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09-26-2006, 07:55 AM
ASK THE TRAINER
OK - I've been trying to focus more on improving my overall balance while on the bike. Working on squeezing the tank and using more body english (BTW, this seems to be easier on a 200 than on a 525 :lol: ). What types of exercises and practice routines would you suggest to strengthen this and to be concentrate on so it translates to the bike?
Thanks in advance for your help!
09-26-2006, 06:52 PM
Great question, thanks for starting things up BV!
Many of us tire out during our rides, and this leads us to use more upper body to control the bike. Think of doing that as akin to driving a 4X4 without power steering. Not good!
We want to focus on core strength, and balance is an excellent skill to improve, no matter what level of riding you do.
A great exercise for the 'tank squeezers' is a balanced kneel on a stability ball. You will want to leave space between the knees as you climb on the ball, your feet coming together behind you, forming somewhat of a tripod of balance between the ball, your knees and feet. I would suggest using a chair or wall as a balance aid when first trying this exercise, until you are more familiar and comfortable with the movement of the ball. Once you master balancing, increase the time for more endurance. The key to this exercise is to use your upper inner thighs and rear end muscles to maintain your balance over the ball. These are the same muscles you use on the bike to squeeze the tank or seat. If you don't have a stability ball, I recommend this inexpensive and versitile piece of equipment for anyone. Typically a 65cm ball is adequate, but for those clydesdales over 6'5, you may want to purchase a 75cm ball.
Another very simple exercise to improve balance is a one legged stand. Standing on one leg, bring the other up in front of you, making sure the raised leg does not touch the support leg for balance. This is a good test of your basic balance. Holding the stance for increased time is a great way to challenge your ballance and the endurance of your legs and glutes (rear end). To increase the challenge, you can raise your knee higher, try closing your eyes, and adding more time.
These are just a few of the many varied exercises I use when training riders. I will always recommend when possible working with a professional when it comes to fitness, strength and nutrition. I encourage you to look at my site for basic information on my business and services in the southern california area, as well as my distance consulting programs. I will also screen a trainer for anyone interested in working with one outside the area.
Hope these are helpful, and of course BV, I'll be checking in with you soon to see how you're doing with these 2 new exercises :)
09-27-2006, 06:50 AM
Thanks Gretchen - I'll give it whirl & let you know how it goes. I have one of those exercise balls around here somewhere..... Probably ought to wear my helmet & pads while doing it!
Standing on one leg does that much good huh? Most of the time lately it feels like I don't have a leg to stand on! :roll:
09-27-2006, 08:57 AM
That's pretty cool stuff Gretchen. I'm out of shape but still have been doing core work and Cardio.
I do the one legged stand on the Bosu, half ball on plastic base and that does wonders for balance. I actually do all my stand up exercises on it too. Curls, lateral raises etc. I haven't done the ball squeeze but will definitely add that one to the routine. http://bosu.com/
Cardio question: I use an Elliptical machine and do 60 minutes a day. Is that too much and should I be mixing it up with other types of cardio work? If I jog on pavement I am susceptible to shin splints. I am close to the beach I'm sure the sand would be a great place to do some brisk walking.
09-27-2006, 01:50 PM
Using a BOSU as you do Joe is great! The bosu is my favorite training tool as a trainer!
For simplicity sake, and the fact that you're already accustomed to your elliptical, I'm going to give you a suggestion for that apparatus.
If you're currently setting the maching and going at a steady pace for 60 minutes, try interval training. You can acheive great benefits with a little more intensity, and do so in less time.
My typical interval starts with 5 minutes at a warm up pace. From there I do 5 minute segments. 4minutes are at a challenge pace, one minute at recovery pace. I keep the recovery pace minute the same through the entire session, but try to increase the challenge level with each segment. So on an elliptical, you could either increase your pace, or the resistance for the challenge period. I typically do 8-10 minutes of cooldown after the session.
Interval training is unique to each person, so it takes a try and see approach to find the right challenge level for your own goals. I'm sure you'll find with the right intensity, 30 minutes of interval training will be pretty intense!
09-27-2006, 01:54 PM
Thanks for the great info on the intensity training, I'll give it a try.
Another question about the cardio work on the Elliptical machine. Like I said I do 60 minutes, about 30 to 35 minutes into the routine by toes start to tingle and go a little numb and I try and flex them to get the circulation going. It seems to be more in my left foot but my right will do it too. I currently have no ACL ( complete tear 18 mos ago) whatsoever in my left leg but have great stability, I still plan on having it repaired sometime during this coming year. Could this be part of the problem for the left foot? I do still get some of the same sensation in right foot as I mentioned but not nearly as bad.
09-27-2006, 03:41 PM
I wish I had the answer to the numbness and tingling in the feet Joe. I have perfectly healthy joints up to my hips, but I get the same sensation in both feet after about 10 minutes on an elliptical. Thats why I rarely use one for my cardio.
I'm going to make the assumption its due to mechanics of the body, and probably body positioning on the machine. I've tried wearing different shoes to no avail.
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