Regarding strength, I’m not talking about what you can lift or squat. (Not this time, at least!) What I’m referring to is core strength. Core strength gives us stability, preventing injuries and making us more efficient and faster!
We often hear the expression ‘sitting in a bucket!’ An endearing term used to describe a triathlete who has given heaps on the bike and then heads off on the run with no core muscles to hold them upright and overly tight hip flexors, which isn’t the best look or feeling for them. Not only is this a less efficient way to run, but also not a great look in your tri-suit! It exposes athletes to many injuries, which could have them sitting on the sideline for most of their training.
So, the purpose of this blog is to help give some guidance on compiling a simple, effective one. A progressive core program that will help you develop the essential core muscles to keep you streamlined in the pool, stabilise the pelvis on the bike (Which also maximises power output from the legs) and help you run taller and more efficiently. Training for a triathlon isn’t just about swimming, running, and cycling. It’s about all the little things you do while training that help you cross that finish line faster. The best part about this is you don’t need a fully equipped gym, even a space on the floor will suffice so you will have no excuse!
Here are a few rules to follow to get the most out of your core training
- Exercises should be carried out x3 weekly.
- The program takes less than 15 min to do.
- This should be done after training when the body and mind are nice and warmed up (obviously, if it has just been an actual rough session, stop and gets some nutrition into you first).
- Every three weeks, we progress the exercises to challenge you and progress you, and hopefully, you will begin to see a big difference in your swim, bike and run form by the end of the 12 weeks.
There is one thing we need to do before we can start exercising. (Don’t worry, it’s very simple.) It can be one or one hundred, but it’s activating your core! The simplest way to explain this is… either imagine you’re busting to use the restroom and there is nowhere you can go, or you’re using the restroom, stop mid-flow and hold it for 10 seconds or so. That already gets you using your core!
By doing this during every single exercise below, you get the maximum benefit from it! A strong core will not give you a six-pack to show off on your summer holiday, but having a solid core could possibly turn that 4th place into a 3rd.
Single leg switch – 3 sets of 5 reps each side
Deadlift – 3×10
Single leg glute bridge – 3 sets of 5 reps each side
Side plank – 2x 30-second hold on each side