Core training for +15% grades

A few years ago, I lived in South Wales and used to do hill repeats up a 15-20% grade climbing out of the saddle at 60-70rpm. Coupled with running it meant that steep grades used to be my specialty - I’d find the steepest bits of tarmac and launch myself up them with gusto (steepest ramp I’ve found is 37%).

Anyway, fast forward to today. I live in Liverpool, which is pan flat. I visited North Yorkshire (where this year’s worlds will be) and found the regular steep grades incredibly fatiguing for my lower core and hips.

Other than just doing loads of steep grades, what are good training or exercises to improve that conditioning?

Possibly gearing on the trainer and cadence. For instance, using the small chainring (lower inertia similar to hill) and mixing in cadence variations may stress your muscles differently, closer to how hills feel. Also, of course, doing these “out of the saddle” efforts on the trainer as well as you’ve done in the past. Lastly, possibly raising the front wheel (ie: Kickr Climb), whether by device or simply stacking risers under the wheel.


If you’re looking for an off the bike core/strength/stabilization routine, Tom Danielson’s book is pretty solid