Though it seems simple, biking efficiently requires a lot of balance. A lot of small (and typically unnoticed) core muscles help you balance effectively. That’s why a stationary trainer only approximates a real bike ride. On a trainer, you don’t need to use your core muscles for balance. (The old school roller-based trainers are an exception).
Since balance and core strength are important, I like to use a BOSU ball as part of my training. I think BOSU originally meant Both Sides Up since you can use either side of the ball. I typically do “normal” exercises while standing on the ball; for instance, bicep curls with free weights, squats with weights, and different kinds of dips and thrusts. You can also do sit-ups as you see in the picture.
Remember the tri-planar ax chop from yesterday’s post? Here are two variations that will help improve your balance and core strength. First, do the ax chop while standing on one foot. Once you’ve mastered that, do the ax chop on one foot while standing on the BOSU ball. It’s almost too much fun.