Apart from good stretching, every cyclist should regularly exercise and work out. In winter, we should work out at least three times a week, while it is enough to exercise once a week during the main season. In this case quality is more important than quantity. To prevent injuries or other negative effects, we should start working out under the supervision of a sports physiotherapist first. We can make mistakes which can bring more harm than good even doing simple exercises.
We lie on our back and bend our knees. We place our hands on our stomach and take a slow deep breath through our nose and then breathe out of our mouth. Include this breathing exercise after a workout or between every stretching exercise. Keep it up for three to five minutes. For stomach activation, we place our thumbs above the hips and our finger on the stomach and concentrate on pushing them out with the muscles of our stomach. Our pelvis should be in a neutral position, neither in the air nor with the spine in a bow shape. Our shoulders rest on the floor and the head is straight. We lift one leg off the floor without moving the rest of the body. We repeat this three to five times while maintaining activation for at least 10 seconds at the start, then gradually extending the interval to 20 seconds.
After we have completed these two exercises, we can move to the actual workout. This activation should be applied to all the other workout exercises as well.
Forward and backward lunges
We stand straight and activate the stomach in the same way we learnt to do lying on our back. We step forward or backward with one of our legs. Our knees keep a 90° angle. Make sure they do not turn outwards. The body stays in a line. Come back with the same leg. After we get more confident with both forward and backward lunges, we try to connect these two exercises into one.
We stand up with our feet the same distance apart as our pelvis. We activate our stomach and squat down, while our knees shouldn’t stay over our toes. We keep the soles of our feet on the floor. Our knees must stay straight. Lean slightly forward.
We lie down in the same position as for stomach activation. We check the activation with our fingers and lift both our legs slowly. The knees and hips should form an angle of 90°. Stay in this position for ten to twenty seconds.
Straight abdominal workout
We lie down on our back. We raise our upper body with a gradual pull and then come back again. Repeat. During this exercise, our arms can be kept on our chest, behind our head, or stretched forward.
External oblique workout
We raise our upper body half way. We should feel our stomach becoming engaged. We stretch our arms forward, come back a bit, and move up with gradual rotation to one then the other side.
We start by lying on our stomach and pushing ourselves up using our arms. We keep both our back and head straight. The body should stay straight. All the work is done by the arms. We watch out for the correct position of the shoulder blades, and keep the elbows along our body. When push-ups on our knees become easy, we can move to doing standard push-ups.
After we can properly do all the previous exercises, we can start working on planking. However, we strongly recommend consulting this exercise with your physiotherapist. Our hands are directly under our shoulders, feet slightly apart, the head an extension of our spine. Our back must be kept straight. Do not drop our back or slouch. If we are not ready to manage this starting point, we should not attempt the other variations. Planking while leaning on our forearms is even harder. We should initially stay in the plank for five to ten seconds. Then we can gradually extend the time to 20 to 30 seconds.
There are also other planking variations, such as lifting one of our arms or legs separately or lifting our legs and arms simultaneously.
To conclude, we would like to emphasize that every person’s body is different and requires a different approach and different exercises. If you want to make sure you are working out properly, contact our experienced physiotherapist, who will be more than happy to take care of you.
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