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5 tools for cyclists to build their core and limit injuries

A lot of the issues we see during our bike fits could be put right with good off-the-bike sessions. Focusing on some cycling-specific, core exercises will not only help make you a better rider, but they will also reduce your risk of injury.

The key things to focus on are the exercises you’re not good at. Your limiting factors are the things that put you at the greatest risk of injury, so don’t just do the things you like, do the things you need to do.

Tools to build your core

It’s easiest to understand how to do exercises with diagrams and videos, and there are some great sources of information out there to help you.

  1. Get Set appGet Set is a free app available for iOS and Android. Created in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee, it gives example core exercises for all the Olympic sports, both summer and winter. The cycling exercises are explained clearly, and come with a video to help you get it right. They’re also split into levels so you can progress to more advanced exercises when you feel comfortable.
  2. Yoga and Pilates

Both of these make for great off-the-bike workouts. I often say it’s as if they’ve been designed with cyclists in mind as they focus almost entirely on the areas cyclists tend to be weak. The key areas to focus on are often hip flexors, hamstrings and pelvic stability muscles, all of which are covered in a good Yoga or Pilates class.

  1. YouTube Yoga

If you can’t make it to a class, then YouTube has some great videos that you can work through, such as this 35-minute class you can do in your own home with the GCN boys.

GCN also produced a video with Matt Rabin (Chiropractor for Team Garmin, as it was at the time of shooting) looking at improving core strength for cycling. It’s got a few interesting exercises in that you might not have seen before.

  1. Read all about it

There are several books that can help you put together a workout programme, including Yoga for cyclists by Lexie Williamson and Tom Danielson’s Core Advantage.

  1. Get a bike fit

The biomechanical assessment we do during our bike fits will help to identify any areas that you might need to focus on, so if you’re not sure, book in for a fit and we’ll help guide you further.