Have you heard this comment often (like I have), " Wow, that must be GOOD FOR YOUR CORE ! " People see me on the uni and I get the above comment a surprising number of times.
“Must Be Good For Your Core”
- Do you hear this too?
- Do you think uni is good for your core?
I suppose these spectators are thinking that unicyclists keep their balance with their core, or mid-section, and build significant fitness there. I’m not sure this is true. I kinda think most of our uni balance comes through our feet, generated by leg muscles. I agree that our core plays a role, but I view our mid-section as less involved with balance than our legs and feet. (My perspective comes mostly via riding my Coker and mostly touring along roads, and my core doesn’t seem to be getting super fit.)
What do you think?
I ride bcs about 80% of the time and unis 20% of the time. With a BC your abs get sore really freakin fast, your leg muscles are usless unless your hopping, its all in the hip/mid section and arms.
They might mean that unicycling is good for your balance because your center of gravity is around the middle of your body. So they think of core, as your center of grvity maybe, And unicycling improves your balance.
Having a strong ‘core’ or strong midsection muscles is very fashionable/desirable these days according to some physiotherapists and sporty people. I reckon unicycling does indeed help to develop your core strength. A lot of the control in riding a unicycle comes from the hips. I’m sure my abs have benefitted from unicycling!
i know that the more trials i do the more my abs hurt. also, think back to learning. unless you learned while you were young(under about 18 or so) or learned really fast, your abs got sore. i know mine did. if i take a week or two off for assorted reasons, my abs get a little tight when i start riding again.
Our balance clearly comes from normally riding and keeping the wheel under us. It’s a reaction thing, our bodies just get used to knowing how fast to rotate the wheel to make sure the wheel is underneath us, thus keeping us on it, balance from side to side is a tad different, but a little momentum helps your greatly with that. When riding a BC wheel or coasting it’s a different story though.
Unicycling develops your core by requiring you to make almost constant adjustments with your upper body. Obviously, your legs get the brunt of the work but your upper body is always involved. Standard core strengthening exercises usually just add a balance component to traditional exercises. For example, doing pushups with your feet on a balance ball will work your chest but also “strengthen your core”.
I’ve noticed that when I ride my 29", there is less upper body movement, especially when I have small cranks on it. When I ride a 24" muni on a trail I know that my midsection adjusts dramatically to the trail. I’d say that on a coker, where the rider is even more still in his position, you still make the adjustments but they are less pronounced.
Uni is absolutely good for the “core”. But like people above have said, a nice smooth road ride on a big wheel takes a lot less core effort for an obvious reason: It’s way easier to balance riding in a straight line with some speed on a bigger wheel.
To prove to yourself that your core is utilized greatly in uni, find yourself a very restrictive lower back brace and try to ride with it on. Then try to hop or turn sharply with it.
I agree, the unicyclist core is working while riding. More so with trials and muni, etc. Still, I would like to know where the majority of our balance comes from.
Just riding the uni around:
- Are you balancing more with your legs & feet?
- Or are you balancing more with your core?
But try idling a big wheel!
Hard Muniing over the rocks in Santa Barbara is a great ab workout, especially when you try and roll everything. It’s a lot of tightening and relaxing over and over again. It’s pumps the daylights out of all of us. I used to get cramps in my upper abs after one of the long shuttle rides–and still do if I haven’t been busting it lately. Overhanging rock climbing might be a bit more core intensive, but Muniing is right there with it IME.
I think it definately does a bit, although I’ve recently been doing a bit of canoeing and that seems to use those muscles way more than unicycling. After practicing rolls in a canoe, all of the middle of my body aches.
About 9 months ago I was rarely exercizing… then I started riding for at least an hour four times a week and now I can see my abs where before I couldn’t so I’m sure for me it definately works out my stomach muscles.
I could also interpret the “core” being your dexterity and state of mind as I’ve heard many comment how juggling and riding uni’s must take a lot of focus and concentration.
To answer the initial question in this thread, yeah, I get a lot of comments about how good it must be for my core.
When I was first learning, keeping my balance was such a struggle that I know I got a huge core workout. Now that I’m riding much more easily, it only takes small corrections to stay in the balance envelope and I don’t think I’m getting that much of a workout. I’d do an experiment to see if I felt any soreness in my abs by taking a couple weeks off but I’m too addicted to do that.
It certainly has strengthened my “core,” which transfers nicely over to lots of other sports and activities. My favorite indopor core workout is to kneel on a swiss ball, and try to stay there, hold something, or even juggle when on it. There was a whole workout like this described in a recent Outside Magazine article, which also stated that when you get really good, you can stand on the ball, and even better, can do so by jumping up on to the ball. I don’t have the spotter or padded floor big enough to ry this, though. I also think that with unicycling, more weight on the seat generally = more core workout.
Do they really mean core like mid section though? I personally have never heard this comment, most i get are “wow that looks hard”, but it could mean like thats good for not necissarily your physical core but maybe your mental or metaphysical core, like unicycling helps you stay active and skills learned in unicycling help in other areas of life too. It is great for the abs though.
Re: GOOD for Your CORE ?
On Sat, 29 Oct 2005 21:50:41 -0500, trailguy wrote:
>Have you heard this comment often (like I have), " Wow, that must be
>GOOD FOR YOUR CORE ! "
The native language around here is Dutch so I rarely get comments in
English. So I guess you want to know whether I get the equivalent
comment in Dutch. The problem is that I have NO IDEA what “good for
your core” actually means. People never comment on my mid section (in
connection with unicycling), anyways; they do comment occasionally on
how unicycling must be good for my balance skills.
But maybe it means “You must be hungry”?
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The fact that there have been so many comments like this in this thread makes me realize that there must be a lot of confusion about the meaning of “core” in the general population. That being said, who the heck knows what anybody might mean when they say, “good for your core?” The concept of “core,” however, is currently the trendy thing in physical fitness circles and is taken to mean, the midsection of one’s body, i.e.; abs, lats, etc. It’s bound to go out of vogue the next time somebody decides that having “buns of steel” is the most important physical attribute.
Uni is definitely good for core stability. When I was having problems with RSI a while back my physio was trying to get me to do various exercises to improve posture etc. She didn’t bother with trying to improve core stability when I could do all her most difficult exercises with no difficulty at all.