Pilates has numerous benefits for everyone but I have seen huge benefits for people who do a lot of cycling. Cyclists regularly experience tight hip flexors, week lower back, tight pectorals, hunched shoulders among other issues. This can flow over into everyday life and with time can lead to deterioration of functional movements and consequently lead to musculoskeletal ailments. Pilates can help resolve these issues while also improving overall athletic performance by assisting the body to move and function better. At Sydney Movement Studio we can put together specific workout routines for cyclists
By targeting particular areas such as tight hip flexors or weak gluteus we can tailor each session specifically to the needs of each client / cyclist. Pilates is a low impact and sustainable form of supportive training that can bridge the gap between endurance cycling and everyday life. Pilates focuses on quality of movement, not quantity, and dramatically reduces the chances of injury, something that makes it accessible to all levels of fitness. The most common issue I see regularly with both cyclists and runners is that that they are quad dominant and we need to help them balance all of their supporting muscles to assist in more efficient movement and injury prevention.
Some Ways Pilates Can Help Cyclists;
IMPROVES GLUTEAL STRENGTH, PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT FOR QUAD DOMINANT CYCLISTS.
A large number of mat and reformer based exercises work on strengthening the posterior chain – Calves, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, mid and upper back. Stronger glutes and improved firing pattern of these muscles means that you are more efficient at recruiting these muscles; a particular problem for quad dominant cyclist.
- RELEASE HIP FLEXOR TENSION & IMPROVE OVERALL JOINT MOBILITY & RELIEVE MUSCLE TIGHTNESS.
Hip flexor tension is implicated in anterior pelvic tilt leading to excessive lumbar (lower back) flexion in standing position. When coupled with weak multifidus (deep spine stabiliser), this can place unnecessary stress on to the lumbar spine leading to pain and discomfort when standing. A large number of mat and reformer based exercises work on strengthening the posterior chain – Calves, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, mid and upper back.
- IT STRENGTHENS THE SPINE AND IMPROVES SPINE MOBILITY.
By working the spine in 3 dimensions both the distal and proximal musculature of the spinal column are evenly worked. In contrast to the general fitness classes that focus on mainly flexion (as in stomach crunches) Pilates also works on spine extension, lateral flexion, rotation and articulation. Not only does this mean that the spine itself stays healthy and mobile but also the deep supporting muscles of the spinal column (multifidus) stay strong.