Cycling, Pilates, & Lower and Upper Back Pain Exercises
Cycling is such a popular sport nowadays, yet unfortunately at both the professional and amateur level cyclists encounter problems relating to posture. While it may be great cardiovascular exercise, the modern bike is not a masterpiece of efficient design. It also does not promote a healthy posture. Indeed, it does quite the opposite! This is the main reason that many cyclists do Pilates. Here at Pilates Central, we believe that even more cyclists should consider Pilates classes. Not only to help address these problems, but also to prevent them. We do this by utilising both lower and upper back pain exercises, in addition to assessing and working on the whole body.
The Bike Causes Back Problems
Old-fashioned ‘sit-up-and-beg’ cycles were far better suited to a comfortable riding position. This was because the upper body was held still and the spine lengthened. Modern mountain and racing 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. As a result, many cyclists find that they suffer pain, and this is something that attending regular Pilates classes can help to address.
How Can Pilates Help Cyclists?
Just as runners can use Pilates to enhance their body awareness and condition efficient patterns of movement, so many cyclists also use it. They find it helps to restore postural alignment, to shift the spine back into position, and to open up the chest. This helps to ease and prevent back pain and also relieves the tension caused by sitting for long periods in a mechanically unsound position.
In fact not only does Pilates address postural issues, cycling-related pain and injuries, but it also improves performance. As a result, you become stronger, and more efficient on the bike. This helps you to be a better cyclist. The stretching and lengthening exercises help to address short and tight muscles such as the hamstrings. A fact which British Cycling blogger Chris Walker talks about in his blog post about taking up Pilates for cycling. These exercises also help to increase flexibility, which is an issue for many cyclists.
To find out how Pilates may help you, why not give us a call or visit the Pilates Central studio. We are only a short walk from Angel tube station. You can find out how to contact us on our contact page or for directions visit our location page.