Could the introduction of Pilates help the cyclist to train smarter?……
The answer to this is a resounding yes – at both an elite level, and also for someone who is using their bike to get to work ; for any cyclist improving efficiency is key – the more power they can produce with less effort, the faster they can travel for longer.
It is easy to spot a tiring cyclist – as fatigue sets in their effort becomes less and less efficient, and as they pedal, their bodies will start to roll from side to side on their bikes. In contrast, riders who are still moving efficiently will have their legs turning the pedals smoothly whilst their head, shoulders and body remain still and secure, in doing so they are wasting less energy to propel the bike. Clearly, the longer a cyclist is able to maintain good form on the bike, the more efficiently they will use their energy, and the further and faster they can go. (and the less dysfunctional compensatory patterns arise too !)
So with Core stability plus hip flexibility integral to producing power on the bike, it stands to reason that the Pilates method could be effective. Pilates can also help with common cycling injuries such as lower back pain, hip pain, and Knee pain?
“I’m a life-long avid XC skier and cyclist. I first heard about the benefits of Pilates on athletic performance from a Masters ski coach of mine. That got me thinking! A bit later, I developed some knee soreness that I was pretty sure was the result of muscle imbalance. That led me to Cores & Effects and Amy. She quickly identified the cause of my knee pain and we set about restoring balance and building flexibility and strength to get back to proper alignment. The improvement was noticeable very quickly and it wasn’t long before the issue was completely resolved! I also noticed that my performance on the bike was improving as I was learning to recruit more muscles properly and that my awareness of proper form was much more acute. I’m very interested to see how this translates to the skis as well.
Amy is a very skilled teacher who understands athletics and I truly enjoy the challenges she presents me with each session. I believe that what I am learning from Amy will enable me to keep my level of physical activity high for many years to come!
Don Thomas – 61”
Whilst riding that trail, you’re mostly aware of your legs pumping, your abs and back are working very hard to support you, and the stronger they are, the less fatigue you’ll feel – especially if you’re climbing alot or getting down into that lower position. The Pilates repertoire has a huge range of precision exercises to assist the rider.
Check out our sponsored rider Mike being put through part of his regime with opening the side body exercise and connecting the back with deep abdominals. Taught by Tanis Fleming, Master Teacher at Cores & Effect Teacher Training.
Regardless if you ride a road or flat bar bike – you still curl your back over the handlebars, though roadies will suffer the effects more. As a result, cyclists often have tight shoulders – and this can actually throw off the alignment of your entire spine, which connects to your hips and legs… not good!
Check out Carol demonstrating an exercise that transforms the back, neck, shoulders and wrists! Taught by Tanis Fleming, Master Teacher at Cores & Effect Teacher Training.
With Pilates keeping the spine in a stable position whilst the limbs move, and improvements of the core strength, and cyclists increase their power output !
Contact the studio via email firstname.lastname@example.org to add Pilates into your training.