Here are some exercises that will help you build your core into those wash board abs we all love. Planks of any variety all build core. Each different version is working a slightly different area in your abdominal area. My favorite ones are done with a stability ball.
-Lay on the ball with your forearms in a praying position and touching the ball, and facing the ball/ground. Tighten your core and rotate the ball, with your forearms, forward, back, side, and side. Do this in 30-40 second reps, and then rest 10-15 seconds between. Maybe do 8-10 in a set and up to 3 sets.
- I also like to use a stability ball to do what we call ball pass. You lay flat on your back with the ball between your ankles. Keeping your legs straight and your arms straight, pass the ball from your feet to your hands by raising your legs and doing a small “crunch”. I also like to do these in timed reps. 30-40 seconds, 10-15 seconds rest, and 5 or 6 sets.
-My last one is called slow flutter kick. Lay flat on your back with your arms either straight up in a super man position or you can use them for help by placing them in the small of your back supporting that area. Slowly raise one leg at a time keeping them straight as if you are swimming freestyle or American crawl kick. Remember to engage your core and to use the speed that you do them as a tool. The slower you go the more deliberate you can be. The faster you go adds a bit of cardio to the exercise. Again you can use 30-40 second reps, 10-15 seconds of rest, and 3 to 4 sets.
Keep this in mind, the shorter your rest interval is and the longer your work interval, the greater your aerobic base will be. Short work intervals that are intense and a long rest period will help your speed. This is true on the bike, or while doing strength training. As a cyclist we can use this as a theme for all of our workouts. Slow forceful work periods build power and strength and faster ones tone.
I hope this can help you with your core and with exercise in general. A good personal trainer and or coach should understand what you need during which period of your training plans and schedule work out according to what you need.
The Lead Pack Cycling Group