By: Lauren Valenta
I’ve been using Pilates as my main form of exercise for nearly 20 years. I loved it so much in fact, that I changed my career and now teach Pilates full time! It’s changed my body and helped to heal my chronic back pain all while making me strong and flexible. How cool is that? While I work out on a Reformer or on the Mat at least 4 days a week, I wanted to add in a workout that was more cardiovascular in focus. So, four years ago, at the urging of my husband, I became a novice cyclist. My rides vary from short commuter jaunts to longer, endurance rides of 25 miles or more. With summer here, I use Pilates as my strength training and cycling as my cardio conditioning tool. [PILATES FOR CYCLISTS WORKSHOP]
I try to approach all my rides with correct form, which includes neutral alignment, relaxed shoulders, and an engaged core. These three things are critical to a comfortable ride but I didn’t learn them on the bicycle – I learned them on the mat! Pilates has taught me how to breathe fully, how to correctly engage my core muscles, has built strength in my legs, shoulders, arms, and back. Because of this training I can move and power my ride from my center, outwards. When you are supported by a strong middle, you can devote more energy to your hips and legs and go faster, go longer, and go out more often!
If you are a cyclist – whether on the road or in the studio – you know the tension that builds in your arms, shoulders, legs, and body! Pilates can teach you how to adjust the tension away from your trouble spots, improve your bike posture and help you build overall strength to give you more comfort in the saddle. It can also relieve tension off the bike, improving flexibility in your legs, chest, and back – giving you a better ‘ride’ in life. 😉
I’m hosting a 90 minute workshop at Physio Logic Pilates & Movement in Brooklyn, NY on Wednesday, July 17th, 2019 at 6pm. We’ll discuss cycling posture and how the mechanics of riding a bike impact your muscles – both those working and the others that are playing a supporting role. You’ll learn exercises targeting strength gains as well as discuss the role that flexibility plays in making you a better cyclist. We’ll end with a Pilates Mat based session putting it all together. If you’d like to sign up, go to https://pilates.eventbrite.com or call Physio Logic for more information.