XTERRA racing requires a strong core to transfer power between the lower and upper body, and in this instructional video three-time XTERRA U.S. Women’s Champion Suzie Snyder demonstrates proper technique for time-honored core exercises that will help you stay injury free, and become a better racer.
“Think about the actions when you're swimming, where your hip rotation + opposite arm pull equals power. If your middle is weak, you'll lose the connection and power,” said Snyder, explaining how core strength translates to XTERRA racing. “Also mountain biking, think steep climbs- how much do you use your upper body and core to maintain stability & balance? A lot!”
Dead bugs, planks, v-ups, bicycle crunches, Russian twists, and back extensions are familiar core exercises to those trying to build a strong middle, but are you doing them correctly?
“The key to a nice strong core is control, and getting the details right,” said Snyder. “There are a lot of easy ways to do these movements wrong, because in a lot of instances it’s easier to cheat so it’s important to work on the control aspect and avoid momentum.”
In this video Snyder shows us what control looks like, and provides helpful cues to follow in your own practice. For example, for a proper plank, she advises us to go through these steps.
“Think stability,” she says. “Feet and heels together, squeeze heels, thighs, butt, bring your belly button to your spine, pull your elbows to your toes, and pull your toes towards your elbow. Keep everything straight and in-line.”
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Suzie Snyder has been the top American elite woman finisher at the XTERRA World Championship for four straight years, is a two-time XTERRA Pan Am Tour Champion, and has won nine majors on the XTERRA World Tour. Before turning pro, the 16-year veteran of XTERRA won the 20-24 division world title in 2004 and four-time age group national championships as well. Find her on Facebook /suzie.snyder.7 and Instagram @suziesny.