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How to Engage Your Core on a Bike

Why the Key to Better Biking Is Between the Sheets

Whether it's Spin, SoulCycle, or outside on the road, cycling-related back pain is a common complaint. While stretching can help alleviate the pain, wouldn't it be better to stop it from even starting? First and foremost, being fitted for your bike is a must, but as is the case in most activities, a strong and engaged core is essential. The problem, Schwinn Master trainer Denise Druce explains, is that when you're pumping your legs as fast as they can go or fighting your way up a hill, your core is often the first thing that goes.

During an indoor cycling class at the Telluride WOW Fitness Festival, Denise shared her secret to keeping her core engaged on the bike: Kegels. Yes, those Kegels. The very same exercise that also adds a little spice in the bedroom! Whenever you're riding, make sure you maintain body awareness, says Denise. During any breaks or flat roads, do a body check. One thing Denise always makes a point to do during these checks is engage her pelvic floor muscles with some Kegel exercises. Doing so immediately lifts the body, engages the core, and protects the back. It also gives your mind a better awareness of how you should feel while on the bike.

To perform Kegels, imagine the muscles you engage when you are holding the urge to go to the bathroom. To practice working these muscles, lift them internally and upward, like an elevator, rather than pushing them down and out. Aside from your pelvic floor muscles, you'll also feel your glutes and abs engaged. Better on the bike and better in the bedroom!

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