Cycling is all in the legs, they say, but there are a few other areas you can work on if you want to ride faster this summer, including these three cores moves.
A good fit
One of the best things you can do if you want to become more efficient on the bike is to get it properly fitted. Getting a trusted bike fitter to fine-tune your machine to your own measurements and flexibility will enable you to balance comfort and power to maximum effect.
The lighter side
The less your bike weighs, the less effort it takes to propel it, which means a lighter bike will go faster for the same amount of effort. It’s not just the frame to think about either; lighter wheels in particular are a rewarding upgrade. But before you go spending too much money on high-end kit, don’t forget that the less weight = faster riding equation applies to you too!
Aero is mint
Aerodynamic advantage is big business in cycling these days, from deep-section wheels and aero frames, to vent-free helmets and road race skinsuits. Taken to its natural conclusion, it could be that a trip to the wind tunnel is the best cash you could ever spend on going faster.
Strong legs are obviously key to fast cycling but if you want to get the absolute best from yourself then your mustn’t neglect your core. It is this area of the body that provides the foundation for your pedal stroke. A strong core will help eliminate upper body movement, meaning more of your energy goes into the pedals. See the tips below and start training your core.
Get a training plan
Riding your bike will make you better at riding your bike, but unless you have structure to your riding, you will quickly peak. Any training plan should be progressive, varied and targeted to your ambitions. If you’re hoping to set some sportive bests this season, check out our training plans here.
Quick and simple ways to improve your core at home
On your back, knees bent, feet on the floor, lightly support your head with your finger tips. Push your lower back into the floor then crunch up by lifting your shoulders; head up, neck relaxed, no higher than 30 degrees. Come up to a count of three, hold for a count of two and lower, keeping control, for a count of three. Do 10 to 15 slow, controlled reps.
Adopt a press-up position but support your weight on your forearms and elbows. Engage your abdominals and try to hold in a position where there is a straight line from the top of your head to your heels – no sagging. Maintain strict form and hold the static position for 30 to 60 seconds.
Start on all fours and concentrate on keeping your back flat and your abdominals engaged. Once you’re stable and happy with your position, lift your right hand up and forward and extend your right leg up and back. Pause in the ‘up’ position, return slowly to the starting position and repeat using the opposite arm and leg. Alternate for 20 reps on each side.
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