If you want to be a ‘better’ cyclist you just put in ‘more miles’ right? Although to a certain extent yes, there are significant benefits to come out of ‘off bike’ training such as Pilates. Having a strong core can make it easier for you to climb and move around the bike. But many of us neglect our core muscles in favour of a few extra hours on the bike. A strong core can help revolutionise your cycling technique whether you prefer skinny or fat tyre antics.
So, what is Pilates?
Pilates focuses on the ‘inner core’ of our bodies, developing strength from the innermost structures and works outwards. Rather than working our bodies through muscle isolation, Pilates focuses on posture, strength, mobility and flexibility from head to toe, moving the body in complete flowing movements, not isolated parts.
Why is Pilates good for cyclists?
Besides the recognised benefits of taking time out to focus on you in a calming and relaxing environment, it can actually improve your cycling form, efficiency and power.
- Develops a strong core and back for stable upper body
- Builds cycling specific strength and muscle control
- Increases flexibility and helps relieve tightness in cycling specific muscles
- Reduces pain and discomfort from long stints in the saddle by building strength and stability in your muscles
- Breath work helps to speed up recovery time as well as building focus and mental stillness needed for tackling trail features
- Helps prevent and avoid injuries by creating an all-round more functional moving pattern
- Increases balance by working on muscle control, this transfers to the bike, when you’re moving around the bike
Here is a little video on how to work your legs and core using Pilates principles.
To join a Pilates class near you and start feeling the benefits click here.