Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Big Blue Balls...


OK, sure, the idea of working out might frighten many of you. But who’s frightened of blue balls? As I’m writing this I can see my blue physio ball out of the corner of my eye. This remarkable tool has become a cherished workout friend. What I mean is the ball is not just for throwing at my dog. It is perfect for all kinds of exercises that develop the core muscles needed for mountain biking. I’ve decided to share a few of the workout secrets I’ve gained from my years on the ball.

Your core strength is important for wheelies, climbing and sprinting. However, many cyclists neglect the value of core training. One of the most critical training exercises is the crunch and a physio ball makes crunches fun and anatomically correct. What is a physio ball? Think of a large inflatable rubber ball about three feet across and three feet tall (depending on the air pressure). It is one of the simplest workout tools on the market. What is a crunch? A crunch is basically a sit up that doesn’t stress out your back. Combine the two and you have the perfect physio crunch.

First, begin by lying on top of the ball. Be careful not to fall off. Your legs should be at a 90-degree angle. Your head should be resting on the ball, for the time being. Again, focus on your balance. Lift your head and fold your hands on the back of your neck. Now gently flex your stomach muscles and crunch your body towards the sky. The motion should feel like someone is pulling your chest up to the sky with a string. Do not pull on your neck. Concentrate on this motion. The only muscles working should be your stomach. Move through each crunch slowly. Be sure to maintain excellent form. Repeat this exercise 20 times; rest and repeat. Remember not to over do it. Your goal is to obtain the necessary core muscles needed for lifting your handlebars and winning races. Don’t worry about the six pack! You’re a mountain biker…

1 comment:

Bintrim said...

My ball is grey. Can I still do crunches on it?