How pilates could make you better cyclist

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11.04.19 at 10:58 am

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You might think it’s just for yummy mummies looking for a perkier bum or an easy armchair exercise for elderly people, but the reality is that Pilates is the perfect cross training secret that you’ll be wishing you tried sooner.

The century old practice, originally named “Contrology” is formed around six main principles:

  • Breath
  • Concentration
  • Centring
  • Control
  • Precision
  • Flow

These principles help to connect your mind with your body and focus on the quality of the exercise over quantity – great news if you’re pressed for time. As a result, Pilates is an effective and worthwhile addition to every stage of your training plan; even if you are not training for a race and you just swim, bike or run for the sheer satisfaction of it, Pilates will benefit your performance in and enjoyment of all these disciplines. Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!

So if you’re tempted by the idea of trying Pilates, but not sure where to start, then we have the perfect solution. We are thrilled to have teamed up with Pilates by Georgia to offer our customers an exclusive catalogue of Pilates classes, designed specifically for cyclists and triathletes.

A Chartered Physiotherapist, Georgia has been instructing Pilates for over 15 years and now you can bring her expertise into the comfort of your living room as she guides you through each class – all  specifically designed for cyclists. You can stream these videos on your phone, laptop or smart TV as many times as you like, all for free. All you need to do to access them is log into your Yellow Jersey account and click “Pilates by Georgia”.

Watch the Pilates classes  

So from getting a stronger core to correcting imbalances, Georgia talks us through what the videos have in store for you…

Athletes Core Class - Pilates by Georgia

Athletes Core Class – Learn how to activate your core powerhouse, mobilise your spine and strengthen from within.

It’s natural that we all have little instabilities and imbalances in our body. We might be compensating for an old injury or just have developed habits that mean one side is stronger than the other.  My Pilates workouts are designed to make you physically balanced while building strength in the muscle groups specific to swimming, cycling and running. We’ll even focus on the tiny muscles that support your dominant ones (yes, the ones you’ve never heard of!) A strong core means stronger and more stable limbs, so better performance in the long run.

Pilates for Lower Body Workout class - Pilates by Georgia

Pilates for Lower Body Workout class – Stabilise the pelvis, activate the glutes and strengthen the lower body.

Lower Back Pain – A Necessary Evil?

A common condition I treat as a physiotherapist working with cyclists is lower back pain. As cyclists and triathletes you know you spend a lot of time flexed forward in a position that restricts your hip mobility and subsequently the hip flexors can become very tight.

But you don’t need to see this as something you have to endure for the sport you love! Pilates exercises can help to lengthen your hip flexors and spinal muscles to counteract this, improving your posture whilst strengthening your lower back and glutes. As one of the most powerful muscle groups in your body, the glutes are your biggest asset when cycling and in turn provide power and stability on the bike and when running. Stronger glutes and an improved firing pattern means these muscles (and therefore you!) are more efficient.

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As well as increased lower back and glute strength, pelvic stability is one of the key benefits of the Pilates by Georgia programme. Be it on the saddle or whilst running, you will channel your power more effectively as you’re not making micro adjustments to keep central and upright.

Pilates for Upper Body Class - Pilates by Georgia

Pilates for Upper Body Class – Improve your posture by creating a healthy strong spine with good upper body mobility and awareness.

How often do you specifically train your upper body muscles? The key to good posture – and being able to maintain that good posture – on the bike is arm and shoulder endurance, but this is often overlooked. Pilates is a low impact and sustainable form of supportive training that can bridge the gap between endurance cycling and everyday life. It helps to correct postural instabilities caused by cycling and resets, or even improves, your posture.

Mobilise and Stretch Class - Pilates by Georgia

Mobilise and Stretch Class – Mobilise and relieve stiff joints, stretch and release tension encouraging good recovery.

Developing stability, strength and flexibility through Pilates will offer a whole host of benefits. You will develop a better awareness of your body and how it moves, and reduce the imbalances that you can feel as tightness, weakness or poor coordination. As a result, Pilates is an excellent tool for preventing injury in your main training. You don’t need to completely restructure your training plan though, as any practice will be beneficial, no matter how little.

Following these special classes will help you to build the foundations for your body to move and work efficiently, preserve valuable energy to achieve those PBs, and enhance your performance. Whether you are just starting out with exercise or have been training at an elite level for many years, Pilates is accessible for everyone. If you enjoy my classes then there are plenty more to choose from on my website, pilatesbygeorgia.com.

If you’re not yet a Yellow Jersey customer but you’re gutted to be missing out on this new customer benefit, there’s an easy solution…! Learn more about our bicycle insurance and travel insurance to find the right cover for you and your gear this season.

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