In this week’s blog we are going to be looking at how incorporating Pilates into a cycling training programme can be beneficial for reducing fatigue in certain areas of the body and how it can boost endurance.
It is understandable that cyclists are more drawn to working on their legs and forget to work on their upper body, core or flexibility. The core, especially, is crucial to cyclists. By not having a strong core, both abdominals and back, you’re reducing your ability to produce a solid base for your lower body to work with. A common trope within the cycling world is that the lower back is the first area to fatigue on a ride or a time trial due to their positioning and rounded shoulders. Pilates helps to engage the lower back, build stamina and flexibility there that will benefit your ride or time trial, as well as increasing your recovery time in between rides or competitions.
Watch the video for 3 simple stretches to help your core and shoulders.
Cycling can also be quite an individualistic sport, even if you are competing in a team, it is up to you to get the best time. Depending on the level you compete or cycle at, this can create extra stress for the mind. This is where another side of Pilates can come in for cyclists. Pilates has a certain meditative practice to it that is proven to help with stress and anxiety and to help improve sleep, making it a perfect addition to your pre-race routine.
Ultimately, where cyclists can really benefit from Pilates is that it teaches you to recognise when the pain is one that you are able to move into rather than pull away from, making Pilates ideal for endurance athletes like cyclists. A common trait in cyclist in their training, similar to other sports, is that they look to avoid the pain and therefore can push past it. Practicing Pilates will allow you to become more aware of how you carry yourself on and off of the bike. Do you notice that after a long day of sitting on a bike your hip flexors are particularly tight and take a while to recover? In the Edinburgh Pilates Studio, Chris has a real skill for pinpointing the exercises that will help you whilst encouraging you to come into each class with your own observations of how you hold your body. Pilates is, therefore, ideal for endurance athletes like cyclists and for those looking to build more awareness of how they carry themselves.
Tempted to see how Pilates can help your cycling? Get in touch with Chris today to find out more about incorporating it into your training and to book an assessment class.