Are you climbing low and strong? How to improve your cycling hill climbing by improving your cycling core strength and climb hills faster.


How a weak core limits your ability to climb hills faster

Most cyclists have problems climbing hill well because they either have a weak core or ride in a position that is not optimal for hill climbing. When riding your bike uphill you”ll want to avoid sitting straight up on the bike. In this position you are not engaging your core, gluts, hamstrings and lower back. Functional strength on the bike involves recruiting not only your legs but all your structural stabilising muscles in your core and lower back. By training these groups of muscles together functionally you’ll be able to develop more power, enabling you to climb better on the bike with more comfort and with greater ease.

Most cyclists don’t address their functional strength weaknesses off the bike, which results in poor form and strength on the bike. Pre-season and base building phases of your cycling program will be enhanced if you are able to spend some of your time building good functional core strength off the bike. Once the season is underway then a regular top-up every week is all that you need to maintain this core functional strength on the bike. And… it”s this that will make a considerable improvement to your cycling when riding your bike up hills.

On the bike climbing tip to climb hills faster

To engage more functional core strength and recruit good stabilising core strength, try sliding back a little on the seat and stretch out your body. This will provide you with more leverage on the pedals to produce greater force while opening up your rib cage to enable you to breathe better.

Taking a firm but not tight grip of the handle bars, use your strong core and back to help you pull up and push down on the pedals during those demanding steeper sections of the climb. When pedalling, practice developing a full circle pedalling stroke. One way to do this is to focus on “scraping chewing gum off the soles of your shoes”. Remember to keep it fluid and relaxed and you’ll climb hills faster.