The "Core"

I been watching a lot of Uni videos online along with additional reading about unicycling, and I keep hearing the term “core” mentioned. I’ll read/hear that unicycling has strengthened their core.

I’m relatively new to unicycling (a few months), but am already starting the feel the affects. All the muscles in my legs are sore (lactic acid) the next day and I can feel muscles in my back, etc. being used that haven’t been in a while.
I know this will be good for me physically…but I’m wondering what I can expect after 6 months and what it will mean that I’ve strengthened my core.

I’m curious about any anecdotal evidence on how one’s health has improved.

I do understand that it depends on what I do. In my particular example, I practice about an hour day, being mindful to keep my heart rate up. I like that I’m getting a cardiovascular workout in addition to learning how to ride.

Thanks for any input.

It’s a marketing term for the fitness industry when they try to talk about the muscles in their torso.

My understanding of the core is all the muscles from above the knees to below the sternum. You quads, hams, glutes, hip-flexors, abs, obliques, and lower and mid back.

I have been riding for a year, though I am no where near an average of an hour per day! My legs are pretty strong because I have been running and riding a roadie for many years. The back muscles are the ones that I feel the most. Because my left leg is dominant I am still working to balance my pedal force so that the uni doesn’t twist to the left. This causes me to compensate by twisting my torso to the right, which is primarily done by the back muscles. I am getting better, but I still fight the twist and need to continue to focus on a balanced pedal push by both legs. Most often it is my back that gets tired the fastest unless I am doing muni with a lot of hills then it is the quads.

I have also been doing quite a bit of hopping lately which is also a great core workout and incorporates the arms and shoulders as well. In general the unicycle is a great workout that I enjoy more than any sport I have ever done. It really improves the other things I do because of the increased core strength, balance (of course!), fine motor skills, and quick response time.

Enjoy your learning and riding!

I guess the tricky thing about core strength, at least for me, is that I have no way of measuring progress. I came out of unicycle retirement about 3 months ago and I don’t feel like I’ve changed that much in my abs and lower back. Quads absolutely, but abs not so much.

I’ve heard unicycling helps the back, but I’ve noticed that extended rides actually make my lower back hurt a bit. It’s really noticeable when I have to duck all the way down to get under branches that are obstructing the trail. Ducking all the way down and essentially doing a reverse sit-up to get back in the upright position stings my back. I guess it’s from spending hours at a time where I’m forced to have good posture while riding.

Maybe I’ll notice that progress when ducking down finally stops hurting.