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Recommended core exercises?

stu-bimstu-bim Posts: 406
Superman - lie face flat and raise arms and legs as if flying like superman. Hold for 10 seconds rest and repeat. Build up amount of time held. This will strengthen your lower back.

Scorpion - again lie flat on ground with arms outstretched and bring right heel to left side on ground by rotating from a little under your arm pits. Hold for a delay and do left leg to right side. Slowly with no jerking movements. This will loosen and strengthen your back.

Good mornings - using a broom handle resting over the back of your shoulders bend so as if trying to touch your toes but keeping your back arched and bending at the hips. Mostly a glutes and hip exercise but these muscles all work in tandem with the lower back muscles. You can work up to using weight but the basic exercise is a good stretch also.

A gym is not really needed to strengthen your core muscles as there are plenty of exercises that most people should be able to do that they can't. I had been in gym years and would have had decent strength in most of the common exercises, 120kg bench and 160kg squat (not necessarily strong for the weight I was). But since starting training in crossfit I have realised some exercises I am really poor at. So far gotten better at them but exercises like burpees really tax your fitness and basic strength. Who would have thought getting onto the ground and back up again would be an exercise.
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  • Your back will be sore because your core is weak, not because their is something wrong with your back or just your back is weak.

    The above exercises will sort you right out
  • stu-bimstu-bim Posts: 406
    And to reverse the pull of the others above

    Cat stretch - On all fours puch centre of back as high as possible, impersonate a pissed off cat.

    Do 15 mins combined of the above a few times a week or even each day and your back will thank you immensly
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  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,729
    Hi all

    Struggling to find any good info on the web that isn't written by someone with an interest in selling stuff.

    As I'm still getting horrendous back pain, starting after about an hour and getting progressively worse until it's almost unbearable after 4-5 hours, I think it's time I start doing some core work. It does seem strange that I've not suffered much before this month, but I have ramped up my training volume significantly higher than ever before, so that could be the reason.

    Thing is, most of the 'core' exercises people use tend to focus on the abdomen, whereas I can definitely feel it's the muscles in my back that are working hard and getting exhausted.

    So does anybody have any really good exercises for strengthening the back? I don't have access to a gym at the moment but could splash out if necessary.

    Luke

    Have you had this investigated by a doctor, or a physio? If not, I would. Assuming your position is correct (and I don't have any reason to suspect that it isn't) then that much pain (or indeed any pain) is not normal. Go get it checked.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,729
    Your back will be sore because your core is weak, not because their is something wrong with your back or just your back is weak.

    The above exercises will sort you right out

    Why would his core be weak?
  • LegendLustLegendLust Posts: 1,022
    This is a good book

    http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/97 ... tAodZjoAEw

    Some good core exercises in here. If you can get to a gym, Squats are a very good recommendation.

    The plank and side planks are a core strength must-do

    http://www.mensfitness.com/training/los ... ronger-abs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cRAFji80CQ
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    If the problem is caused by increasing your training load too quickly, additional training may not be the answer.
  • is your bike set up correct? or it could just be that your muscles need some time to adjust to the additional time (?) spent training
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  • FatTedFatTed Posts: 1,205
    If you did not have back pain before when you cycled, and you do now, probably your position on the bike has changed.
    perhaps your saddle has slipped back on the rails?
    Cant see any harm in doing some core exercises.
  • city_boycity_boy Posts: 1,616
    Imposter wrote:
    Hi all

    Struggling to find any good info on the web that isn't written by someone with an interest in selling stuff.

    As I'm still getting horrendous back pain, starting after about an hour and getting progressively worse until it's almost unbearable after 4-5 hours, I think it's time I start doing some core work. It does seem strange that I've not suffered much before this month, but I have ramped up my training volume significantly higher than ever before, so that could be the reason.

    Thing is, most of the 'core' exercises people use tend to focus on the abdomen, whereas I can definitely feel it's the muscles in my back that are working hard and getting exhausted.

    So does anybody have any really good exercises for strengthening the back? I don't have access to a gym at the moment but could splash out if necessary.

    Luke

    Have you had this investigated by a doctor, or a physio? If not, I would. Assuming your position is correct (and I don't have any reason to suspect that it isn't) then that much pain (or indeed any pain) is not normal. Go get it checked.

    Have to agree with Imposter about getting it checked out. Backs are complex things and any weakness in the posterior chain or core could show as back pain. I used to suffer lower back pain and it was cured by strengthening and stretching my hamstrings and calves.
    If you have lost faith in your doctor I would suggest seeking out a decent sports physio and getting them to check you out.
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  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    I've been doing core work pretty consistently since starting cycling and imo it's had a positive effect.

    Leaving aside the debate as to whether or not it helps generate more power it simply means I feel better, have never suffered from core related aches/pains despite doing some pretty extreme rides and, being honest, it's nice to look in a mirror and see a well toned tum.

    Past few months I have been using this book (recommended by Audax UK, which sort of makes sense, doing a 600 is pretty challenging to your body, core included.)
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tom-Danielsons-Core-Advantage-Strength/dp/193403097X

    I am afraid you have to put to one side the fact that its endorsed by a doper.

    The content is quite simply superb, 100% focussed on cycling. It starts with a comprehensive overview of the physiology explaining exactly what the "core" actually is and giving pretty full analysis of all the factors that may cause problems which would be useful to the OP. If you do seek professional advice I would suggest taking this book along as whoever you consult should be able to point to the appropriate page highlighting your problem and this will help understand it much better.

    It then gives a full set of drills to carry out. They are 3 levels of progressive difficulty and within each level there are 5 different routines focusing on different aspects.

    One very good thing is that all the exercises require no equipment and can be done in a confined space. I wish I had had this back when I was doing a lot of business travel, the workouts are perfect if you are stuck in some bleak hotel with no gym.

    I thought I was pretty OK core wise when I first started using the book. I could do umpteen sit ups and hold a plank for 4 minutes. So I jumped into level 2 and got a rude shock as I failed big time. Since the exercises cover a much wider area than the traditional "core" they are very hard work. Not only do they build "strength" they also develop flexibility so obviating the need for a separate routine of stretching.

    If you buy this book, start on level 1 and work through to level 3 by next spring I'd pretty much guarantee you will look and feel better. Hopefully you will also have sorted out any core related niggles and/or prevented new ones. And you may even feel more powerful when riding a bike.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • I've started going through the Yoga vids on Youtube that Road.cc did.

    search road cc yoga and you will find them.

    Seems to cover all the back issues and core strength/flexibility that will help. The vids are a bit lame but once you have worked out which ones you want to do you wont need to suffer them anymore. Don't let the "yoga" title put you off its just stretching really.
  • I think a lot of back pain is caused more by tight hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors than a lack of core strength. Make sure you stretch those regularly.
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    I think a lot of back pain is caused more by tight hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors than a lack of core strength. Make sure you stretch those regularly.

    Yes. In fact if you only do "core" drills that focus on the abs this can in itself be counter productive as you end up with imbalanced muscle groups that could cause issues.

    The reason I rate the "Core Advantage" book so highly is because it recognises this and the exercises in it work the whole body which is why, if you are used to just doing situps and the like as I was you will likely find them hard to start off with.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • FatTedFatTed Posts: 1,205
    Good, when my back starts to hurt it has always been my saddle slipping.
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    Touch wood, problem solved. Moved my saddle about 1cm forward before leaving today, and back was fine after 3 hours, and only slightly sore after 4.5. Definitely more weight on my hands though, might need to do some experimenting, but glad I finally escaped the torture of the bad back.

    Nice to hear, it's amazing how only small adjustments to bike can have effects good or bad.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
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