22 Feb Pilates for Cyclists
Pilates is all about strength and flexibility of the body by focusing on the core, postural muscle groups. Cyclists tend to have highly developed legs from hours on their bikes, but unfortunately cycling alone won’t develop the body as a whole. That’s where Pilates can come in…with benefits such as developing core strength, increased balance and improved posture, by adding Pilates to your training you will find that in time your body, and even your legs, work more efficiently when you get on your bike!
What does core strength do for cyclists anyway?
A stronger, more stable core will help transfer more power to the pedals by providing a solid platform for the lower body to push against. Pilates exercises are targeted to develop strength in the deep stabilising muscles of the abdomen, glutes and spine, taking pressure off the superficial muscles and promoting more balanced and efficient use. This kind of inner strength training, along with Pilates focus on postural alignment, flexibility, balance and stability will support you as a cyclist through those long rides or short sprints!
With Pilates, the stability and alignment of your pelvis is important in each and every move, which in turn requires subtle movements that help strengthen the core body muscles important to cycling such as the abdominal muscle groups and erector spinae muscles.
Another benefit from increased core strength is the additional support offered to the lower back, where many cyclists feel pain especially as they fatigue on a long ride or perhaps as a result of the rounded shoulder position leaning forward over the handle bars. Improvements in posture and central strength will allow you to keep cycling for longer without back pain or the signs of fatigue kicking in.
Pilates also helps you become more aware of what each part of your body is responsible for — on and off the bike. This awareness should allow you to correct the things that will increase your speed and power and enjoyment on the bike.