Riding a bike is a great way of getting cardio exercise in to your daily routine.
It is very effective, whether it is done on the open road or a stationary indoor area. It helps work the body muscles such as the hip flexors, calf muscles, hip flexors and quadriceps.
It helps a person focus on the lower abdominal area of the body. It activates an area of the body known as rectus abdominus. This is the muscle-sheath at the front where people mainly refer to as the six-pack area.
However, when a person cycles the abdomen relaxes as the hip flexors are working. This means that cycling does not really help the abs.
Nevertheless, you can use cycling to work on your abs.
This is by adding a little embellishment to your workout. Use the inactive nature of the core to perform some isometrics. The following are some of the isometrics you could apply.
Improve your Abs with these 4 tips for riding
Bracing: Tighten your core tummy muscles
Tighten your abs through bracing the same way you would if you were expecting to be punched in the stomach. Hold this position as you cycle. This is one of the strategies used when you perform a plank to make it more effective. This is one of the strategies used when you want to go about your core exercises properly. Make sure that you gather all the strength you have to squeeze these muscles. Physical activity experts refer to this as abdominal bracing. It is responsible for engaging your obliques and rectus abs.
Posture: Try not to slump as you pedal
This is mainly as you stabilize yourself through holding the handlebar. Make sure that your tummy is tucked in and your shoulders are back. A support6ed spine helps you protect your lower back and helps with engaging the core.
Abdominal hollowing: Focus on your breathing
It engages the transverse abdominis. This muscle wraps around the core similar to a waistband. It helps protect your internal organs from damage by tucking them into the abdomen cavity. Engaging this muscle helps deal with lower back pain. In order to go about this exercise, you need to draw back your navel toward your lower spine. Make sure that it goes as far back as possible as you cycle. As you do this, make sure that you breathe lightly and hold this position for the longest you can. However, if it is extremely strenuous make sure that you do as much as you can. Do not strain your body.
Crunches: Try this while upright on a bike
The modern version of this exercise can be performed while cycling a bike. It is done by using one hand to support yourself on the handlebars. With one hand, bring the elbow to the direction of your opposite thigh as it peaks the rotation. Release this position and do it again. If you do about fifteen reps of this exercise, you will be good.
Let us know how you get on
Cycling can have a really positive effect on your abs if you tweak your riding style. It’s not something that is suitable for all the times you are out on your bike but with a bit of effort, you can see some great results. Don’t forget to keep it fun and after all your body will reward you for looking after it 🙂
If you are interested in some extra reading here are some links to resources on abs and cycling: