Cycling is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to exercise. It is also considered as a base training exercise, where endurance and aerobic exercises are done at the same time.
When cycling, cyclists use muscles in both upper body and lower body. In upper body, the muscles used are back, abdominals and shoulders. While in the lower body, the muscles used are quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.
Although their leg muscles are well developed, cyclists tend to have shortfalls in other areas. Usually, they experience soreness in their lower back, tightness in the hamstrings and strain in the neck and shoulders.
Their neck muscles get tight from steadily looking forward while hinging at the hips and lower back. Eventually, their shoulder and back muscles may begin to experience more tension from the position they are in. Many cyclists come across short hip flexors and an imbalance to their hip extensor muscles, which tend to load stress on their lower back and knees.
How Pilates Can Help
All concerns cyclists face can be addressed with Pilates with specific flexibility and strengthening exercises. Pilates focuses on stability and postural alignment, strengthening muscles around the abdomen and spine to provide support to the back and more freedom of movement. Flexibility exercises help loosen tight, overworked muscles in the neck, back and limbs.
Pilates is an excellent way for them to acquire more core strength that can help support the lower back. Core strength provides a sturdy platform for the lower body to push against, transferring more power in pedaling.
Cyclists can benefit with Pilates through the following:
● More effective pedal stroke
● Stronger upper body
● Better balance
● More efficient leg muscle recovery
● More endurance through proper breathing
● Correction of muscle imbalances
Reformer Pilates strengthens the core muscles, which cyclists use with every stroke and restores proper body alignment to help them achieve their optimal pedaling rate for better speed and endurance. Reformer Pilates exercises also help cyclists in more efficient performance as well as prevention of injuries by improving balance, flexibility, coordination and breathing. Muscular imbalances caused by cycling posture and repetitive movements can be corrected with Pilates. Cyclists are able to build a lean, strong physique, increased endurance and tremendous reserve of energy, which are important for the long ride.
Cycling uses the body strength in a holistic way as every single part of the body is utilized. It makes a perfect sense that Reformer Pilates is a great complement to cycling. Cycling does not only involve the legs alone, which is why a cyclist needs overall strength, flexibility and balance to have a good performance where such skills can be achieved by practicing Reformer Pilates.