Can Pilates Improve your Cycling Experience?
A resounding YES! Why? Because Pilates methodology focuses on building a strong core, improves balance, posture and alignment and helps stabilise through the joints, all of which will have a profound effect on your cycling experience.
When you start to tire, your form is lost and your body starts to sway from side to side using more energy to move and you start to slow down. On the other hand if you have a strong core, you are able to hold yourself steady for much longer and therefore cycle further and faster.
A strong core will also help you with your balance, something that is beneficial for all levels of cyclists to help maintain your safety.
Correct alignment will help ensure you do not twist your ankles or knees helping to prevent injuries.
Many cyclists suffer with neck and upper back problems from being hunched over a frame for long periods of time as this not only increases the load on the arm and shoulders, it also hyperextends the neck. Tight hip flexors and hamstrings is another common problem. The lower hamstrings at the knee, remain bent. This can lead to a tendency for the lower portion to become shortened and tight. Cycling causes your pelvis to tilt forward, pulling your glutes out of alignment and forcing you to rely too much on your hamstrings, quadriceps, and lower back. Poor spinal health is common in young cyclists and often due to bad posture (on and off the bike) and injury. If you favour one side of your body or the other due to injury or poor posture, your back eventually takes the strain. An imbalance in the spine will cause overuse of the lower back.
Pilates can help rebalance your muscles gently bringing your body back into alignment and indeed improving it. Pilates is a low impact and sustainable form of training that helps to correct postural instabilities caused by cycling returning the body to its natural state.
So why not give Pilates a go and see how it can help improve your cycling experience?