Core Strengthening Essentials for the Virtual Cyclist: The Flutter Kick Series

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Joy Murphy

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.

Flutter Kicks

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.

Scissor Kicks

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.

Check out this recent post on the importance of Core Strength for Cyclists.  

Including these on the Front Plank and Side Plank.

If you would like to know why it is so important, this recent post on Low Back Pain while cycling will help.

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James Rai
James Rai
1 year ago

Thanks, love the articles and it’s given me an eye opener on how important the core is and neglected.

I’m working on periformis syndrome and cycle often.

I’m following your routines and finding it helping to strengthen my core and reduce pain while increasing my performance.

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