Cycling is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. It is popular as a mode of cheaper and environmentally friendly transport, it is increasingly enjoyed for leisure with people wanting to get out and enjoy the fresh air, and, of course, it is a popular sport. And with two British riders placing within the top 10 final rankings at this year’s Tour de France, it is highly likely that the popularity of cycling as a sport will increase even further in the next few years. The Cycling World Championships in Scotland is also a chance for cycling to really grow as a sport as all the disciplines greatest riders come together for one awesome festival of cycling.
Of course, like all sports, cycling is not without its fair share of strains and injuries, and one injury that plagues cyclists, in particular, is neck strain. Sometimes referred to as cyclist’s neck, the complaint occurs as a result of the extended position of the neck that is caused by craning, which often takes place when a cyclist is looking ahead to see the course in front of them.
Neck strain can also occur as a result of poor posture or an aggressive riding position. All of these can ultimately cause the trapezius muscle and the other muscles in the neck to develop stiffness and pain. The more cycling is undertaken with poor posture, the worse this type of injury can become.
Pilates is a great addition to any training regime for a range of different sports and is particularly good for cyclists.
Pilates exercises can help to strengthen, stretch and also lengthen the muscles in the neck that become too tight and short from the hunched position that long distance cyclists find themselves in after a lengthy time in the saddle.
Pilates can also help to strengthen and improve how you handle a bike, as well as efficiency and balance when cycling. When a cyclist becomes tired in the saddle, their body begins to roll from side to side on the cycle, and Pilates can help to build up a strong and stable core that can reduce the effect that this has on the body.
This can help the cyclist to pedal in a smoother manner, one where their shoulders, head and body can remain still for longer.
When core strength is improved as a result of the right Pilates exercises, it can improve the way in which someone cycles, and this can help with neck strain
The right Pilates exercises can make significant improvements to how you cycle and reduce the risk of injury. Why not check out my online or in-person classes to see how Pilates can help relieve some of the neck problems caused by cycling?
Team effort today to get both Emyr & I to the last round of the Southern XC Series in Basingstoke. Thank you to Granny and Grandpa for taking Ffion on an adventure to the deer park so we could go race.
My second race in 7 years & at least this time there was not a rain drop in sight…. By the end of the race I would have given anything for a drop of rain as the heat sapped the energy from my body! 🥵
I had the usual pre race nerves which I’m never sure I will actually be without even though I try and tell myself it’s just for fun & I’m riding my own race….
Going round the course with Em was fun, like having my own personal tour guide as he pointed out things, he remembered from last year racing at this venue.
Emyr had been talking about how important it was to get into the single track first from the start. So when I was called up I had tunnel vision on getting to that right hand first. After a good wheel spin in the gravel I managed to make my way to the front and into the single track. (must focus on a better start)
I made a stupid mistake at the first climbing picking a crap line ended up with me pushing, not a great start but I got back on reminded myself this was meant to be fun! Going into lap two I forgot to take my gel on the gravel track, another rookie error, so ended up trying to do so on the singletrack!
I felt good & kept pushing trying hard not to look back and ride my own race. After over taking a rider I got my line wrong and completely washed out the front wheel landing hard on my side, after dusting myself off I got back on and finished lap two and three with no more errors. Crossing the line feeling super happy with my achievement and having learnt a lot to take into my next race, whenever that may be….
It was then Emyr’s turn up in the Vets race, a hard category with some rapid riders! Gridded quite low after not attending the last race the dust cloud that arouse as they all sprinted away was spectacular. I spent most of Ems race watching his laps on the live tracking and filling up bottles of water.
The final round of the @southernxc series at Folly Farm and for the first time this year felt like my legs had returned. A complete contrast in the weather to my last race – just shy of of 30° with dry, dusty and fast trails.
A fast start with limited visibility due to the chalky dust being kicked up with everyone fighting for a decent position into the first single-track section. After quickly settling into a rhythm I began slowly moving up the field. All was going well until disaster struck and my chain broke on the quick link. After struggling to remove what was left of the link it finally gave way but took the end of my thumb with it. Back on the bike I tried catch up with the people I had worked hard to pass. Managed to reclaim a few places to finish in 18th.
Despite the mechanical, had a great day of racing – shame the season is pretty much over. Been great seeing so many familiar faces over the past few months…. until next time👍