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  • Simple core strength regime – daily? every other day? Recovery needed?
  • Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
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    Recovering from yet another back spasm/something-ated disc in the lower spine and realising that I need to take core strength WAY more seriously than I have been previously, I always thought my core was OK but obviously not good enough.

    Can you do core exercises every day? Or do you need to work in recovery like you would between training sessions on the bike?

    I’m doing fairly basic floor exercises and trying to take them to failure. Want to work on the basics before I try anything in the gym (squats etc).

    Once I’ve got over the sciatica I’ve got a weekly yoga class I want to work in to my routine, but that’s a few weeks away yet.

    Ta

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
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    I don’t think you need to recover as such, but with injury I would imagine you would start slowly and build up IANAD .

    I do this routine  in between sets at the gym 3 times a week.

    https://www.bicycling.com/training/g24214648/ab-exercises/

    I’d start slow, then eventually the more frequent you do it the better.

    Premier Icon trumpton
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    I think one core exercise is called the plank. This should lead to other videos on youtube.

    Premier Icon Gunz
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    I use the excellent book Core Advantage – Core Strength for Cyclists by Tom Danielson and Alison Westfahl. It outlines a graduated set of exercises to bring you on slowly and also goes into great detail on symptoms and causes of various back pain. It recommends core training 3-5 times a week and in my experience some of the seemingly innocuous exercises can really be felt the next day so rest should be factored in.

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
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    Howsyourdad – that’s a great looking selection of exercises, a couple there though that I want to work up to. Do you mean you do those exercises 3 times a week? Or 4 times a week and 3 visits to the gym?

    Sounds a lot to fit in around training on the bike as well!

    Premier Icon Gunz
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    I forgot to mention that it really makes a difference.

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
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    Tempted by that book, really need something I can do in half an hour every morning at home, save the gym for swimming/yoga class/wattbike

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
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    I do those 3 times a week, at the gym, mon weds fri.  I cycle tuesday thursday and one day at the weekend, with one day recovery. But I xc ski in winter so gym in spring summer is more maintenance than muscle building. I don’t do for example heavy squats in spring or summer, I save those for 3-4 months overs winter.

    Premier Icon paton
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    Premier Icon sirromj
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    Hula hooping!

    Premier Icon batman11
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    I also was reading that lower back pain can be caused by weak glute’s so some squats could be in order along with core work

    Premier Icon jkomo
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    I do three or four times a week, a mix of yoga type stretches and core. No recovery needed although first time might leave you achey.
    Stretch
    Superman (back)
    Bridge (hips)
    Crunches front and side(abs)
    Leg lifys(lower abs)

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
    Free Member

    I do those 3 times a week, at the gym, mon weds fri. I cycle tuesday thursday and one day at the weekend, with one day recovery. But I xc ski in winter so gym in spring summer is more maintenance than muscle building. I don’t do for example heavy squats in spring or summer, I save those for 3-4 months overs winter.

    I think this is an almost perfect routine for me, although wouldn’t you want to do the heavy exercises during spring summer so your body is strong going into winter, and just maintain through winter? (my training is all for winter CX so I’m in a similar position).

    Paton – thanks for the videos, first two in particular are really good, I think they have confirmed what I was discovering experimentally anyway!

    My half hour routine is:

    Swiss ball roll outs (on knees, elbows on ball, roll out till thighs at 45degrees)
    Supine leg extensions with ankle weights (actually I do arms as well so guess these are ‘dead bugs’)
    1 minute plank
    Bird-dogs/supermen (can do 30 per side without any real discomfort, thinking about ditching for something else, split squats/lunges perhaps).
    Single leg glute bridges, can already do 15 per side relatively easily, will probably increase to 20 or add weight
    Press-ups

    I’ll get two sets done in half an hour. Thinking the swiss ball roll-outs and plank are a bit of a duplication, would prefer maybe just making plank more difficult e.g. adding in mountainclimbers or something.

    Will stick with this until my shiny new book arrives and I speak with my physio in two weeks time (still waiting for amitryptiline to kick in and kill off the sciatica which is putting me off any more complex moves).

    Premier Icon Gunz
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    Having looked at your routine above, I would say that the exercises in the book I recommended are less demanding. It might be an idea, whilst your back recovers, to ease back a bit and build up slowly although obviously you’re the best judge of what you need.

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
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    Well it should arrive on Monday so I’ll see what it suggests. I can complete the routine above without any discomfort so I think that’s a good level to start with. Hopefully the book will just provide some variety for when I get bored!

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
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    although wouldn’t you want to do the heavy exercises during spring summer so your body is strong going into winter, and just maintain through winter?

    I find that if I do harder weights, say heavy squats on a Monday it will affect my cycling too much. XC skiing doesn’t use muscles in the same way as cycling , so I find that heavy weights and skiing don’t impact on each other so much.  A heavy routine also takes longer, more warming up, waiting inbetween sets and so on,  so I’d rather keep indoor training short when the warmer weather and sunlight arrives, hence just in and out 45 maintenance with core.

    Premier Icon footflaps
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    In the OP’s case I’d go and see a Sports Physio and get assessed properly. A generic core routine might aggravate your condition given we don’t know what the actual issue is / what your muscle balance is like etc.

    At a generic level, the best long term cure for back pain is movement, but there may be individual considerations in the case of injuries etc.

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
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    XC skiing doesn’t use muscles in the same way as cycling

    Ah… fair enough, I was thinking about squats and cycling overlapping.

    Premier Icon mulv1976
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    The big 3

    Premier Icon mudfish
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    I ilke that big 3 linked above
    In the long term though :
    Read Doug McGuffs Body By Science. And his blog
    He raced BMX in the olympics so he know his bike stuff
    12 minutes a week, thats it
    5 exercises very hard
    almost everyine overtrains not allowing time for full recovery
    I can do it at 65 and I have one spinal senosis and a T-11 spinal compression fracture aswell as legacy neck and QL “whiplash” from a teenage Lambretta smash.
    Things can come back to haunt you
    Studio Pilates (max class size 5) is pretty good too (not mat Pilates)
    Neil

    Premier Icon earl_brutus
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    Yoga has worked wonders for my core strength but need to go 1-2 times a week regularly

    Premier Icon DT78
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    I have the core advantage book it’s a pretty good start. I stretch and do core in the gym 3 times a week and do at least a couple of morning yoga sessions. My stuff is very very gentle, I’ve found if I add any weights it just aggravates things the next day. I have had loads of back pain and hip issues for the last 2 years, spent a fortune on physio (tried 3). Think I’ve finally got to the main issue a super tight psosas. Still have pain but a psoas self massage works wonders.

    I used “the trigger point therapy workbook” to get there, mostly using a combination of a theracane, roller and ball.

    Good luck, I’ve lost a major amount of fitness and had a spell of depression because the pain was so much and stopping me from doing pretty much anything

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
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    I’ve lost a major amount of fitness and had a spell of depression because the pain was so much and stopping me from doing pretty much anything

    I hear that! I’m in the best mood I’ve been in for weeks thanks to half a bottle of red and the Craig Charles Funk show on Radio 6, but the last few weeks of sciatica have been a struggle…

    I’m reminding myself of how lucky I am to have managed a week’s riding in Girona before it struck, and also that fitness is relative, I’d spent the summer training for CX season in the hope that I’d improve on my completely unremarkable results from last year, but slightly-better-than-unremarkable is still pretty unremarkable, so no great loss!

    My target now is the Paris-Roubaix challenge next April, seems achievable…

    Premier Icon mudfish
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    Further to my earlier message, I had totally debilitating sciatica to the extent that suicide was in my thoughts. The ONLY thing that fixed it was Upledger Cranio Sacral Therapy.
    Dont bither with the fluff on their website just find a therapist and give ot a shot. Yeah I was sceptical too, I wish I’d not waited and wasted a year of riding.
    Having wrotten that its also worth looking at Doug Mc Guff if even just for his learning on recovery. He has 7 daye between hard workouts and 14 days off before a race.
    I very rarerly get sciatica now, mine was “piriformis effect” it seems. I’ve had yeras of very happy riding since I discovered the CST.

    In the long term:
    Read Doug McGuffs Body By Science. And his blog
    He raced BMX in the olympics so he know his bike stuff
    12 minutes a week, thats it
    5 exercises very hard
    almost everyone overtrains not allowing time for full recovery
    I can do it at 65 and I have one spinal senosis and a T-11 spinal compression fracture aswell as legacy neck and QL “whiplash” from a teenage Lambretta smash.
    Things can come back to haunt you
    Studio Pilates (max class 5) weekely helps keep me aligned, it didnt fix the sciatica though, only the CST did that.
    N

    Premier Icon DT78
    Free Member

    revisiting this thread. I’ve started using sufferfest, the guided yoga and strength sessions are pretty good. being 15mins each and so easy to use I’m often doing one set in the morning and one before bed.

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