Benefits of Pilates for Cyclists
Pilates is a century old practice originally named ‘Contrology’, devised by Josep Pilates to rehabilitate soldiers wounded in the war.
Through a number of specific principles, training in Pilates enables you to develop a strong but flexible body, capable of greater efficiency and technique on the bike.
Centering around strengthening the core, the body is trained through a variety of exercises that allow a greater flow of movement, muscle balance, flexibility and stamina. Ultimately this will lead to a better pedal technique and more efficient pedal stroke. A strong core will also provide a stable platform to push down on the pedals which will have a big impact on your power output, speed and endurance.
It’s natural to have imbalances and instability in our body. It may be we are compensating for a previous injury or have developed bad habits, which means we favour one side of the body to the other.
Pilates helps us to balance out the body by focusing upon the quality rather than the quantity of the exercises, making us much more aware of how our muscles can perform more efficiently once translated into riding a bike or taking part in any other exercise.
A strong core means greater stability and strength in the limbs, ultimately resulting in greater and more improved performance in the long run.
As cyclists spend a lot of time flexed forward in a position that is restrictive of hip mobility, the hip flexors become particularly tight. This then has an impact upon lower back alignment, causing the pelvis to tilt forwards and subsequently causing tension and sometimes lower back pain.
We often see cyclists that have tight hip flexors struggle to get the perfect Italian Stallion pedal technique shape. This is because hip flexors are important for driving the toes forward at the top of the pedal stroke to generate more power.
Pilates exercises help lengthen and counterbalance tight hip flexors by activating and strengthening the back and glute (bottom) muscles. The glutes are one of the most powerful muscles in the human body, stronger glutes and better muscle tracking means that these muscles (and ultimately you) are more efficient. It’s a win win!
Upper Body Training:
In Pilates we will also train the upper body, something very much overlooked by cyclists. The main key to holding a good posture on the bike apart from core strength, is good arm and shoulder endurance.
With Pilates being a lower impact and sustainable form of training, not only will it help correct postural imperfections caused by cycling, it will improve your day to day posture.
You will develop strength, stability and flexibility through Pilates training, a greater awareness of the body in motion, it’s tightnesses and imbalances, and coordination.
Ultimately Pilates is an excellent tool to enhance your cycling training and prevent injury.
What our clients have to say:
"At first I was sceptical about the improvements Pilates could make to my cycling, but now having completed a couple of Pilates classes at Njinga I can defiantly feel the difference in my cycling." Ian Brown
"I really enjoy the Pilates classes at Njinga. Vicky is a lovely instructor. She takes us through the stretches/poses with great patience and guidance and I know these classes will help to improve my core strength and stability." Catherine Twidle
"As a first timer with no experience I really enjoyed the class in the lab and definitely felt the difference in the following days...great session...great teacher and looking forward to future sessions." Michael Jackson
Meet our instructor:
Vicky is an experienced Pilates instructor having studied it the last 25 years during her entire dancing career. Vicky has a YMCA level 3 Diploma in Pilates instruction and is currently finishing her equipment certification.
Vicky is also a Royal Ballet School trained teacher, Acrobatic Arts instructor, Fitsteps Instructor and qualified to teach many different forms of dance, stretch and conditioning and is also a keen cyclist.
Try a class for yourself.
Whether you are completely new to Pilates or have completed many classes before, our classes are suitable for all levels. Come along and try a class for yourself.