Pilates for Cyclists: Beyond Basic Bicycle Training
Several of my Tucson clients who are cycling enthusiasts have asked that I write a post that specifically addresses why Pilates is so beneficial for cyclists. Realizing that dedicated cyclists already commit to extensive bicycle training, here I’m highlighting benefits which not only help cycling performance, but also can help prevent cycling injuries.
Benefits of Pilates for Cyclists
- A regular Pilates practice increases core awareness and strengthening , enabling greater ease with positioning. Much time is spent in a forward hinge when riding, and knowing how to find and maintain a hinge without over using your back muscles is tremendously beneficial.
- Proper and specific breathing techniques provide additional support when climbing hills.
- Cyclists gain greater “lat awareness” (keeping the lats engaged and drawing them down ), which helps maintain proper bike posture and keeps tension out the neck.
- A Pilates practice focuses on whole body movement and creates even muscle development, a huge benefit as cycling focuses on the larger muscle groups.
- Pilates practice creates awareness of internal muscles not generally addressed in bicycle training, improving strength development and safe use of the joints.
I encourage cyclists, runners, and all athletes – to incorporate Pilates into their training. Each sport practitioner benefits in unique ways, but commonalities include greater balance, strength and flexibility, as well as injury prevention.
Try a beginning Mat class or an Equipment class to see the difference. Even the most fit cyclists discover muscles that they didn’t know they had after just a few sessions.