Power to the Pedals
Building Strength and Power for Time Trials
the exercises listed below, check out your local fitness center, they may offer classes for learning more exercises that will help to strengthen your core.
Crunches (abdominals) Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Press your lower back into the floor. Extend your arms and place your hands on your thighs. Exhale and crunch forward 3-5 inches. Keep your head in a neutral position; don't let your chin move toward your chest! To increase the level of difficulty, crunches can be done on a stability ball instead of the floor. As you become more adept at using the stability ball for crunches you can begin to bring your feet closer together thus increasing the instability factor and recruiting more core muscles.
Prone bridge (also known as elBows and Toes) Lying on your stomach on a mat, balance on the tips of toes and elbows while attempting to maintain a straight line from heels to head. Start with 20-30 second efforts, rest 30 seconds and repeat. Work your way up to 4 or 5 repeats of 30-sec each.
Lateral Bridge (obliques) In a sideways position on the floor, balance on one elbow and the side of one foot while attempting to keep the body aligned in a straight line. Be sure to concentrate on the pelvic position - keep it all aligned. Start with only 10-15 sec, and gradually increase to 4 repeats of 30 sec on each side.
Stability Ball Trunk Extension (low back) Lie face down on a stability ball with your knees slightly flexed and your legs spread out for balance. Place your arms next to the body, off to the side (less resistance), or overhead (more resistance). Begin with your trunk flexed, with tension in the muscles that run on either side of the spine. Pull your shoulder blades together and down toward your buttocks as you begin to lift your torso off the ball. Slowly extend one vertebra at a time. Hold and then slowly lower your trunk back to its original start position. Repeat 10-20 times.
Stability Ball Hip Extension and Leg Curl (low back and hamstrings) Lie on your back on the floor and place your lower legs on a stability ball. Put your hands flat on the floor at your sides. Push your hips up so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Without pausing, pull your heels toward you and roll the ball as close as possible to your butt. Pause, then reverse the motion-roll the ball back until your body is in a straight line, then lower your back to the floor and repeat.
On-the-bike strength training
During the off-season you can develop a solid strength base in the gym, however, strength training alone will not make you a better time trialist. By adding on-the-bike resistance training to your program, you will transfer the strength gains from the gym to pedal power. The combination of a well-designed strength training program and on-the-bike strength training will maximize your potential.