Some might think cycling only involves endurance and that the only training needed is well....sitting on your indoor trainer or going out on long rides and clocking the hours. Core training has to be one of the most beneficial training any cyclist can and should do. A strong core and good balance is not only beneficial for cyclists but is extremely important to non athletes as well. Balance is a natural movement category that many people are missing due to our increasingly desk-bound lifestyles.
Why core training?
- Improves balance and coordination
- Balance ensures better motor skills and reaction time
- Strength and steadiness that can contribute to injury prevention
- Mountain biking, especially XCO, involves a lot of balance and core strength to tame the demanding trails.
- Any sort of balance training should transfer over to your bike - a strong core means better bike handling skills over technical terrain, and gives you that extra edge to ride better when fatigue sets in.
- Core strength helps you keep moving at any age
Core training can be made up of sit-ups, squats, yoga ball exercises, crunches, planking and push-up planks. But during this #lockdown we thought something more fun would keep everyone entertained in the house! And you don't need special training equipment. We are talking about the balance board.
What Is a Balance Board?
A balance board is well, a board you balance on. It has a flat, hard surface on top with a rounded bottom (the bottom may or may not be attached to the actual board portion)
You then stand on the flat surface and work to create or maintain balance. When you use a balance board, you may end up looking a bit like a surfer on dry land, as you stand on the board and extend your arms out to help you stay centered. Falling is part of learning, we recommend you have someone stand in front of you to assist you with finding your balance on your DIY balance board when attempting it for the first time.
A DIY balance board is easy to make by gathering some things around the house: wooden plank, PVC pipe, netbal / basket ball (something with a smooth surface)
We came up with two fun DIY balance board ideas:
1. Wooden shower mat balance board - boredom= creativity
This is as basic as balance training gets. Look around for something that represents a skateboard deck or mini surfboard....a flat rectangle wooden plank would be great. For the rounded balancing part we made use of an old pvc pipe. A foam roller can work as well.