Below are some basic core exercises relevant to a cyclist maintaining good posture on and off the bike. These exercises are a good start and further progressions can be used once these are mastered in both control and holding for a minimum time (listed).
1. Plank: lie prone (face and stomach to the ground) but supported only by your toes and forearm/elbows.
- Precautions: at minimum hold your body in a straight line from shoulders to feet. However it is normal to elevate your hips slightly to position your body in a slight curve.
- Time goal: hold for up to 2 minutes before progressing.
- Progressions: bring your feet closer together to the point you only have foot on the floor. If you’re really good then use just one forearm.
Place forearms on a swiss-ball (or uneven or unsteady platform) instead of the ground.
2. Side lying: similar to the plank: lie on the ground but supported by one elbow and one foot and with your whole body facing to the side.
- Precautions: once again – your body in a straight line from shoulders to feet.
- Time goal: hold for up to 1 minute before progressing. Do both sides.
3. Shoulder taps: assume the press-up position. Alternate touches of each shoulder with the opposite hand (i.e. you are momentarily supported by one hand and both feet).
- Precautions: avoid twisting of your body to the unsupported side.
- Goal: 12-15 taps each side continuous; rest; x3
- Progressions: use one foot to support and/or uneven/unsteady platform for supporting hand/foot
4. Neck exercises: mobilise the neck gently by moving your head through all planes of movement. Perhaps the most important neck exercise/movement for cyclists is to retract the chin into the neck (in but not down) to counter the default position of most cyclists which sees the neck in a forward protrusion.
- Precautions: perform these exercises with care and slowly.
- Goals: there is no limit to the amount of mobilising of the neck you do so long as it is done with care and slowly.