by Linda Gilson, Pilates Instructor at Hartland Movement center.
When it comes to exercise, it goes without saying that riding your bike is a cyclist’s fitness passion. There are, however, big benefits for cyclists that make the time to incorporate alternative workouts off the bike, such as Pilates, into their regular routines.
Pilates is an exercise method centered around breath, control, and core strength that can help improve your alignment, flexibility/mobility, and movement efficiency. The emphasis on core training in a Pilates workout can help improve posture, performance, and power. This will not only help you maintain proper form on the bike, but it’ll also help you push through burning muscle fatigue.
Back strengthening and hip stability exercises, with core integration and correct form, are especially important to work on. Pilates can help cyclists build strength in the back, glutes, legs (quads, hamstrings, calves), and give your IT band an extra stretch.
All pilates exercises are paired to your breath, inhaling to prepare, then exhaling. These movements are especially important for cyclists because the controlled, and oftentimes slow movements, focus on developing the supportive, smaller groups of muscles that are overlooked during a ride when the bigger muscles like the quadriceps are dominating the movements.”
Pilates doesn’t have to be the center of your training schedule, but it’s worth considering, especially if you have back issues and/or pain.