Earlier in the year we teamed up with the bike fitting experts, Velo Atelier, to bring you six simple - but challenging - stretches for cyclists. We've joined forces again to bring you six essential strength exercises.

Being both supple and strong on the bike are key to unlocking your potential performance. Whatever your discipline is, you need to have a certain level of flexibility to be able to adopt those race positions, and to throw your weight around the bike at the drop of a pedal.

We've worked with Dorte Jensen, who is a level 3 pilates instructor with over five years experience. The stretches in these videos aren’t likely to be unknown to you, but she’ll demonstrate the correct way to carry them out and highlight common errors which can hamper the effects of the stretch. Here are the cycling stretch videos we did earlier this year:

Moving on to strength exercises...

It isn't just about having a flexible and supple body though. Having a strong core is more than just a six pack, it includes your pelvis, lumbar, abs and much more. This group of muscles is responsible for fending off early onset fatigue, keeping a stable riding position and distributing your weight efficiently.

We've already covered:

Strength exercise number three looks at mobilising the thoracic spine.

thoracic

Having a stiff thoracic spine can lead to uncomfortable riding positions where your back is trying to bend in the wrong places. This can lead to further injury over time. It's important to keep your back supple and strong in order to cope with those long days in the saddle.

The short video below will demonstrate a simple floor exercise which will help improve the strength of your abdominal muscles. Give it a try, but don't be deceived by how easy it looks!