How Pilates can help with neck strain caused by cycling

How Pilates can help with neck strain caused by cycling

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.

Why Pilates?

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?

Improve your posture through Pilates

Improve your posture through Pilates

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.

Join my online Pilates classes to help correct bad posture and improve your all over body strength and wellbeing. 

What is functional strength training and how you can benefit.

What is functional strength training and how you can benefit.

What is functional strength?

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.

Thanks for reading 🙂


Online classes live from Monday, embrace your self-isolation and come and workout with my online community.

Online classes live from Monday, embrace your self-isolation and come and workout with my online community.

Following the Government’s latest response to Covid-19, it is with great sadness, I must advise that all Pilates classes are suspended from next Monday 23rd March. I hope to run the next three days worth of classes but please get in touch if you are not attending so I can check numbers.

Don’t panic though! I have a new timetable of online classes that you can join from the comfort of your own home. Yes, it will be different, but the alternative is losing the hard work and dedication you have put into making your body stronger, more flexible and fitter.
I know what I would choose.

We also all know that sitting at home on our bums is not good for us, so I invite you to join me online, live from Monday 23rd March. I will be running two live online classes a day from my private Beyond the Studio Live group.

Don’t have a Facebook account? I have created an online tutorial on how to set up a super secure Facebook page so you can join in! Please let me know if you have any questions or queries on this. I can also email workouts as an alternative should you wish! Click here to watch the video

I have also added a video on how to join the group and join the online live classes. Click here to watch how to join my page and group on facebook.

To avoid confusion, I am going to freeze everyone’s ‘real’ class payments from Monday 23rd March, so your ‘virtual classes and real classes are not linked.

I have come up with two packages, please let me know by email if you would like to sign up to either of these.

Package one:

  • 2 live classes a day – one morning one evening – timetable coming tomorrow.
  • Exercises you can do whilst out walking
  • Weekly Pilates challenges
  • Polls
  • Prizes
  • Positive lifestyle tips
  • One filmed class a week
  • Outdoor classes (providing this is allowed from April, should we still be in this situation)
  • Weekly roll call and accountability to keep us all motivated and exercising
  • Outdoor celebration, Pilates picnic in the park once we can celebrate the beginning of our new ‘real’ classes restarting

Package one is £28 a month (That’s £1 a day, 50p a class, should you embrace all of them! :))

Package two you will get all the above plus:

  • One to one postural assessment and plan for helping you improve your posture
  • Send me videos of you doing a class and I will give feedback and correction
  • One to one virtual class once a week via skype
  • 24/7 what’s app support
  • First ‘real’ class back is free

Package two is £40 a month

I know how important these classes are for us all and can only hope – optimistically! (along with the rest of the country) that we return to normality soon. Until then I am doing my best to keep us all active and healthy.

I hope you will join me, and we can embrace this new adventure together!
I am here if you need to talk through anything and keen to help you get online and join my classes and stay connected during the next few months. In times like these we really need our community, my wish is that we take our ‘real’ class spirit online!

Wake up and mobilise with Pilates

Wake up and mobilise with Pilates

Try my new Pilates at home wake up and mobilise routine. Only 10 minutes long try waking up, getting out of bed and following this simple Pilates workout to help energise your body, mobilise your joints and strengthen your muscles.

I have come up with a simple Pilates energising routine to try once you get out of bed, it’s only 10 minutes long so shouldn’t be hard to fit into your morning routine.

Let me know how you get on over on my facebook page.

Wake up and mobilise with Pilates

How good is your sleep?

Sleep. We all need it! Sometimes it’s hard to switch off and shut down our busy minds and get enough restful sleep.

Your body has a natural time-keeping clock known as your circadian rhythm. It affects your brain, body and hormones, helping you stay awake and telling your body when it’s time to sleep. So adding in bright light from your phone or TV just before bed tells your body it’s still time to be awake and therefore affecting your ability to sleep.

Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. This improves daytime energy, as well as nighttime sleep quality and duration, try getting a sun clock like the Lumi for a better way to wake up in the morning.

Learning to have some down time just before you go to sleep can help you to relax and get ready for sleep. I have come up with a simple Pilates stretch routine you can try just before bed. Let me know how you get on over on my facebook page.