I work really hard to not present any “this one little trick will make you faster” types of reporting, but here’s a protocol with some solid science behind it that can make you faster on the bike in short time.
First the science. Kate Wiseman’s dissertation paper at the Durban University of Technology showed that cyclists achieved a 10% improvement in a 1.5-km time trial following just four weeks of a simple core strengthening protocol.
The findings make sense. By strengthening the core and improving neural connections to the glutes and stabilizers you can improve power transfer and decrease movement in the saddle.
Here’s the protocol:
Core Strength Protocol
This is the core strengthening protocol used in the paper:
For four weeks, complete this set of core strengthening exercises 5 times per week:
- Glute Bridge
- Side Plank on both sides
- Bird Dog
For each you will complete 10 repetitions of 10 second holds with 5 seconds of rest between repetitions.
That’s it. The protocol is pretty simple with just 5 exercises and a total time of only 12 minutes.
The author of the study showed that amateur athletes showed 10% improvements in their 1.5km time trial time with this cycling core strength protocol. This benefit is likely due to better power transfer and less movement in the saddle.