properly plank and why this full body core exercise is a winner in our studio...

plank1_copyThe plank is one of the best exercises for core conditioning (your core runs from the top of your shoulders all the way down to your hips) but also works your glutes and hamstrings, supports proper posture, and improves balance. A strong core will help with climbing, sprinting, jogs and even help your posture. 

How To Do The Front Plank:
Lie on your stomach and put your elbows underneath your shoulders. Place your palms face down in front of you and rise up, so you support yourself using only your forearms and your toes. Make sure you keep you do not drop your head or hips. As you gain strength in your abs, back, shoulders, chest, quads, glutes and calves, you'll be able to hold the pose for a minute or longer.

What Muscles Am I Using?
Supporting yourself with only your forearms and toes forces the rectus and transversus abdominis of the abs, the erector spinae, trapezius and rhomboids of the back, the rotator cuff and deltoids of the shoulders, the pectorals and serratus anterior of the chest, the quadriceps and gastrocnemius of the legs and, finally, the gluteus maximus to contract and exert force. Like all strength moves,  the more you perform the plank, the stronger these muscles will become riders.

.:.The Plank has many variations that will help build your core even stronger. Once you have mastered the front plank you can move on to these variations...

Plank With Leg Raise- Start in the plank position.slowly raise one leg about 5-8 inches off the ground. Counting for 3 then returning back to to the floor. Count for 2 then raise your other leg doing the same you did on the other leg. Try doing this for about a minute, keeping your core engaged and making sure your hips don't drag down.

Side_plankSide Plank- Start on your side with your feet together and one forearm directly below your shoulder. Contract your core and raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from head to toe. Hold the position without dropping your hips for the desired time for each set. (30 seconds on each side)

Happy Planking Riders!


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