As endurance athletes we all understand that we must create an aerobic base in which is the foundation of training. Without this foundation we would have nothing to build our distance or speed of off. The same is true of the core. It is the foundation of or body! Without the core we could not cycle, jump, run, walk, kick, or move efficiently. We would waste a lot energy trying to control our body’s movement in the direction we wish to go. Which in cycling or running is forward! A common misconception of the core tends to be that the abdominal muscles are the core. Or that we all need six pack abs to have a strong core. If only it was that simple. The abdominal muscles are part of the core but are not the entire core.
The true core is all the muscles that attach to pelvis and lower spine in the lumbar and thoracic regions. So when we think about core training and strengthening we are really consider training our not just our abdominal muscles but also muscles like the hamstrings, quadriceps, the quadratus lumborum, the iliopsoas, the gluteal muscles( Glute med, min, and max) and of course the muscles of the lumbar and thoracic spine. When these muscles are strong and conditioned to handle the impact forces we generate on them, through cycling, running or training in general, they will help us to be more efficient, faster, stronger and less likely to become injured during competition or training.
Many common injuries in runners and cyclists come from weakness in the glutes and hips! For example a lot of the new research shows a strong correlation between weak glut meds and plantar fasciitis! While it all may seem very overwhelming to think about training all those muscles, there are exercises we can do to help strengthen these muscles! I have created a core strengthening program designed to target these muscles and improve their efficiency while at the same time reducing the risk of injury. This is a program I use personally and perform two times per week as part of my strength training. As a nice side benefit this program also happens to be “back safe” which means it puts the least amount of strain on the back while strengthening it! There is nothing worse than trying to improve your body only to find out later that an exercise you were doing is really doing more harm than good. This is why I wanted to share this program with you all! I hope that you find it informative and enjoy the challenge! Click the link to view the program on you tube!
I will tell you make sure you have about 30 minutes to watch it! Also feel free to comment with any questions regarding modification or advancement of the exercises! Good luck to you! I hope to see you on the race course!
Remember to train harder, train smarter, Train Wise!