Video: A Simple Core Workout to Build Strength in Quarantine

Apr 4, 2020
by Jonny Thompson  

Here's some core exercises you can do everyday to build core strength whilst stuck at home!
You should know what the best core exercises are... Why? Many riders don’t understand the principals of how to train their core effectively and without it causing pain. Pain isn’t always a good sign, and you certainly shouldn’t use it as an indication of good training.

“Beach abs” will not help you ride better. In fact, if you over train a particular part of your core you will very likely suffer lower back issues. So crunches are out, isometric holds are in. Yes, we have some more dynamic movements for you too, but the foundations should be built first.

What are the best core exercises?
The primary function of your core is to ensure your spine remains aligned. The stresses of riding inevitably put more demand on that ability. Ultimately, if you are unable to hold your position your structure is compromised. This will leave you in a suboptimal, and potentially dangerous state. For that reason, we prioritise isometric holds as the foundation of core strength.

You should consider starting with the core 3 movements:

Plank
Side Plank
Bird Dog

These 3 cover all bases and are reasonably simple to execute. After watching the video you should be able to train these holds and improve your ability without any danger or need for further guidance.

How do you improve?
Simply holding these positions is at the very least boring. If you are serious about improving you should consider sticking to a plan. This way you can see improvement and continually make progress. Here's our suggestion;

Time yourself in each of the holds and record each of those times. Then on the following day note 75% of the time of each, complete 1-3 rounds rotating through all of the movements sticking vigilantly to the times. You can continue this style daily, systematically increasing the time of each hold.

Here's an example:

Jonny holds a plank for 2 minutes, a side plank each side for 1 minute and a bird dog each side for 40 seconds. *Note here that you would take the shortest time of each side.*

Jonny’s next session would be 3 rounds of 1:30 front plank, 45 seconds each side plank, 30 seconds each side bird dog. Rest should be only enough to recover between movements.

After 2-3 sessions each of the times can increase by 5-10 seconds.

Are there any more core movements you should consider?
Yes…

Once you feel you are proficient with the holds you can spice things up a little and add more dynamic movements. Our favourite 2 are shown in the video, please watch it. These will help you handle more extreme stresses, especially riding more gnarly terrain. If you feel you are ready to integrate these dynamic movements into your training you can alternate them between the sessions described earlier.

What to do next...
We're all stuck at home right now and not allowed to ride, so why not make the most of the time and improve your strength with simple movements? We hope the information we have given you really helps, but we know you could do more. There are 2 programs you should seriously consider trying – Fit4Racing and Fit4Riding. They are designed to meet the needs of riders just like you.

Take a look at our website for more awesome free workouts for mountain bikers - Fit4Racing

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29 Comments

  • 89 0
 After 15 seconds of plank i start to vibrate like nokia 3310
  • 6 0
 Oh good its not just me. A minute plank for me looks like 45 seconds of seizure and 15 seconds of halfway decent exercising.
  • 6 0
 When I began doing it that’s how it ended up for me too. I didn’t give up, now I can do a plank well over 4min
  • 6 0
 Also, I’ve been doing all theses exercises for the last 5 years, huge impact on my riding
  • 3 0
 @605endurbro: In that order?!
  • 1 0
 @Linkpin: Hell I wish
  • 2 0
 @freerabbit: 4 min is my personal best. Also, what is a "plank"?
  • 7 3
 Face covering won't work with that beard style

www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/pdfs/FacialHairWmask11282017-508.pdf

Thanks for the workout from stuck-at-home everywhere
  • 1 0
 That’s the best government document I’ve ever seen. Thanks for sharing
  • 7 0
 @Jgallegos335: Isn't it? I drew a line around my face covering and then shaved 1cm inside it. It's a new beard style, I call it the "F%&*ing apocalypse"
  • 1 0
 Thanks for that. 4 weeks at home and I will become a zorro now! Much more to try...
  • 1 0
 @Mtmw: photos please
  • 7 0
 The „toothbrush“, so that’s what we’re calling it now. Here in Germany that one still goes by another name.
  • 1 0
 L-sits. Get practicing those if you can, has to be one of the best core exercises out there, really though but definitely worth it
  • 2 0
 I prefer walking planks but tnats a good workout nevertheless.
  • 2 0
 I think I got the same couch. Greeet taste Johnny!
  • 3 0
 How do you nou know the taste of your couch? You must have cabin fever?
  • 2 0
 I have a same lamp at home so I guess that’s a good start for me.
  • 2 0
 Would not recommend the gesture at 3:03 though... Huhaha
  • 4 1
 Just go pick up a shovel
  • 3 0
 Was he speaking english?
  • 1 1
 I’ve seen some kooks on the hill who need to increase their ball size, has this gobbledygook speaking chap got anything for those poor souls ?
  • 2 1
 I’ve seen you on the hill Crazy9 and from watching you down B line I’d say your rocking a set of beef curtains in ya Troy Lees
  • 1 2
 @Brev: You are actually the biggest kook I’ve ever seen on the hill. Easy does it pussy.
  • 3 6
 He, who heard the sound of thy holy trumpet, and took not warning. He hath clearly wandered too far from the word of God. And Cornelius Bernard Hatcher, your hour has come. Let's get it on, Big Boy. It's time to get back on the path.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the exercises, definitely worth checking out!
  • 1 0
 Flippin’ Hell, his accent was all over the shop ????
  • 1 0
 Thanks for sharing!Smile
  • 1 1
 I can't do any of these due to a degenerating L5 .......

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