Monday, August 21, 2006

Dawg, Get On The Floor

While the tech geeks argue elsewhere about bike choice (btw, see these links (1, 2)-- the Babblemeister was there years ago, BTDT) here's some practical advice: Do Your Situps.

While you all may be blessed as cross season approaches with a large surplus of motivation, fitness, mojo and such you should keep in mind, humble-like, that a strong functioning back is always a limited resource. There's more than a few former strongmen forced to sit the bench like wussies due to jacked up spinal equipment -- for example your editor Funke. And it's not an age thing either.

So here's a few brief tips:

- Core strength is critical. Sit ups, crunches, back extensions, weights. Get in the gym now while there's still time pre-season.

- Good technique saves what you got. Master the fine points of dismounts and bike lifts. Don't bend to lift the bike like a sack 'o' potatoes.

- Stretch. Every day. Religiously. Especially lower back and hamstrings.

- Read the comments below as someone else probably has this even more worked out than me.

PS. one more link on backs: here.



Blogger funkdaddy said...

Amen, brother. Pilates is saving my life...

2:46 PM  
Blogger The Sage said...

Don't forget to stretch the hip flexors. Saved my back.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Coach Pauls said...

You mean downward dawg...A good Yoga routine (sun salutation) is a great warm-up and cooldown for any workout. Also, this is the time of year to get out and do some light transition jogging. 10-15 minutes of easy jogging on soft surface will help you build a "running base" for more intense runs and "hillsprints" later on. Also, doing some traditional track/football drills such as:
1. High knees (10-20 yds on the ball of your foot with an exagerrated high knee motion). Will help strengthen those hip flexors which cycling alone doesn't work.
2. Butt kickers'(10-20 yds kicking your heels back so that they kick your ass! Great for working the hamstrings.
3. Walking lunges-(10 to 20 yds)take exaggerated long strides and drop down into a deep lunge (make sure knee is directly over your ankle) keep hands on your hips. Will work on strengthening running muscles, flexibility, and balance.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely stretch your hip flexor....not many people realize that the hip flexor is made of two muscles: the Iliacus that attaches at the crest of the hip and the Psoas Major that connects to the lumbar region. When the hip flexor is tight and you start running it can pull on the lower back/hip and cause pain. Your back muscles try to compensate and become fatigued.

The hip flexor also tends to be over developed and short in cyclists because of the repetivie short range of motion in the pedal stroke...Try yoga to improve core flexiblity and strength.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good info, one thing I was having last year was a bit of hip flexor pain late in races. I'll have to incorporate some of those exercises.

One other should always practice "GOOD FORM" when you do core strengthening. The correct movement is more important than any amount of weight used.

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a bunch of crap!!! Cross is supposed to be painfull in every way shape and form. Whimps!

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I got on the floor last night and did my situps, extensions, and pushups. Just the kick in the butt I needed to finalize my motivation for the season.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is too much.....really.....I must have another beer before turning in for the nite.

10:27 PM  

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