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Pilates style workout

Simple movements for a powerful core.

Woman practicing pilates on a yoga mat

This pilates style, floor based workout uses small movements for big results. By strengthening your core (the inner abdominals and the small muscles in your back), you can improve your cycling technique and ride with more power.

Some cyclists spend big on light bidon cages or top end group sets, but a stable core and pelvis will give you the best advantage. A strong core means more energy is transferred from the legs to pedals, so you can go harder and faster with less effort. And who doesn’t want that?

This is a great workout to incorporate 1-2 times per week, at home or at the end of a weights session.

1. Pelvic bridges 

Lie on your back with your knees bent and both feet flat on the floor. Engage your pelvic floor and inner abdominal muscles. Imagining moving one vertebrae at a time, tilt your pelvis up, then raise your hips off the ground by squeezing the glutes and pushing through both feet. It should feel like you’re peeling your back off the ground. Hold for 5-10 seconds, then reverse the movement by slowly lowering back to the floor.

For an extra challenge, rest one foot on the opposite knee, and repeat the movement using a single leg.

2. Supine bridges 

Lie on your back, but this time place your feet on a fitball. Squeeze your glutes to keep your hips high, and hold in position for 30 seconds.

To increase the difficulty, raise both arms straight in the air, and lower one at a time out to the side. Keep your hips steady throughout.

3. Four point

Position yourself on your hands and knees, keeping your spine in a neutral position. Ask someone to help you with this for the first few times. Once stable, raise one arm out in front of you and the opposite leg out behind, keeping the rest of your body still. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat with the opposite arm and leg.

The key to this movement is to make sure your hips stay square and don’t rock around. Use your supporting arm to help keep your shoulders square.

4. Heel taps

Lie on the ground with your knees at 90 degrees, shins parallel to the ground and feet flexed towards the ceiling. Slowly lower one leg at a time, so your heels tap on the ground. Try to keep your back in a neutral position. You will feel the work in your lower abdominals on the way down.

A personal trainer can provide you with more detail about performing these exercises correctly, and show you progressions as your strength improves.


Video exercises performed by @killerjules.

Workout provided by Kristin Lewis. Kristin is a former Australian U/23 Road Cycling Champion and the Managing Director of Life Personal Trainers in Adelaide. Find out more at lifept.com.au

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