Tom Danielson’s Posture-Correction Workout

Tom Danielson's Core Advantage TDCA_96dpi_400pw_strTom Danielson’s Core Advantage offers a core strength program for cyclists. This comprehensive approach shows the 50 essential core workout exercises that will build strength and endurance in the key core muscles for cycling—no gym membership required.

Posture Makes Perfect

Cyclists and correct posture have always had a contentious relationship. Correct posture calls for the body to be in optimal structural alignment—chest lifted, shoulder blades flat against the back, and pelvis in a neutral position. But for cyclists to achieve an effective aerodynamic position on the bike, they need to have a rounded back, caved-in shoulders, and a neck that is cranked down and forward. In other words, good cycling demands bad posture. Our mothers and first-grade teachers are sucking in their breath with horror right now.

It is indisputable that cyclists who ride with a rounded back are more aerodynamic. Logic would therefore dictate that everyone who wants to be a good cyclist should work on developing an excessively rounded back. While this argument may seem plausible at first glance, it fails to consider the larger picture of why good posture is important not only for cycling performance but also for long-term good health. Correct posture is essential for cyclists because it reduces the risk of spinal injuries and helps decrease the low-back and shoulder pain that come with endless hours in the saddle. Correct posture also helps to increase proper breathing technique, which is essential when you’re pushing the limits of your anaerobic zone, climbing steep inclines, or out-sprinting your competition to the finish line.

Off the bike, good posture helps reduce the occurrence of headaches, staves off bone density loss, and decreases the likelihood of developing ischemic tissue buildup (blood-starved muscle). And let’s not forget the confidence and demand for respect that are associated with good posture. All of these benefits will be discussed in detail throughout this chapter, beginning with a basic discussion of the difference between static and dynamic posture.

Here is a glimpse at Tom Danielson’s Posture-Correction Workout with a sample exercise for you to try:

Level I, Workout 2: Posture-Correction Workout

Goal: To correct muscular tightness and weakness, improve joint mobility, and establish optimum positioning of the spinal column.

Dynamic Warm-up:
Kneeling Quad to Hamstring Stretch: 1 set, 10 reps each leg
Chest Stretch Against Wall: 1 set, 10 reps each arm
Rainbow Stretch in Doorway: 1 set, 10 reps each side

Workout:
Prone Snow Angels (shown below): 2 sets, 15 reps, 30-sec. rest
Shoulder Blade Squeeze: 1 set, 10 reps, 5-sec. rest between each rep
Wall Squat with Pelvic Tucks: 1 set, 10 reps, 5-sec. rest between each rep
Pac-Mans: 2 sets, 15 reps each leg, 30-sec. rest
Chair Squats: 2 sets, 15 reps, 30-sec. rest

FREQUENCY: 3–5 times per week
TOTAL WORKOUT TIME: 15 minutes

Prone Snow Angels

Goal: Increase strength and range of motion in the low back; teach stabilization in the thoracic and cervical spine when the arms are moving.

Tom Danielson's Core Advantage TDCA prone snow angels

The term “prone” means face down, which is the position of the body for this exercise. Start with the arms extended along your sides with palms down [A] . Keep the back of your neck long and your shoulder blades dropped down toward your waist.

Gently squeeze your glutes and slowly begin to raise your feet, chest, and hands off the ground [B]. Do not lift more than 6 inches. Create a “snow angel” by sweeping your arms overhead and separating your feet [C]. Without bending your arms, try to bring your hands all the way together above your head [D]. Return to starting position and allow your feet, chest, and hands to relax down to the ground [E]. Repeat until you have completed the designated number of repetitions.

If your shoulders and chest muscles are tight, you will not be able to touch your hands together at first. It’s better to keep your arms straight and have your hands slightly separated above your head than to bend your arms and touch your hands.

Muscles targeted: Low back, middle back, hip abductors

Tom Danielson’s Core Advantage offers a core strength program for cyclists. This comprehensive approach shows the 50 essential core workout exercises that will build strength and endurance in the key core muscles for cycling—no gym membership required.

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