A strong core is a fundamental part of bike riding. We spend hours upon hours on the saddle, and while it is our lower body pushing the power through the pedals, it is our core that keeps the body stable.

But the core doesn’t just comprise of the muscles in and around the torso. There are many more. The gluteal and quadriceps are just two of examples of muscles that also form part of the core fraternity, which often get ignored.

In fact, all muscles are interconnected, and if one muscle in the chain isn’t able to cope with the pressures placed upon it, others will naturally try and compensate. Once you can no longer compensate or adapt, pain and injury will occur, affecting your bike position, performance and even safety.

>>> Neck pain after cycling? Try these exercises

For example, a weak set of lower back muscles will have a significant impact on stability. A body that is unable to keep steady on the bike will result in excessive side-to-side movement, causing tension in your back, possibly resulting in injury and an unstable platform for your legs and hips to fire from.

If your flexibility is poor as a result of weak, badly maintained core muscles, you may find you are restricted when attempting to control the bike. If you can’t comfortably reach the hoods or drops and be able to apply the brakes or even shift gears, it could be potentially dangerous.

Don’t ignore your core. A strong core will limit the adjustments your body has to make.
Our quick-fire core routine workout doesn’t require a gym membership and won’t take much time out of your day. Try this three times a week on your less intense training days.

  • Dave2020

    “The moment we start to sway from side to side, we start to run into trouble. We lose power in our legs in order to combat the rocking; we start to use other muscles to compensate our lack of core strength, which could cause further injury; and we could even suffer from saddle sores due to the friction being generated.”

    There’s an inversion of logic in that analysis, which confuses cause and effect. It’s the ubiquitous false assumption underlying so much of the nonsense we read from cycling coaches, such as Scott Tomkinson on May 22nd.

    It is the over-reliance on an instinctive ‘push down’ at 3 o’clock that CAUSES the rocking, and that adds debilitating stress to the spine and so-called ‘core’ muscles. Good biomechanics contains your power within the legs – i.e. action and reaction are BOTH used to generate torque and that balance helps to reduce any tension in the upper body, so that the – “abdominals, obliques, latissimus dorsi and muscles around the spine such as thoracolumbar fascia” – are NOT put under pressure. Prevention is far better than any cure!

    An accomplished athlete remains still on the bike because their body is relaxed, not because they have a mess of tension holding themselves ‘rigid’. How dumb can you be?

    Naturally, it makes sense to keep your whole body strong and supple, but not for the ‘reasons’ given here.