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Pilates for Cyclists

Core Exercises to Make You Stronger on the Bike


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Developing core body strength is one of the fundamentals of Pilates.

(c) Marguerite Ogle, licensed to About.com
If you are not familiar with Pilates, you may be asking yourself two questions. What is Pilates? And how can it help make me stronger on the bike?

What is Pilates?

Pilates (pronounced pi-LAH-teez) is a form of exercise, developed by in the early 1900's by German fitness enthusiast Joseph Pilates. Pilates develops strength and flexibility of the body by focusing on the core muscle groups -- particularly the back, chest, abdomen and buttocks -- to create long, lean muscles and graceful and efficient motions.

How Can it Help Me on the Bike?

Pilates Guide Marguerite Ogle offered the following observation while watching the Tour de France.

"As with most sports, in bicycling there are common pitfalls like repetitive stress on certain muscle groups and the accompanying uneven development of the musculature."

In other words, we as cyclists tend to have highly-developed legs, but frequently without the same sort of muscular conditioning of the upper body. That problem becomes particularly pronounced, she notes, when fatigue sets in.

To help counter that, Marguerite recommends the following Pilates exercises specifically for cyclists because of their emphasis on balanced overall strength and flexibility as well as their ability to help develop underused muscles:

Details on these exercises that Marguerite recommends, as well as much more information about Pilates, can be found at pilates.about.com
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