Christian Vande Velde's Favourite Exercises For Core Power, Leg And Dynamic Strength

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Top cyclist Christian Vande Velde believes that proper and consistent gym work is the foundation of success on the bike, and that it protects the body from injury. 

The whole body frame needs to be strong, and used to performing when fatigued. You can achieve this by training to maintain your form under stress, working on your stabilising muscles and core.

Vande Velde works with a strength and conditioning coach two to three times a week for a full hour of gym circuits. These are three of his favourite exercises for core power, leg strength and dynamic strength.

Core strength: Gym ball V-up

Vande Velde says: “The V-up helps me to improve my body position out of the saddle because it strengthens the abs.”

 Reps 15

  • Start with your arms just wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • The ball should be directly under your quads and knees.
  • Pull your shoulder blades together and relax your neck.
  • Tuck your hips up and in as you roll your shins along the ball.
  • Keep your abs locked to maintain control as you lower.

Leg strength: Side lunge to reach

Side lunge to reach, step 2

(Image credit: Unknown)

Vande Velde says: “This move is great for opening up my hips and sorting out my scar tissue around the vertebrae that I fractured last year.”

Reps : 10 each side (alternating)

  • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold the dumbbells above your head with your arms straight.
  • Draw the dumbbells down as you step out to the side.
  • Look forward and keep your back neutral throughout the move.
  • Step back up, driving the dumbbells back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Dynamic strength: Medicine ball chuck

Vande Velde says: “A whole-body move that requires dynamic strength even when you’re tired, just like the end of a race.”

Reps 10 each side

  • Bend your back knee as you rotate and lower.
  • Rotate your hips and pivot on your back foot to swing the ball.
  • Once you've rotated 180˚ from the lowest position, release the ball.
  • Use the ball’s momentum to swing back as you catch it.
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