Core Exercise: Reverse Tabletop

This core exercise is part of a series of core workouts offering a multi-planar approach to core integrity.

Strength and conditioning coach Jess Elliott of TAG Performance has worked with many cyclists. She often sees similar issues when it comes to their core strength. The Reverse Tabletop exercise will address some of those specific weaknesses that she so often sees.

This exercise is part of a series of core workouts that Jess likes to prescribe, offering a multi-planar approach to core integrity. The goals are to build stability, efficiency, and resilience.

As she likes to say, these are the core movements that all cyclists should master. Remember to keep it simple and master the essentials. Every cyclist she’s worked with has needed help to learn how to execute these movements properly. Most people perform them incorrectly. So take your time understanding the mechanics of each movement; don’t try to progress too quickly.

Of note, there’s no sophisticated equipment necessary to perform these exercises. For those athletes who want to try the advanced progressions, have a small stool and kettle bell handy.

For more on preventing injuries through strength and conditioning, check out Fast Talk, episode 87: Preventing Injuries Through Strength and Conditioning, with Jess Elliott.

For a better understanding of why it is so important to make time for off-the-bike strength and conditioning work, check out Cycling in Alignment, episode 16: Strength and Conditioning, with Jess Elliott of TAG Performance.

Reverse Tabletop

Perform 2-3 sets starting with 10-15-second holds, working up to 30-45 second holds.

Progress by incorporating leg extension, holding one leg out for 5 seconds at a time before switching to the other leg. Do 2-3 repetitions per side of 5-second leg holds within your sets.

Video Transcript

(Please excuse any typos as this transcript is generated automatically through A.I.)

Jess Elliot  11:26

All right, for our final movement, we’re going to showcase reverse tabletop. So we’ve done a lot of movements for the frontal plane, sagittal plane, but we also want to make sure that we’re working on the posterior chain, instead of just working on the anterior side. So Chris is going to set up in the reverse tabletop position. So think about a quadruped in reverse, beautiful, nailed it, first try.

Jess Elliot  11:48

So when you’re setting up in this position, make sure that the knees are directly above the ankles and the shoulders are directly above the wrists. As far as if the hands are facing out or forward with the fingertips, it’s whatever’s comfortable for you. Another thing here is notice that Chris’s neck is nice and neutral. What we don’t want to see is the head flexed. So pull your head up, tuck your chin to your chest, good. Or, relax it’s super far back. Okay, so we don’t want to see either of those, we want to maintain a nice and neutral position. Alright, how are you doing, Chris? Do we need a break?

Chris Case  12:18

No, I’m good.