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How can Pilates benefit the average cyclist?

7th June 2017

How can Pilates benefit the average cyclist?
For many cycling is nothing more than a hobby. A way to enjoy the sun of a weekend and get some much needed exercise. If this is you, you may be thinking 'why do I need to take a Pilates class to improve?'.

Well it's not necessarily about improvement, it's about efficiency, recovery and improved health. Who wouldn't like it if less peddling meant more distance covered? Sounds like the dream for most cyclists, whatever their experience level.

Pilates classes for cyclists

Power & Efficiency

To be a good cyclist, it's all about getting the maximum reward from your output. A lot of this comes down to posture. As you tire, your motion becomes less fluid and less steady. A well trained cyclist will keep their body aligned correctly and their head still, therefore wasting minimal energy.

Your leg power is driven by the core of the body, particularly around the lower spine, hips and abs. One of the main purposes of a Pilates class is to strengthen these muscles. Pilates routines reach the deeper core muscles in ways that a regular workout will not.

Three time Tour De France winner Chris Froome actually credits Pilates for some of his improvement, saying that by strengthening his core he was able to become more stable while riding.

Avoiding Injury

Cycling can be very intense on certain areas of the body. The hips and knees in particular are worked heavily in the motion of pedalling. This makes them more susceptible to injury. However, by taking a cycling specific Pilates class, these joints can be strengthen and made more flexible, which means your legs will still be able to generate power over long periods of time and it will prevent the knees turning during each pedal stroke. By lengthening the muscles in the legs, it will also stop you getting muscular injuries.

Cyclists also tend to have lower bone mineral density than other athletes, which means they have an increased risk of suffering breaks, sprains or fractures. By doing Pilates – weight resisted training – they can strengthen muscles without adding weight.

Easy To Learn

As a hobby, Cycling is one of the easiest to get into. You can get a reasonably priced second hand bike on the web in minutes and all you need to do is go outdoors to get involved.

However, Pilates is also really accessible. It requires one, maybe two hours a week of your time to go to a local Pilates class and learn with a teacher. Beginner's mat classes run everywhere from town halls to state-of-the-art studios and are regular. It can fit around your work schedule and in some cases can even be done at home. Importantly, it doesn't require much investment either. Mat classes are low cost and buying a mat doesn't cost much either.

How to find local Pilates class

regardless of whether you are interested in cycling competitively or just doing it for fun, Pilates classes can be a really handy addition to make your hobby a little easier.

Dependent on your goal different types of classes are available. One to One Pilates sessions or sports specific pilates sessions can be beneficial to anyone interested in competitive cycling, whereas a basic Pilates mat class is better as an introduction for those just looking to cycle for fun.

Even if you don't cycle, Pilates classes are still great fun and have lots of health benefits. To find a class in the USA, simply enter your location into the search on the homepage to see your nearest Pilates Studios.

Alternatively, if you're using an iPhone, download the 'NearYou' App! to find and book Pilates classes in your neighborhood.
Source: Pilates Near You