Best way to strengthen the abs

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Re: Best way to strengthen the abs

Postby simonn » Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:45 pm

zill wrote:Ok, I get it now.

Here are some demonstrations to exercise the core.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVct9di8wlE

I'm a person of simplicity and some of the exercises look challenging to perform. I am tempted to just do as many push ups as possible and nothing else. Is that a good idea?


These are all the sorts of things you do in a pilates or dynamic yoga class. The difference being is that (if they are not complete numpties) the instructor will correct any flaws in your technique so you do the exercise properly. It's very hard to learn this stuff from youtube - especially because, for example, if you do not have a strong core to begin with you will likely feel fatigue in your lower back rather than feeling your core switch on even if you have good technique.

Even better, go and see a personal trainer. A few sessions with them and you'll learn what you need to do properly. Second best health investment I ever made (the first was buying a second hand road bike - off this forum).
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by BNA » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:52 pm

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Re: Best way to strengthen the abs

Postby zill » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:52 pm

What about just standing up to pedal on a 10%+ gradient hill and do many repeats. Does that help strengthen abs?
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Re: Best way to strengthen the abs

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:19 pm

It must do something because after some really hard climbing rides, 2500m + ascent gain, I sometimes get ab cramps.
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Re: Best way to strengthen the abs

Postby Xplora » Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:06 pm

You don't need to strengthen your "abs". You need to strengthen your "core", which is everything that is closer than the bicep and quadricep. If your back isn't strong, your abs will be weak to balance that. Your neck will be weak as well.

I feel like you're missing the point of this. Your core ensures that you get effective power to the pedals, because without a strong core, you can't drive through the pedal stroke that well. Your leg has to push against something, true? It goes down into the pedal, but pushes up against your pelvis, then your abs and back, through your upper torso, then through the arms which leverage against the handlebars.

You've been quite clear about your goal to ride faster. You won't get strong core muscles under the "ride lots" protocol. A bunch of 10% riding will activate the right stuff, but you'll overdevelop some areas, and will lose the horsepower from the others. Worse, you get injured. :idea:
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Re: Best way to strengthen the abs

Postby zill » Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:35 pm

Xplora wrote:You don't need to strengthen your "abs". You need to strengthen your "core", which is everything that is closer than the bicep and quadricep. If your back isn't strong, your abs will be weak to balance that. Your neck will be weak as well.

I feel like you're missing the point of this. Your core ensures that you get effective power to the pedals, because without a strong core, you can't drive through the pedal stroke that well. Your leg has to push against something, true? It goes down into the pedal, but pushes up against your pelvis, then your abs and back, through your upper torso, then through the arms which leverage against the handlebars.

You've been quite clear about your goal to ride faster. You won't get strong core muscles under the "ride lots" protocol. A bunch of 10% riding will activate the right stuff, but you'll overdevelop some areas, and will lose the horsepower from the others. Worse, you get injured. :idea:


That makes sense. I think my core is pretty strong anyway since I can deliver a powerful punch with my fists.
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Re: Best way to strengthen the abs

Postby simonn » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:41 am

singlespeedscott wrote:It must do something because after some really hard climbing rides, 2500m + ascent gain, I sometimes get ab cramps.


It will do something, certainly more than sitting on the sofa :), but it is not targeted. If you have no/little core strength then yes you will get a little stronger, but if you have a strong core and then all you do is cycle your core will probably get weaker - it did, measurably, for me when I stopped going to yoga and pilates for 3 months at the beginning of the year which resulted in, for example, being unable to hold a plank for as long as I could previously etc.

Then again, you do not need a particularly strong core to be a good cyclist.

On a side note, the fact that you get ab cramps, rather than getting lower back ache is a good thing because it shows you are taking the pressure with your core rather than back.
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Re: Best way to strengthen the abs

Postby singlespeedscott » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:43 pm

I think my core is ok. I have been doing the same routine of push-ups, sit-ups, planks, back raises and chin-ups for the last 24years :lol:
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Re: Best way to strengthen the abs

Postby Grev » Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:20 pm

Slightly different direction, but did not want to start a new thread, and this one was the closest I could find.

I have been reading "Se7en Steps to Strengthen Your Core". A great read but does challenge some existing widely held assumptions.

Can any of you Gurus comment on this book’s credibility?
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Re: Best way to strengthen the abs

Postby MattyK » Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:24 pm

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