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  • Writer's pictureAl Painter Jr

Mountain Bikers: 3 Stability Ball Exercises You're Probably Not Doing

Stability balls are one of the best ways to get in a great bout of total body exercise at home. They are the perfect combination of simple + effective, pack a whallop, and they will give your glutes and core one heck of an "awakening." You can use them as a staple for your post ride recovery because they allow you to reactivate your hip extension pattern (feet moving away from the hips) that gets askew riding by sparing yourself from flexing the hips and knees while riding. Here are some of the benefits of using a ball in your workouts:

  • They'll help you iron out cornering better one way than the other. This is typically a muscle imbalance issue.

  • You just might improve your ability to trackstand.

  • You'll be able to generate more strength from your core and hips uphill.

  • You're ability to resisting lateral forces goes up giving you more control over your bike.

Planks on the Floor For Mountain Bikers: Yes Or No?

You have to have a stable hub (your core) for your spokes (your arms and legs) to connect to so your wheel spins true. So with that being said, I believe EVERY exercise is a plank if you are activating your core and glutes correctly. I think in a corrective situation, or for people brand new to exercise who are building their foundation and need a little more support to connect the dots, plank work on the floor has a place. However, if you really want to build cycling specific strength to dynamically flow with your bike as well as possible down your favorite twisty bit of single track, you need to be on a standing position to get the most out of your core strength training. If that’s in a split stance or single leg position squatting, pushing and pulling, all the better! Here are three total body stability ball exercises to do off your bike so you can have more fun when you're on it. They are very cycling specific because you are off the floor working your core. Stability Ball Anti-Rotation Press This exercise will absolutely LIGHT UP your glutes and abs. It is an amazing way to work the diagonal loading patterns that help keep our low backs as happy as possible. 1) Place the ball at shoulder height between you and something that doesn't move. 2) The ball should be positioned between the wrist and elbow along the forearm. 3) Feet just a bit outside the shoulders. 4) Try to pop the ball with your arms. 5) Done correctly, you'll experience a warm muscular sensation in the abs and glutes.

Dynamic Stability Ball Anti-Rotation Press If you thought the static version of this was fun, you're going to love this one. Like the isometric version, this one will work the diagonal loading patterns that help keep our low backs as happy as possible. Plus, for mountain bikers, if goes a long way to improving the way your brain gets your muscles moving bones through corners and switchbacks. Here's how you do it: 1) Place the ball at shoulder height between you and something that doesn't move. 2) The ball should be positioned between the wrist and elbow along the forearm. 3) Feet just a bit outside the shoulders. 4) Try to pop the ball with your arms for :02 then release. Repeat for time or reps. 5) Done correctly, as you send force into the ball, the outside half of your body has to work to keep you from falling over. Awesome way to strengthen your glutes, legs and core.

Stability Ball Wall Push Glute “Activator” If you want to light up your core and glutes for the price of one exercise, you’d be hard pressed to find one better than this. It hits both the lateral hip and core stabilizers to help you improve your trunk stiffness: the key to move your best and getting stronger. The good news is you won't need your arms to do it! When a trainer says "the good news is," it is usually anything but because you can count on muscular discomfort being eminent. Here's how you do it: 1) Place your knee against the middle of the ball between you and something that doesn't move. 2) The ball should be positioned off the floor so you can get the right knee position. 3) Feet just a bit outside the shoulders. Although the closer they are together, the more fun you'll have. 4) Try to pop the ball with your knee. Repeat for time or reps. 5) Done correctly, as you send force into the ball, the outside half of your lower body has to work to keep you from falling over. Awesome way to strengthen your glutes, legs and to some extent, your core.

There you have it people. A hat trick of health using a stability ball to get stronger.


While there are a ton of exercises you can do with your air-filled spherical object to build core strength, you should always start with simple moves that allow to you to build your movement foundation so you can progress to more "enjoyable" versions. Thanks a ton for reading, have an AMAZING week!

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