What are the benefits of yoga for cyclists?
Do you suffer from knee pain, back pain, tight hamstrings, tight hip flexors, sore quads, Then you probably have “ADAPTIVE MUSCLE SHORTENING”
It’s not just about a bit of soreness after a ride, tight muscles can cause a whole host of ongoing problems such as:
Bad Posture on and off the bike
Lower back pain
Joints locking up
The overall feeling of discomfort
THE GOOD NEWS!!
Combating ADAPTIVE MUSCLE SHORTENING can be easy with some simple but effective yoga stretches and postures.
In my experience of teaching cyclists over the years they find that their stamina is improved, the experience improved power, their capacity to breath increased and the pain that they were experiencing decreases if not totally disappears over time.
Some of the most successful international cyclists use yoga as part of their successful training programs, like 2012 Tour De France winner Bradley Wiggins.
Benefits of Yoga for cyclists
Flexibility is believed to improve performance, reduce the risk of injury, improve transport of blood and nutrients to muscles, and reduce muscle soreness.
Many yoga poses target the hip flexors and lower back, helping to balance muscle strength and prevent injury. Yoga improves overall flexibility and will target those restricted areas.
Yoga also addresses the chronic imbalance in leg strength and coordination. The repetitive nature of cycling and the cycling posture create imbalances that cyclists specifically are counteracted by the practice of yoga. We tend to be one-legged just as we are right or left-handed. Several yoga poses known as “hip openers” specifically address this imbalance.
In addition to protecting the back from the undue strain on the bike, keeping your low back strong and bending at the hip results in greater recruitment of the glutes and hamstrings, spreading the workload more evenly and encouraging a smoother pedaling technique.
Improved concentration and focus
Strenuous cycling demands high levels of concentration. As required during a fast twisting descent or surviving the single-file laps when you’re stretched to your limit, yoga helps you to focus on the present moment and results in improves performance.
Yoga also keeps you focused on a deep and steady breath. Learning how to control your breath is very beneficial for the cyclists as it increases the oxygen flow and blood circulation to the muscles to increase their power and concentration.
One pose you can try to help open your upper chest and spine is the Bridge pose or setu bandhasana in Sanskrit