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Pilates For Cyclists

Increasingly, we hear of sportsmen and women extending their training beyond the skills and movements that define their chosen sport. Often these will be complementary conditioning programmes to maintain or enhance flexibility and mobility or exercises to prevent injury or to regain fitness after injury; for example, footballers undertaking Yoga or Pilates as part of their regular training regime; cricketers, golfer, tennis stars using Pilates to overcome chronic back pain. Yes, and cyclists. Scan Cycling Weekly and you’ll see references to building core strength, with accompanying recommended exercises, frequently Pilates based. But when I ask keen cyclists about Pilates often the response goes like this  ‘yes, I’ve heard it would be a plus, but there are only so many hours in the week, cycle training is very time consuming and I’ll get better by being on my bike’. Can’t argue with that? Well, yes I can actually. The case for Pilates for Cyclists Let’s start with those buzz words core strength. Many exercise programmes or gym work outs include core strength work but only Pilates places it at the very heart of its philosophy and practice. Everything, from the breathing and the initial set up to the movements undertaken, is designed to strengthen the deep abdominal, spinal and pelvic muscles and these muscles do not get strengthened by cycling or indeed by most fitness or sporting activities. With this girdle of strength positioned above your saddle you have an essential base for more efficient, economical and stable cycling. Improved core strength leads to improved balance, which can only assist your confidence, your bike handling. Again, many Pilates exercises, particularly... read more

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