When you’re out riding, you’re battling gravity, your bodyweight, and wind. So to be more stable on the bike, you want to get a little unstable when you train. A great way to do this is with a TRX or other suspension trainer. So, Dane Miklaus, C.S.C.S., founder of , created this TRX abs workout to help build a strong core and boost your endurance.
“When using a suspension trainer like a TRX, the mechanisms of force that you’re battling, gravity and body weight, are the same as on a bike,” explains Miklaus.
During most traditional resistance exercises when you’re standing, sitting, lying, or using equipment, much of the stability is taken out of the picture—meaning your core doesn’t work as hard. When using a suspension trainer, every single exercise requires your core to be the primary mechanism of stability, says Mikalus. And in a lot of moves, those lower leg stabilizing and deep hip muscles are working as well. So the functional training moves done with a TRX directly benefit the muscles you need to be a stronger, faster cyclist.
How to do it: Perform each exercise for the specified number of reps listed below. Complete three rounds. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds between each round. You’ll need a TRX or other suspension trainer and sturdy place to mount it. Each move is demonstrated by Miklaus so you can learn proper form.
Face the anchor point with your straps at mid-length. Keep your arms and legs as straight as possible and your core engaged the entire time. Start with straps near your hips, arms straight, palms facing back. Then, lean back on your heels as far as possible: In one fluid motion, bend arms to 90 degrees then extend them straight out from shoulders so you are hanging below the straps. With core tight, reverse the motion to pull yourself back up to a standing position: Bend arms to 90 degrees, then extend them straight down at your sides. Complete 15 reps.
Start facing toward the floor with your arms straight, hands holding the straps palms back, and toes planted on the floor, like you’re in an elevated plank position. Move your left arm forward and your right arm backward. Then move your left arm backward and your right arm forward. Continue to alternate. Complete 15 reps on each side (30 total reps).
Start facing the floor with your arms straight, hands holding the straps palms back, and toes planted on the floor, like you’re in an elevated plank position. Balancing on your left toes, lift right foot off the ground and extend the leg straight out behind you. Then, with core tight, bring right knee to right elbow. Slowly extend leg back out to return to starting position and repeat. Complete 15 reps then repeat on left side.
Plank Knee Tuck to Pike
Set straps to mid-calf. Kneel on the ground, face away from the anchor point, and place both feet into the foot cradles. With arms extended straight and hands under shoulders, lift knees off the ground into a high plank position with feet elevated. Keeping core tight, pull knees in toward your chest. Return to high plank position, then lift hips up toward the sky. Slowly lower back to plank position. Complete 10 reps.
Set straps to mid-calf. Kneel on the ground, face away from the anchor point, and place both feet into the foot cradles. Place forearms on the ground, shoulders over elbows, and lift knees up into a forearm plank position with feet elevated. Shift upper body forward then back. Complete 10 reps.
Start facing the floor with your feet in the straps and hands planted firmly on the floor, like you’re in high plank position with feet in the foot cradles. Engage your core, bend your knees, and bring them both to your left elbow. Straighten your knees, and in one sweeping motion, swing them around to your right side, bend your knees, and bring them both to your right elbow. Complete 10 reps on each side.