When you think about core workouts, exercises such as sit-ups, planks, and leg lifts probably come to mind. And while these exercises have a place in your routine, your core workout wouldn’t be complete without adding rotational exercises to it as well.
That’s because these exercises are essential for maintaining stability on the bike and healthy mobility of your spine and core. Not only that, but a strong core also helps aid your other muscles, like the power-producing quads in your legs, to pedal fast and powerfully during your rides.
“The core muscles enhance bike control and stability which allow cyclists to ride efficiently and faster,” says Madison Russell, NASM-certified trainer at . “In addition to better performance, more core strength helps prevent injuries to the back and hips.”
That’s why Dane Miklaus, C.S.C.S., founder of , created a workout that showcases variations of woodchop exercises, a staple anti-rotational core movement.
How to do it:
Perform the circuit below for a total of 3 rounds. For beginners, perform each exercise for 20 seconds. As you get stronger, build up to 30 seconds per exercise. As you become more advanced, challenge yourself to perform each move for 10 additional seconds, building up to 60 seconds. Rest 10 seconds between each exercise. Each exercise is demonstrated by , C.P.T., so you can learn proper form.
You will need an exercise ball, a slam ball, a set of dumbbells, and a resistance band with an anchor point. An exercise mat is optional.
Sit-Up to Half Chop
Lie faceup, feet planted on the floor with your knees bent, arms extended up straight up over your chest pointed toward sky, holding a dumbbell with both hands. Perform a sit-up by engaging abs and slowly lifting your shoulder blades off the floor as you raise your torso, keeping neck long. As you sit up, rotate torso to the right so that the dumbbell comes across your body and lands near right hip. Reverse the movement back to starting position, then repeat rotating to the left. Continue alternating sides.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart while holding dumbbell down and center below your stomach with a slight bend in knees. Bring the dumbbell to right hip, then, keeping arms straight, swing it across your body over to above left shoulder with control. Pivot right foot as you rotate left. Return hands back to right hip. Continue for the allotted amount of time, then repeat on the opposite side.
Stability Ball Core Rotation
Lie faceup with back on a stability ball, feet planted on the floor with your knees bent, arms extended up straight up over your chest pointed toward sky, holding a dumbbell with both hands. Rotate torso as much as you can to the right (while maintaining your balance), then immediately rotate torso to the left as much as you can. Continue alternating for the allotted amount of time.
Slam Ball Woodchop
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding slam ball at left hip. Reach dumbbell upward at a diagonal, arms straight out in front of you, so it’s in the air on right side of body. Bring dumbbell back down to left hip. Use left foot as pivot point. Continue for the allotted amount of time, then repeat on the opposite side.
Standing Core Rotation With Band
Stand upright next to a resistance band that’s anchored to a wall so your right side is facing it and grab the band with your right hand. Bring the band to the middle of your torso and hold onto the handle with both hands. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Pull the band away from you to the left, rotating your torso to follow your arms. Pivot right foot as you rotate left. Return to starting position. Continue for the allotted amount of time, then repeat on the opposite side.