By Winston Endall
You know you need a strong core to ride well but no one wants to be inside when the weather is good. So what happens to most people is that as their fitness increases their core strength decreases due to neglect. This doesn’t have to happen. Regardless of the type of riding you do the following workout will help improve all aspects of your riding fitness.
Some workouts are super scientific with specific intensities and interval durations. This isn’t like that but will still get you great results.
Are you ready to find out this secret?
Pick two rides per week on a rolling to hilly route and do the following:
Ride every Climb out of the saddle from bottom to top
You don’t have to attack all the climbs, just do them out of the saddle dancing on the pedals. On longer climbs the dancing can become a slow trudge but keep it up. Work to keep your hips over the bottom bracket and don’t rock the bike excessively. Long climbs will build muscular endurance, while repetive short climbs will build recovery ability. The toughest rides are ones that have both long climbs and short rollers that have you getting out of the saddle every few minutes.
When you get to the point that you are too fatigued to keep good form out of the saddle, then cut the workout short. You don’t have to stop riding but go back to a normal seated approach because you won’t get anymore benefit from standing. As well, you will reduce the risk of injury due to bad form.
I know this sounds too simple to work but trust me. This comes from experience on the single speed and fixed gear where you have no choice but to climb out of the saddle. Initially you will find the core and upper body limiting your performance but after a few weeks the muscular endurance will increase allowing you to keep on the gas for the whole climb. You will find this fitness carries over to when you are seated. While you sometimes see fat single speeders, all of the muscles underneath are strong.
A bonus to this type of training is that it is easier on your knees than hard riding while seated. A second bonus is that standing this much is easy on your butt. You don’t get a sore butt or numb crotch if you aren’t seated.