Cyclists’ Correction Class: McKenzie press-up

Week 1

This is the first of a series of corrective and balancing exercises designed by Jo McRae. These exercises mobilise, stretch and strengthen your core and back.

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The program is best performed as a progressive series of exercises with a new one added each week, but you can also choose any one of the exercises to try on its own.

You will need a stability ball for the full program that can be practiced at home, ideally 2-4 times a week for 20-30 minutes. These exercises are tailored to maximise your time, help you avoid injury and enhance your cycling performance.

EXERCISE 1: The McKenzie Press Up
To mobilise the lower and upper back into extension (bending backward). To combat the flattening of the lower back common in cyclists that can lead to back pain, disc ‘bulges’ and sciatica.

If this causes or increases pain in the lower back, stop the exercise. Mild discomfort at the start is not unusual with stiffness in this area, but this should ease as you repeat the movement.

Lay flat on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders.


Take a deep breath in and as you breathe out push the floor away from you.

STOP at the point where your hips begin to lift off the floor.

Keep looking at the floor to avoid straining your neck.


Breathe in as you lower yourself back to the start position, breathe out as you push yourself up off the floor.

Repeat 10 to 20 times, moving in time with your breathing, and keeping your hips as relaxed as possible.


Week two: Stability ball side stretch