Week 4

EXERCISE 4: Stability Ball Prone Cobra

OBJECTIVE/BENEFITS


To strengthen the postural muscles of the upper and lower back and the external shoulder rotators. Improving endurance in these areas can help combat the slumped posture and rounded shoulders common in cyclists.

PRECAUTIONS

Some people find it uncomfortable laying on their front on the ball. I have heard claims that ball on ball action is a problem, but that is no excuse for avoiding this exercise. Tuck your tackle somewhere tidily and get on with it. Ensuring the ball is well underneath your body will mean it doesn’t pop out from underneath you when you adopt the exercise position.

INSTRUCTIONS

Rest your feet up against a wall with your legs just wider than hip width apart.

Position the ball underneath your pelvis and use your hands on the ball to support your bodyweight.

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Using your feet for leverage lift your body off the ball with your arms close to your sides, turning your thumbs backwards and pulling your shoulder blades closer together.

It is very important you turn your thumbs the right way so that you squeeze your shoulder blades together and stretch your chest.

Pick your chest up and try to extend your upper back but keeping your chin tucked in so that your neck is not under any strain.

Hold this position for 10 seconds before resting with your arms on the ball for 10.

Repeat this hold position for 10 seconds on, 10 seconds off 6-12 times.

Once you can do 12 lots of 10 seconds comfortably progress to 20 seconds on 10 seconds off 3-6 times.

If you are doing this exercise well the last repetition should look the same as the first without any shaking or excessive strain.

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RELATED LINKS



Week one: McKenzie press-up



Week two: Stability ball side stretch



Week three: Lower hamstring stretch

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