Abdominal Training for Tri's

Abdominal Training for Tri's

All three disciplines of triathlon require core stabilization and strength.

Strong core musculature allows you as an athlete to keep your body streamline in the water, maintain a comfortable bike position and complete an efficient run. Core strength will also assist with generating, absorbing and stabilizing forces which occur during your bike and run. Moreover, increasing your core strength will decrease your risk for an overuse injury, such as low-back pain and IT band syndrome. Your core is your foundation, and without it, your form will collapse and suffer. If your form collapses, your chance for injury increases.

Unfortunately, most athletes avoid or limit core exercises during their performance training. After a long workout, resistance training or core work is the last thing on your mind. The great thing about core exercises is they can be done in your home, at the gym or in your office. The following exercises are designed to increase deep abdominal and back strength and stabilization. These muscles are key for proper hip and spine alignment. Perform these exercises at least two days per week. They can be added to your off day and your other light training day during the week. Again, a healthy core musculature will pay huge dividends during your long season of swimming, biking and running.

#1. Plank with Repetitions

As you perform this exercise, make sure you keep your elbows at ninety degrees and looking down. As you lift your hips up, pull your belly button in to activate your deep abdominal muscles (touch your belly-button to your spine). Focus on keeping a straight line from your ears through your shoulders, hips, knee and ankle. The biggest mistake made here is allowing your hips to sink or raise. This will cause pain in the low back and place pressure on the spine, so maintain proper spine alignment. After lifting your hips and extending your legs, pause for two to three seconds and then slowly return to the starting position. Perform 12 to 20 repetitions without sacrificing form. And breathe...

#2. Side Plank with Repetitions

This exercise is perform exactly like the plank only on your side. Again, maintain proper alignment of your head, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles. Activate your core as you raise your hips and pause for two to three seconds, breathing throughout the movement. The side plank will emphasize the obliques more so than the front plank. Perform 12 to 20 repetitions on each side without sacrificing form.

#3. Ball Cobra

This exercise emphasizes the deep and superficial back musculature. Start prone on the ball in a relaxed position. As you lift your chest off the ball slowly, externally rotate your shoulders and retract your shoulder blades (squeeze shoulder blades together). Hold your finish position for two to three seconds and then lower yourself slowly back to the start. To advance this exercise, simply add small dumbbells for added resistance. Perform 12 to 20 repetitions without sacrificing form.

#4. Cable Chop

The cable chop is adding resistance, therefore is more focused on strengthening key core muscles (opposed to pure stabilization). This exercise will also involve the chest and lats. Start in a relaxed position with your feet shoulder to hip width apart and your toes and knees straight ahead. Pull the weight across the body from your shoulder to your opposing hip. Rotate your hips and and upper-body as you perform the exercise. Return to the starting position slowly. If you do not have access to a cable machine, simply use an exercise band in its place. Perform 10-20 on each side.

Remember, as a triathlete, great form and technique start with a solid foundation.

The foundation is your core strength. Without it, you are limiting your potential. When you find yourself long into an international distance or half ironman triathalon, you need your running form and posture to be second nature. If your running form starts to go, chances are you let your core strength program go. Focus on your core and find yourself finishing strong at your next race.

How did we do?

CFS - The #1 rated weight loss resort and fat camp for adults in the United States!

Rated 4.2 of 5 Stars by 104 readers.

Click one of the the 5 stars above to rate this article
© 2007-2024 Weight Crafters, LLC. All Rights Reserved.