Pilates for Cyclists
Ride smoother, pedal longer,
Whether you're a roadie, dirt lovin' mountain biker, or recreational cyclist, cycling is a great cardio-vascular exercise.
The modern bike, however, is not a masterpiece of efficient design - or a promoter of healthy posture. Indeed, quite the opposite, which is
the main reason that many cyclists do Pilates and even more should.
Pilates will boost your core strength, flexibility and muscle
balance, and it can help you to gain greater range motion and health in your shoulders, arms and torso. As a result, you'll minimize energy expenditure, reduce back strain and experience a more
- Strengthen all aspects of the leg for better propulsion
- Build upper body strength to maintain posture and balance
- Develop breathing awareness to build better endurance
- Increase lower back and hamstring flexibility
- >Stretch the hip flexors and quadriceps to avoid lower back pain
- Balance all leg muscles to stabilize the limbs and align the knee and hip joints
- Improve balance to avoid falls
Cyclists tend to have highly-developed legs, but frequently without the same sort of muscular conditioning of the upper body. That problem becomes particularly pronounced when fatigue sets in. The chest drops so that the neck has bend unnaturally to hold the head up, and all the weight falls into the front the arms, the deltoid, biceps and forearms.
Cycling can also require excessive bending of the lumbar spine, a forward rotation of the hips and pelvis, and shortening of the back of the neck due to the need to look forward and see where you're going. Many committed cyclists also suffer from a shortening of the hamstrings.
Cyclists use Pilates to restore postural alignment, shift the spine back into position, open up the chest, ease and prevent back pain and relieve the tension caused by sitting for long periods in a mechanically unsound position.
Too few cyclists devote enough time to the flexibility portion of their
training and conditioning plan. Lack of flexibility can contribute to muscular imbalance, and eventually lead to injury.
An investment of as little as 3 hours per week can pay huge dividends in your riding. Although traditional static stretching routines can help increase flexibility, Pilates offers a superior method of conditioning – offering a non-impact, whole-body workout that works each muscle through its full range of motion.