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The Importance of Core Exercises for Triathletes

‘Core exercises’ everyone talks about them but how do they actually help us as triathletes when we just want to swim, bike, run!

Unfortunately doing just these three disciplines makes you more susceptible to overuse injuries, this is why strength training should play an important role in any training programme. The reasoning for regular core strength work is to improve stability, efficiency, overcome muscle imbalances and reduce the risk of injury. A strong core also reduces the risk and occurrence of back pain.

On the bike maintaining stability in the core whilst pedalling will enable you to be more efficient, reduce your chances of injury, and fight fatigue on long days. During the run when tired your form can deteriorate, having a strong core will help you maintain a correct running form making you more efficient.

Your core is designed to brace your spine for stability and prevent any unwanted motion; rotating, extending and twisting. Core strength does not just come from the abdominals the major muscles involved in core stability include the pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae and the diaphragm. These muscles all help to improve posture and movement, reducing the chance of pain or injury as mentioned earlier.

So if you have 10minutes after a training session just add a few exercises in a couple of times a week, you don’t need a gym or any special equipment.

These are my four essential exercises for triathletes/runners and cyclists:

  1. Plank 45-60 secs x 2

  1. Side Plank with hip abduction (30-45secs each side x2)

2. Russain Twists to balance 4 sets

3.Single leg glut bridge (12x3 each side)

4. Dead bugs (12x3)

5. Supermans (12x3) to make harder lift the back foot off the floor and balance on your knees.

So give these a go and let me know how they go!