At the beginning of the winter I joined pilates. I haven’t got the ripped washboard stomach that I was hoping for, but I can definitely tell you that the core strengthening I’ve done for the past 6 months has helped immensely. A mate’s wife owns a pilates studio andhere’s what he has to say about riding from the core:
Core is a very general term. There are several muscle/body groups that need to be ‘awakened’ in order to develop a strong core. This takes time and is a gradual process. A stronger core has helped change my set up on the bike allowing me to sit in a more ‘active’ position. My hips are now in a neutral position instead of ‘sinking’ into the saddle.
When I say “active” position, here’s what I mean. Imagine a string going through your body when you’re sitting on the bike from the arch of your foot coming through the top of your head. Now think of someone pulling that string so that you’re sitting tall and core engaged. This will set you up in this “active” position.
This position has many benefits including taking pressure off my hip flexors, reducing workload on my front thighs and flatning my lower back reducing stiffness on long rides. I have also noticed better acceleration on hills when I engage my core.
You don’t necessarily have to do pilates to get a strong core. Here‘s a routine and some exercises that you can do in 10mins a day to help improve your core strength.