The Flutter Kick is the perfect core exercise for a powerful pedal stroke.
The Flutter Kick exercise, and variations of it, are great for targeting the lower abdominal muscles, in addition to the glutes, hip flexors, and quads.
An essential core exercise for cyclists because it stresses the core while moving the legs in a reciprocal motion, very similar to the pedal stroke, thereby increasing trunk strength and providing a stable base for the dynamics of cycling.
Key Tips for Proper Form
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Straight Leg Raise
While lying on your back with your knees straight, raise up both legs off the floor.
Use your stomach muscles to keep your spine from moving.
Lower legs closer to the floor to progress this exercise.
Lie faceup with legs straight and feet flexed.
Place both hands palms down on either side of hips for support.
Use your abdominals to lift legs about 45 degrees off the floor and flutter them—lift left leg, then right, then left, and repeat.
While lying on your back, place your hands at your sides.
Use your abdominals to lift your legs about 45 degrees off the floor.
Raise your legs in the air and move them in and out in an alternate scissoring motion as shown, crossing one leg over the other.
While lying on your back with your knees bent, raise both feet and straighten one out in front of you.
Then return the leg and straighten the other.
You should know how to do this one!
Conclusion: The Flutter Kick Series
When it comes to core exercises that target your hard-to-reach lower abs, the flutter kick and variations of it are some of the best options.
Doing so in a way that challenges your trunk while alternating movement of your legs, much in the same way that pedaling does, helps to improve your core’s stability and strength and your cycling base.
You will be able to pedal with more pain-free power with less postural fatigue. Making your ride faster, improve your endurance, and help you to enjoy every second of it.
Semi-retired as owner and director of his private Orthopedic Physical Therapy practice after over 20 years, Chris is blessed with the freedom to pursue his passion for virtual cycling and writing. On a continual quest to give back to his bike for all the rewarding experiences and relationships it has provided him, he created a non-profit. Chris is committed to helping others with his bike through its work and the pages of his site.
In the summer of 2022, he rode 3,900 miles from San Francisco to New York to support the charity he founded, TheDIRTDadFund. His “Gain Cave” resides on the North Fork of Long Island, where he lives with his beautiful wife and is proud of his two independent children.
You will read him promoting his passion on the pages of Cycling Weekly, Cycling News, road.cc, Zwift Insider, and Bicycling. Chris is co-host of The Virtual Velo Podcast, too!