Each sport involves a certain psyche that is developed through its habitual practice. Cyclists, whether road or mountain bikers, have incredible mental and physical endurance. It is this ability to focus and concentrate that helps cyclists adopt the Pilates method quite easily.
Although cyclists usually have well-developed leg muscles, they often lack balance and strength in their upper body. Pilates helps strengthen the upper body without adding bulk or weight to your body frame. By strengthening the core muscles, Pilates provides the trunk stability you need for a powerful pedal stroke. Think of how much more difficult it is to push off of an unstable surface than off a solid platform. At the same time, a strong core is important for spinal support.
Another important factor is the body’s position on a bike – it can lead to rounded shoulders and a forward head posture. Through a series of back extension and upper-body exercises, Pilates can provide the strength and flexibility to “open” the chest and shoulders, as well as bringing the head back into alignment with the rest of the spine.
Lastly, the flexed hip and knee position on the bike creates tight calves, hip flexors, hamstrings and lower back muscles. The beauty of the Pilates method is the creation of long, lean muscles which can be flexible without compromising strength.