Building a strong body for cycling isn’t all about time on the bike. As much as just adding in more miles might seem tempting time off the bike on the mat and in the gym can be so beneficial to your cycling efficiency as well as warding off those cycling niggles, we all suffer from!
Pilates is probably not the first thing you think of to add to your cycling training, but it is a super effective way of building strength and mobility in equal measure. As cyclists we tend to have some pinch points of tightness and weakness, with a rounded Pilates program you can build strength starting from your core which stabilises the rest of your body and mobilise the joints that become stiff and muscles that become tight due to the fixed position on the bike.
Here are my top three Pilates exercise recommendations that you really should consider adding to your training regime.
Noughts and Crosses is a great exercise for putting your glutes through a tough workout. You will need no additional equipment, just a Pilates mat. Strong glutes are essential in cycling. The gluteus maximus, which is the largest of the three, is a powerful hip extender and is strongly activated in the down stroke of the action of pedalling. The medius and minimus gluteus muscles are also essential when it comes to outward rotation and lateral movement in the hips.
This Pilates move, swimming, is a fantastic workout that targets your posterior chain. These are the muscles that can be found in the back of your body. To slow down the move and get more core activation use the breathing technique I use in this video, if you want to know more about breathing better for health and wellness follow this link.
An improved posterior chain can help you to improve your form on the bike, as well as your general posture. This promotes a more efficient alignment on the bike which not only helps your back but your breathing too!
This is a great stretch that not only helps to stretch the hip and back but also the calf muscles. The exercise is designed to help combat tightness in the muscles whilst also preventing pain in other areas of the body as well. Adding this exercise to any sporting warm-up will help to combat pain in the back and hips, which can, of course, be incredibly beneficial to your cycling.
Adding just a few of the right Pilates exercises to your routine will really help to improve the strength of your core and, therefore, your cycling. If you’d like further advice on the best exercises to help you ride better, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or join my online Pilates program for cyclists.Favorite