Keep your bones and core strong with this exclusive full-body workout from Allison Westfahl, an exercise physiologist and co-author of Tom Danielson’s Core Advantage. Plan to do an off-the-bike workout on three non-consecutive days a week. Each day, pick one move from Group A and one from Group B. (Choose a different combination of moves each day.) Unless the directions say otherwise, do three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions, resting 30 to 45 seconds between each set. Use the heaviest weight you can handle while still finishing all the reps. Within weeks you’ll be riding faster, happier and niggle free.
These moves increase overall strength, spinal rotation and flexibility, and improve bone density in the hip and shoulder joints.
Squat, Curl, Press
Grab a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides, shoulder blades down and back. Push your hips back, then down into a squat (a). As you return to standing, bring your arms into a bicep curl (b). When your legs are straight, continue to push your arms up and overhead into a shoulder press (c). Pause, then return to start.
Stand with your feet 15cm (half a ruler)wider than shoulder width. Grab a dumbbell on each end and hold it straight in front of you. Lower into a squat. At the same time, bring the dumbbell across your body to the outside of your left knee (a). Sweep the dumbbell upward and to the right across your body as you return to standing (b). Repeat in the other direction. That’s one rep.
Stand on your right foot with your knee slightly bent, left foot off the floor behind you (a). Bend your right knee and spring 50-100cm to the left, landing softly on your left foot (b). Balance on one foot when you land, but set your right foot down if necessary. Repeat to other side. Do 3 sets of 30 to 45secs, jumping as many times as possible. Increase your speed as your balance and fitness improve.
Core Strength and Stabilisation
These moves strengthen and stabilise the core so your body can reap the maximum benefits from high-impact moves.
Row the Boat
Sit on the floor in a V position with your knees bent and heels lightly touching (or just off) the ground. Hold a dumbbell in front of you with both hands and slowly lean back until you feel your abdominal muscles start to shake (a). Move the dumbbell from left to right in a rowing motion (b). One row right and left equals one rep.
Get into a plank position with your forearms on the floor. Shoulders should be directly over your elbows, neck neutral, tailbone slightly tucked (a). Without raising your hips, jump both feet out at the same time (b), then spring back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Keep your hips low so your core muscles support your pelvis.
Prone Shoulder Press
Lie face-down with your elbows bent 90 degrees, palms down. Squeeze your glutes and slowly raise your feet, chest, and hands no more than 15cm (half a ruler) off the floor. Pull your elbows down to your sides so that your thumbs touch the tops of your shoulders (a). Then push your arms straight out over your head (b). That’s one rep.