Hardcore training is not just a catch phrase. Most weight training programs involve core stability exercises. This is because it is almost unanimously believed that strength building begins with the stability and force from your CORE. Your core consist all the muscles in and around your lower back and abdomen. Now many of you have bought cycling shoes shortly after you purchased your bicycle. Besides having the ability to use a clipless pedal system, you have gained force in your pedal stroke. The force exerted by the muscles pushing the pedals is not wasted by the flex of your shoes. Well, the same type of thing applies with your core. A strong “Hard” core is the base of your muscles force. Therefore, training your core will provide more force per pedal stroke and improve your power output which will result in more speed. The connection is mind boggling but the mind happens to be where you start. Start your core training by making that mind muscle connecting and gaining the ability to contract your core muscles. You can lay on your back as if you where going to do a sit up then contract and hold you abdomen inwards. Try to keep it contracted for 20, 30, or 60 seconds. When you have completed a few sets you can move to the next positions – standing, then on all fours. Once you have mastered your core stability base positions you can then incorporate that locked core base into more effective abdominal and lower back exercises. Core strength exercises commonly include exercises like crunches, leg lifts, six inches and stability ball routines. I can be more specific with the types of exercises but I will save it for another article.