Tom Danielson Core Advantage cycling training book for developing strong abs and lower back musclesAsk any performance cyclist that’s ridden for anything over an hour if they’ve ever had back pain and they’re almost certain to say yes.

Ask any physical therapist worth their salt if crunches are the answer and they’ll almost certainly say no. Yet, that’s what we see and hear many cyclists do to “strengthen their core”.

Besides calming an overworked posterior chain, a strong set of well rounded core muscles provides a good foundation for cycling and virtually every other activity. But the key really is having balanced strength from front to back, side to side, top to bottom; and that’s where pro cyclist Tom Danielson’s new book, Core Advantage, hopes to help.

Its 224 pages contain 50 exercises developed by Allison Westfahl, personal trainer and founder of The Athletic Edge. Retail is $18.95 (or on Amazon for $11.63). Full PR after the break…

PRESS RELEASE: Professional cyclist Tom Danielson used to have a bad back. He shifted in the saddle, never comfortable, often in pain. When doing crunches made matters worse, he turned to personal trainer Allison Westfahl for a new approach. Danielson and Westfahl developed all-new exercises to build core strength specifically for cycling, curing Danielson’s back problems and giving him a new performance edge. Their new book Tom Danielson’s Core Advantage: Core Strength for Cycling’s Winning Edge will help cyclists of all abilities to ride stronger, longer, and more comfortably. The book will is now available in bookstores, bike shops, and online. Preview the book at

Tom Danielson’s Core Advantage delivers 50 essential core exercises for cyclists of all levels, amateur to pro. Each Core Advantage exercise complements the motions of riding a bike so cyclists boost efficiency and eliminate pain in the back, neck, and shoulders-all without weights, machines, or a gym membership. The book’s simple exercises build strength in the low back, hips, abs, chest, and shoulders without adding unwanted bulk. Diagrams explain the goal of each exercise, which Danielson models in clear photographs.

Beginner, intermediate, and advanced core training plans will strengthen muscles that stabilize the body so cyclists can pedal more efficiently, maintain power out of the saddle, and climb with newfound power. Each plan will create balanced muscle strength that helps cyclists avoid overuse injuries and develop endurance to prevent tightness and painful knots and strains.

Riding a bike takes more than leg strength. Now Tom Danielson’s Core Advantage lays out the core strengthening routines that enable longer, faster rides.

  • Tom Danielson’s Core Advantage: Core Strength for Cycling’s Winning Edge
  • Tom Danielson and Allison Westfahl with foreword by Patrick Dempsey
  • 7″ x 9″, 224 pp., $18.95, 978-1-934030-97-4
  • Paperback with illustrations throughout

Tom Danielson is a professional cyclist with Team Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda. Danielson won the national collegiate mountain biking championship riding for Fort Lewis College. He began his pro road cycling career riding for Team Mercury and then Team Saturn. Danielson won the Tour de Langkawi, Nature Valley Grand Prix, the Cascade Cycling Classic, Tour de Toona, and the Mt. Washington Hill Climb. In 2004, Danielson signed on with the Italian squad Fassa Bortolo and then Discovery in 2005 when he won the Tour de Georgia. While riding for Discovery, Danielson won a stage of the Vuelta a España. Since 2007, Danielson has consistently placed in the top 10 in stage races and Grand Tours, including stage wins in the 2011 Tour de France and USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Allison Westfahl is a certified coach, personal trainer, and founder of The Athletic Edge, a fitness consulting company based in Boulder, Colorado. She holds an MS in Exercise Science, a coaching certification from USA Triathlon, and has earned a CPT and PES from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Westfahl has worked as a personal trainer to amateur and youth athletes as well as elite cyclists Ryder Hesjedal, Timmy Duggan, Blake Caldwell, and Mike Friedman. She is the author of The Gluten Free Fat Loss Plan.


  1. the guys a doper. sure he confessed, then put in a decent ride out in colorado… but the guy is still a doper. he lied, he cheated, his performances stifled those that didnt cheat, and even today his body and mind carry the residual effects of doping/training at an inhuman level…

    and yet we quickly forget all that and give ol’ “Tommy D” a hug.

    screw his six month non-ban, forget this book, and treat him as a doper that damn-near ruined our sport.

  2. Exactly. Are there notes on how to dope from being just a low tier rider in Boulder to becoming the top dog dropping everyone in one year? Tom’s a doping loser.

  3. Gentlemen (and I use the term loosely)….. you have obviously forgotten what your Mother said about “if you have nothing good to say, then…….”. But why pass up a chance to show us how smart you really are, huh?

  4. I read this book last week. It’s actually got really good information for low back pain sufferers. No different than what a good PT would tell you, but most PTs don’t send you home with a comprehensive guide book with all of the exercises and workouts. It’s handy in that sense. I have been through a lot with sports and rehab since i was a pro snowboarder in my teens and now a 40 year old racer who also does power lifting. This combo is insanely tough on the back. You learn to love rehab though.

    I never knew the guy was a doper! Haha you guys are brutal.

  5. So should I inject myself pre or post work out. Also, does the EPO go directly into the vein or should I rub it all over my body until I’m shiney?

  6. I’m curious to know how many of you jerks have your Livestrong bracelets on still or are selling your Lance gear on Ebay……..go ride your bike (weak core and all) and shut up

  7. Famous quote by Bill Hicks:
    “See, I think drugs have done some good things for us. I really do and if you don’t think drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor. Go home tonight, take all your all your albums, all your tapes and all your CDs and burn ’em. ‘Cause you know what? The musicians who made all that great music that’s enhanced your lives throughout the years? R-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-eal ******’ high on drugs.”

    The same basic principle applies to cycling. If you don’t like pro’s doping, then stop watching pro cycling.

  8. Hey Carl, you mention moms. You think Tom told his mom about his misbehavior while doping,cheating, and banking the cash of others. Or followed ever mother’s advice to be honest?

    Think not, now buzz off you internet do-gooder. BR is for us trolls. Tom’s a cheater, he deserves all the heat he’ll get the rest of his career.

  9. Hey Gillis, recording contracts are not limited like the number or racing slots on a Pro Tour team during a grand tour. Save your weak analogies for an audience where one might make sense – with your stoner friends.

  10. @ Whatever – You’re right…. I’ll bet he didn’t tell his Mother. And I’ll bet you wouldn’t have the courage to say the things that are being said here to his face…… hence the handle “whatever” rather than your name. Cowardice, poor manners…. all hiding behind the guise of “trolling”. You’re a piece of work.

    @BikeRumor – When the constant trolling starts to hit you in the pocketbook because sponsors, manufacturers, distributors, and readers realize they don’t need or want to be a part of this kind of thing, maybe you will start exercising some editorial gumption. EVERYTHING is NOT OK. When anything goes, it probably will.

    Ever read “The Scarlet Letter”? Perhaps we should pin a big red “D” on all of the riders who cheated. I don’t condone what they did…. and I don’t condone your taking the opportunity, along with all the others, who jump at every chance to be “snarky”. Just remember…. this street runs two ways.

  11. “ruined our sport” pro road racer are ya? Don’t own any gear or piece of kit endorsed by any dopers? The only clean guys are the weekend warriors wannabes who are at Wednesday night worlds in a carpark.

  12. Gillis, your comment is by far the best on this page. Don’t listen to these whiners.

    carl, I hate censorship almost as much as I hate the BS that is spewed in these comments. I’d like to see BikeRumor do away with anonymous comments.

  13. I bought the book, read the lengthy introduction by Allison Westfahl on common problems/injuries suffered by cyclists is great. I recommend it for anyone that wants to be more aware of their body and how to improve your cycling. The exercises are well designed, there are three levels and each level has five sections: 1) Injury Prevention/Rehab Workout, 2) Posture-Correction Workout, 3) Stability and Bike-Handling Workout, 4) Endurance Workout, and 5)Tommy D’s Optimum Performance Workout.

    I have just started at the bottom with the Level 1 Injury Prevention/Rehab Workout. One of the nice things about these workouts is that you don’t need any specialized equipment. For some exercises you may want to use a yoga mat. There are others where you will need some towels (if you have hard wood floors) or some pieces of cardboard (for use on carpet), and then an exercise that uses a chair. Even if you’re not a fan of Danielson, remember that this book contains a core exercise program designed by Westfahl for a professional cyclist, which means that most of us will benefit from doing these exercises.

  14. good point. Allison is probably an incredibly adept physical trainer and has a lot of very good things to offer. i just wish it was her on the cover and tagged as the primary author. As the excersizes and plans(the meat of the book) are all her creations. It seems “Tommy D” is just a marketing tool (notice i used the word “Tool”, he he) to get Ms. Westfahl’s seemingly wonderful book more exposure.

    Hopefully the next book will be Allison standing on her own excellent merits.

What do you think?