I just wanted to share with you some Pilates stretches I love to do post ride. These stretches help lengthen out my hamstrings and quads, and mobilise through my back.
Cyclists are prone to not stretching but stretching out your muscles after riding your bike can really help with your posture and form on the bike. Try this simple stretch routine after each ride for supple and healthy muscles.
Humans were not made for sitting. Our ancestors where active and on their feet hunting, gathering and playing… The trouble with our 21st century life is we have become addicted to sitting we sit at work from 9 to 5 we get in and sit down with a nice cup of tea before standing briefly to make dinner before then sitting again to eat. I know isn’t quite like this and a lot of people make a real effort to exercise.
The trouble with sitting is it causes our abdominals to weaken, muscles in the back of your legs to shorten, your spine to slump and your shoulders to round forward. This can lead to lower back ache, and neck and shoulder pain. Doesn’t sound great does it!
Now, we all must sit for periods of the day there is no escaping that, try and think about your posture as you sit. Think about engaging your core pulling your belly button towards your spine, dropping your shoulder blades almost as if they were melting down your back and imagining you have a piece of string from the top of your head to the ceiling that is pulling you up making your spine longer.
Improving your core, back and hip strength will help you sit more comfortably and decrease the pressure you put on your spine. Pilates is the ideal exercise program to promote good posture and a well-balanced body.
There may be a shortage of eggs but that doesn’t mean you cant still make delicious treats for the whole family. Check out this egg free banana loaf perfect for post Pilates snacking or whilst chilling out working from home.
Functional strength is the strength we need in our daily lives to live. To be able to pick up our kids, shopping, go cycling or running we need a balance between strength and flexibility. Pilates exercises build functional strength, by creating a balance between strength and flexibility you do not compromise your body alignment and therefore posture. Often heavy weight training can mean a shortening of your muscles which compromises your flexibility and posture.
Squats and lunges are great examples of functional strength training exercises. These integrated exercises use lots of muscles, whereas isolated exercises, such as leg extensions, do not.
Why do you need functional strength?
Here’s a scary stat: your muscle mass and strength will decrease 30 to 50% between the ages of 30 and 80. So start using those muscles if you want to do at 80 what you can do at 30!
Doing resistance exercises and movements that help you become stronger, more flexible and agile means you are better equipped to handle day-to-day tasks as well as helping you be less injury prone.
Functional fitness incorporates muscle groups across the whole body it is beneficial to nearly everyone no matter what your fitness goal is. It builds lean muscle and can help you lose weight if that’s your intention. Right up to high performance athletes functional strength training brings a well rounded training session to your otherwise highly targeted weekly routine.
I am going to post some good functional strength training exercises on my youtube channel that you can do in your house and garden.