6-Min Abtastic Workout (Core + Pelvic Floor Friendly!)
6 Core Exercises For People Who Don't Have Time For Core Exercises
The next time you need to collect leaves or clear off your porch, treat it like a workout and keep your core engaged with every movement. Julie Bates, Body Geometry Fit coach at Specialized, says that like cycling, "manual labor requires core strength and posture to protect you from injury." To build your best core, she recommends focusing on more than just your six-pack. "It's crucial to be aware of other core muscles, and how they play into becoming a better cyclist." For example, raking and sweeping use your obliques, which help when you're pulling on the handlebars.
You don't even have to get out of bed to try this yoga-inspired move. First, lie on your back. Then pull your stomach in while tightening your abdominal muscles, and tilt your pelvis so there's no space under your back. Hold this position until it feels difficult, and then release. If you get tight and uncomfortable after long hours on the bike, this exercise can help gently strengthen your back and relieve minor pain. Bates also suggests another step, which involves lifting your pelvis while your feet stay planted (as pictured above). This will help strengthen the small pelvic muscles that stabilize you on the bike.
MORE:Build A Better Core To Align Your Spine
Try to stay conscious of tightening your abs and sitting up straight in your office chair; you might be surprised how hard it is to sustain. Shoot for a few minutes at a time, then work your way up—and be aware of when you're cheating.
Engaging your core muscles to prevent slouching decreases the risk of back pain and muscle imbalances—and while it won't necessarily get you that six-pack, you'll be building deep stability, which will cross over to the bike. Bates recommends swapping your desk chair for an exercise ball for added challenge and benefits. She says the ball can make you sit up straighter, which forces you to use your core muscles to stabilize yourself. Bates adds that it's "a very efficient way to work!"
MORE:Unstable Surfaces And Core Exercises
Even travel provides an opportunity for a workout. Keeping your body upright and your core engaged will make heavy luggage work your muscles as if you were at the gym. As always, posture is key, especially if you have a duffel bag or messenger bag—make sure to wear the strap across your chest to prevent slouching to one side, which can create pinches or imbalances. Bates adds that "it's extra important to engage the core when twisting the body to lift luggage onto racks."
MORE:Essential Bike Travel Tips
Playing with children is a great way to have fun and get a quick workout.
Video: Best 5 Morning Exercises To Do Before Work. Jump Start Your Day With This Quick Fitness Routine.
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