Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
824 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We all know core strength is imperative for mountain biking and cycling in general, or at least I *hope* we all know. Over the years I've transitioned my core routine from doing lots of crunches, to doing less crunches and more planks, and now I've been really keen on the exercises promoted through Foundation Training, which are really yoga inspired poses and stretches aimed at strengthening the core. Ultimately my goal is to identify a set of exercises that I can do 3x a week to keep my back and spine healthy and keep injury at bay. And hopefully these exercises I can squeeze into a 30 minute workout.

When I was doing lots of crunches, I came to understand that dynamic exercises can actually put a great deal of strain on the back and that static exercises, like planks, are much better. So I started doing lots of planks. Then I came to understand that strengthening the abs without strengthening the corresponding back muscles creates muscle imbalances that can cause problems, and that ab strength is generally over-rated, so that's what led me to the Foundation routine. I've got the book and I do the "intense" workout.

So, I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts or opinions or experience regarding the exercises prescribed in Foundation Training, and ultimately, what set of exercises is considered sufficient to maintain core strength and stability for a MTB'er.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,293 Posts
Anything that can effectively isolate the core muscles and do so without putting undue stress on the spine is a good thing. Yoga is excellent in that regard.
 

·
Your bike sucks
Joined
·
2,193 Posts
Anything that can effectively isolate the core muscles and do so without putting undue stress on the spine is a good thing. Yoga is excellent in that regard.
^Agree. Yoga has a lot of benefits - a good routine will provide excellent core strength plus you may discover a lot of other positive change as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,083 Posts
Ultimately my goal is to identify a set of exercises that I can do 3x a week to keep my back and spine healthy and keep injury at bay. And hopefully these exercises I can squeeze into a 30 minute workout.
30 mins three times a week is a minimum.....for young healthy people older and less healthy will reuqire more...

Biking tends to build muscle imbalances.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,502 Posts
Every one has a slightly different physiology. What will make one person stronger will cause a repetitive motion injury in another. Seek knowledge and techniques by all means, but listen to your body to determine what is best for you. Each and every person seeking physical fitness has to find their own perfect work out.

Just because some random buff guy or athlete you admire says it worked for them does not mean it will for you.
 

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
35,404 Posts
Get into rock climbing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
Deadlifts of all varieties(suitcase, single leg, regular,) pull ups and asymmetrical pressing will work the muscles you that cycling leaves hanging. I've been mixing kettlebells with barbell work. I keep my workout short (around 1 hr max) and simple. I wouldn't train this way if I was racing but it complements cycling well for general health and fitness. Check out stuff from Pavel Tsatsouline.
 

·
> /dev/null 2&>1
Joined
·
3,824 Posts
Good thread, I'm taking phys therapy right now for a Intercostal strain from a bad crash followed by trail work (long story . . . One does not just ride past trail workers, right?).

Anyways, kept me off the bike for 3w. EVERYTHING you do aggravates it, even changing positions in your sleep. I'd been lifting legs and upper body religiously but neglected my core. I'm all about core from now!

Right I'm doing chops (high and low with rubber rehab bands, later with cable), and will get into planks and turkish get ups, and will probably try to get to the yoga class at the gym.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
What I've been doing is a combination of things off and on lately. After doing pull ups I will automatically drop into a pushup position on my fingertips and do at least as many pushups as I did pull ups, then burpee back up and do more pull ups. This is for upper body but core too. Another thing I like is to do dumbbell pushups where you are holding dumbells doing pushups alternating arms and mix pushups in between, with my feet on a balance ball. Maintaining form is the big core workout here. I also do sit-ups, one leg squats, and standing on a balance ball is a good workout too, just be careful, if you cant stand on it then start on your knees and build up to it. A little yoga and stretching stuff here and there as well works for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
824 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Overall this is a good book, and I agree with much of the philosophy, but I found that some of the exercises actually hurt my back. In particular, Supermans can be very bad for the back, and they haven't been shown to provide much benefit. So learning that led me to look for alternatives, then I found the Eric Goodman Foundation Training.

Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence: Eric Goodman, Peter Park, Lance Armstrong: 9781609611002: Amazon.com: Books

I've got to say that after doing the intense workout for a month, I've never felt stronger in my core.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
824 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Great timing on my behalf -- here I'm extolling the virtues of this book, then BOOM I'm knocked down with a severe lower back strain. I can't stand up straight or walk normal without major pain, and it takes me a good 5 minutes to get out of bed or out of a chair. No worries, Doc said it was "only muscular".

I pulled my back just after a hot lap at a race, riding single speed. I had the honour of the first lap, meaning I got stuck behind a zillion riders spinning away on their grannies while I slow pedaled up hill. Maybe that had something to do with it. Or maybe the fact that I hadn't been riding that much over the winter.

I still say it's a good book. But maybe there are some exercises that I'm not doing that I really should be doing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
I do weighted decline sit-ups and slow leg raises off the end of a flat bench with a 3 second pause at the bottom, these are also great for the hip flexors.
I also do high rep squats and deadlifts for the legs and lower back, as well as other shoulder and upper back work.
I think a full free weights workout program concentrating on strength and conditioning is essential to getting the most out of ur riding. Also, having some muscle mass, particularly on ur shoulders, chest and arms really helps to prevent serious injury and the chance of breaking bone during a crash.
 

·
9 lives
Joined
·
15,965 Posts
I've practiced Ashtanga yoga for years and benefited from the core strength, balance. 8 weeks ago I started Crossfit 5 times per week and I am seeing a fast and steady improvement in my overall strength. The exercises mentioned in other posts are all incorporated to master the snatch and clean and jerk Olympic lifts. As part of the training I'm using kettle bells, skipping, burpees, muscle ups, rings, medicine balls etc. I'm already seeing a difference on the bike (we're only able to ride once or twice a week and it's still winter conditions) I am curious to see how much my riding has improved for downhill season.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top