Regardless of the recent scandals in cycling competition, which culminated in revelations about Lance Armstrong’s indiscretions with human growth hormone, there is a growing popularity in this sport of kings. And it’s not just in competitive racing. Increasingly, more and more sports fans are cycling to enjoy the movement and benefit from staying fit, staying fit and losing weight.
Add to Pilates’ growing popularity cycling and we have a match made in heaven. Pilates has been around since the early 20th century, but its growing popularity has recently risen due to the emergence of a health-conscious community. Pilates and cycling go hand in hand. The two complement each other in many ways.
The many benefits
Pilates develops core strength which is very beneficial for a cyclist. After all, when you think of an avid cyclist, what comes to mind? The answer: leg strength. Cycling only builds leg muscles, right? No, the whole body is built when cycling. Indeed, if a cyclist relies only on the strength of his legs, what happens? He becomes wobbly, unbalanced, weak in the arms, and ineffective in his movements. Instead of traveling in a straight and efficient line, it starts to move ineffectively.
Pilates addresses these problems. By coordinating the turning of the body, abdomen, chest and back, the cyclist gains a new balance and the all-important efficiency of movement. There are a number of advantages and improvements to the cyclist when engaging in a rigorous or, at least, consistent program of Pilates. Among the many advantages that are particularly relevant for cyclists are the following
Eliminate back pain, high efficiency of pedal movement
An improvement in the balance of muscle groups
More efficient energy for the upper body
Rapid recovery of lower body muscles
Superior stability from concentrated breathing
Fewer bone injuries due to increased bone strength
A decrease in any unintentional and ineffective movement that occurs during fatigue.
Pilates offers a number of exercises to strengthen and provide additional flexibility to the knees, lower back, thoracic spine, neck and pelvis, as well as the arms and legs. The Pilates stretch provides an added advantage to the cyclist. It helps improve posture and flexibility, and reduces injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.
If you’re interested in cycling, consider adding Pilates to your daily workout. There are many talented Pilates instructors and instructors to be found all over the country and of course bike shops are available almost everywhere these days!