Pilates for Cycling
Cycling may be great cardio-vascular exercise but the modern bike is not a masterpiece of efficient design - or a promoter of healthy posture. Indeed, quite the opposite, which is the main reason that many cyclists do Pilates and even more should.
Old-fashioned 'sit-up-and-beg' cycles were far better suited to a comfortable riding position, with the upper body held still and the spine lengthened. Modern mountain bikes require a more hunched posture with the head placed low over the front wheel. This causes excessive bending of the lumbar spine, a forward rotation of the hips and pelvis, and shortening of the back of the neck due to the need to look forward and see where you're going. Many committed cyclists also suffer from a shortening of the hamstrings.
Just as runners can use Pilates to enhance their body awareness and condition efficient patterns of movement, so many cyclists use it to restore postural alignment, shift the spine back into position, open up the chest, ease and prevent back pain and relieve the tension caused by sitting for long periods in a mechanically unsound position.