Have you ever peaked into the Pilates studio while on your way to Spin and wondered “What is going in there?” No loud music?? No shoes?? No yelling?? Clearly nothing in common with Spin, right?? Well there is more of a connection than you might think! In fact, Pilates is one of the most effective ways to cross-train to enhance your performance on the bike. Here are a few reasons why:
- Pilates is Core-centric – We start from the powerhouse working the deepest muscles and perform all exercises from a strong and stable center. That strong and stable center is exactly what is needed to hold the rounded forward position on the bike without creating pain in the shoulders or back.
- Pilates makes your breathing more efficient. A great Spin class pushes you to the max, and for that you need breath! In Pilates, we focus on back breathing to create the largest inhale possible and activate the transverse abdominis for forced expiration. Pilates exercises open the chest, strengthen the upper back, and help keep the shoulders where they belong – all critical for ideal breathing. With Pilates breathing, there’s no chance you’ll be slouching or collapsing your ribs on your next ride!
- Pilates creates balance. Unilateral exercises in Pilates highlight strengths and weaknesses and allow you to work with your trainer to create balance in your body. How does that translate to riding a bike? Well, you won’t have to rely on one side more than the other to power through the most intense parts of class, and you’ll reduce your risk of injury caused by compensatory patterns.
- Pilates builds long, lean muscle. This includes the quadriceps and hamstrings where strength is crucial to power through sprints and climbs without negatively impacting the knee joint. Pilates doesn’t strengthen without stretch, however. An equal amount of stretch is provided to balance any tightness in the legs and hips.
We know you love your ride, but don’t forget the importance of strength training to get strong and lean. Consider adding some variety to your routine with a Pilates workout, and I promise you will feel the results!
For your FREE Pilates Discovery Session, contact:
Kimberly Boucher – [email protected]
Director, Powerhouse Pilates at NRG Lab