Having recently finished my first stint as Spin Coach I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about, planning and delivering the various sessions. In the most part sessions are generally focused on speed and/or strength with an underlying theme on how that is developed.
In looking through many an article I came across one on British Cycling that discussed stability and strength. As those of you that have been part of my recent sessions will attest to I bang on about engaging you core and lower back to promote stability and reduce pressure through your shoulders, arms and wrists.
In a somewhat “buzzword” style British Cycling have moved away from this trend of Core Stability and have almost re-branded it as Functional Trunk Strength and Robustness. The gist of this can be seen in the diagram above. Basically, the red tip is your cycling specific fitness and the green base your relevant strength (A). If you were to focus solely on your bike fitness your point would be higher but your base would remain largely unchanged – this creates a tall thin pyramid which could quite easily topple (B) and toppling translates to poor recovery and even injury. If you include some relevant strength exercises you build a much bigger, wider & stonger base from which your cycling fitness can grow (C) – this wide, sturdy base not only represents you being stronger but also the ability to recover and stave off injury too.
Functional Trunk Strength = Cycling Specific Strength
Robustness = Capacity to absorb training and prevent injury
So what should I be doing?? Well, a quick Google will reveal an endless list of Planks, Side Planks, Squats, Weighted Exercises blah, blah, blah, blah. Now you could subscribe to a complicated list of exercises that, yes will no doubt benefit you, but may not be directly aiding your cycling specific strength. However, you could also approach one of the Club’s Level 2 coaches that are both personal trainers, Jane also being a fitness instructor and Paddy British Cycling Level 2 coach.
Whatever, you choose to do make sure you seek professional advice first as any exercise done badly is definitely not going to help. Below is British Cycling’s strength routine.