Before driving to K.C. last week for my annual Thanksgiving trip to visit my mom and family, I had already been forced into a few indoor workouts by weather and early darkness.
I actually don’t mind the occasional indoor session in the winter; I appreciate the change of pace and the chance to do something different.
In addtion to cardio (I prefer my elliptical machine, because in Atlanta I can usually still get out on the bike fairly regularly throughout winter), I like to do core work, some push-ups and other “indoor” exercises like step-ups, plyometrics and such.
So, while on a trip like last week’s, where I know I’ll be off the bike andwith limited free time due to family obligations, I at least try to squeeze in a 10-minute burst of exercise each day. It’s some combination of the “indoor” work I do at home. And it requires nothing more than a floor (carpeted is ideal; use a mat if you only have a hard surface). What I threw together together last week was a combination of:
2 one-minute planks (lie face down with your elbows directly under your shoulders and, on the balls of your feet, hold your entire body as straight as possible in a “plank” while contracting your core.) This is a difficult exercise, so adjust the length of time you hold the plank to suit your needs.
2 sets of 25 push-ups
2 30-second bridges (lying on your back with legs forming a reverse “V” and feet flat on the floor, arms at your side, palms down, raise your hips as high as you can and hold there, with heels on the floor). An alternative is to “bridge up” and hold for only about 3 seconds, repeating for a set of 10. Or doing one-leg bridge repeats, pointing the “off” leg toward the ceiling.
2 30-second “Superman” poses (standing with feet about one foot apart, keep back straight, squat past halfway down to knee level while reaching both arms skyward and rocking onto your heels; hold that pose till complete). Again, an alternative is to hold for 3 seconds and do a set of 10 or so repeats.
I mix up the four exercises so that I’m never doing two planks or two sets of push-ups in a row, as these are both fairly taxing. And I rest for a few seconds between each.
The real beauty of a little 10-minute workout like this is that you can do it almost anytime, anywhere – while traveling, while watching TV at night, on your lunch break, etc.
Just throw your own together. Pick four or five things you like to do that take a minute or less. Some of my favorite resources for exercises are Dr. Alan Bragman’s Core Training for Cyclists and Plyometrics for Cyclists, the Yoga series for cyclists by Joe and Maria Kita, and Coach John Hughes’ Off-Season Conditioning Past 50, among others in the RBR Bookstore.
If you have an idea for a QT, fire away. We’re always looking for good info we can share with fellow roadies. We would love to hear from you with any suggestions you have. Contact us by clicking Quick Tips Ideas.
—John Marsh & The RBR Team
John Marsh is the former editor and publisher of RBR Newsletter and RoadBikeRider.com. A rider of "less than podium" talent, he brought our readers consistently useful, informative, entertaining info that helps make them better road cyclists. That's what we're all about here—always have been, always will be. Click to read John's full bio.