A Smarter Ab Workout That Hits Your Deep Core, Stabilizing Muscles

If you want a strong core, you have to go deep. That means looking past the much-celebrated rectus abdominis (yes, the “six-pack” is functionally important too, but it gets enough attention) and focus on the inner-most muscles that provide cyclists with the stability they need to maintain proper form and alignment, especially when the miles add up and fatigue sets in.

Deep core exercises target muscles that aren’t always associated with the typical core workout: the transversus abdominis, the multifidus, the pelvic floor, and the diaphragm. Doing exercises for the deep core muscles is important in cycling performance to help the larger muscles perform optimally, says Noam Tamir, C.S.C.S., CEO and owner of TS Fitness in New York City.

The Benefits of Deep Core Exercises for Cyclists

The deep core is a cyclist’s foundation—if it’s weak, you’re building on shaky ground and will never maximize your performance, Tamir says. Worse yet, you could struggle with injuries, as the deep core stabilizes the pelvis and keeps rotation and lateral flexion (or side-to-side bending) of the torso in check. In other words, your body stays in better alignment on the road so one muscle or tendon isn’t taking on a lot of extra work or moving in a not-so-optimal manner.

Programmed by Tamir, the following exercises target the deep core while also working the glutes, hamstrings, and obliques. The three-round circuit can be used as a stand-alone core workout, or you can do a single round every day to help maintain strength and keep the core primed for your rides.

How to use this list: Perform the following exercises in order, for the number of reps listed below. Complete a total of 3 rounds, and rest 30-60 seconds between sets.

Each move

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