Pilates and Cycling Performance


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“[Pilates] is comparable to active stretching ... some cyclists reported Pilates helped them enhance flexibility, muscle fitness and endurance.”
Joe Beer, UK cycling coach

Cycling is a low-impact exercise that causes fewer injuries than other aerobic exercises. Nevertheless, the cycling motion focuses on certain muscle groups while ignoring others. Cycling overworks the hip flexors and keeps the spine and shoulders rounded. Riding consistently in this hunched position will create inflexibility and imbalance that can lead to leg and torso injuries. And improving your overall cycling performance requires increased endurance, strength and better breathing techniques.

For these reasons, cyclists need a conditioning program that builds core strength and flexibility, and promotes better breathing and muscle balance. With its focus on core strength, flexibility, stability and balance, Pilates is a great tool for cycling performance.

Benefits of the Pilates for Cyclists Performance Program

  • Increases core strength and leg strength to improve cycle stroke effectiveness
  • Builds upper body strength to help you maintain correct posture
  • Increases lower back and hamstring flexibility
  • Reduces lower back injury by stretching hip flexors and quadriceps
  • Increases endurance through proper Pilates breathing technique
  • Corrects muscle imbalances to stabilize the leg movement during pedaling
  • Improves balance to minimize falls

"I've been doing Pilates for more than a year, and for me, it's been a real breakthrough in managing back pain and building my postural muscles."
Victoria Pendleton, British cyclist - silver medal in Individual Pursuit and gold medal in Keirin at 2012 Olympics (July 2012 issue of Marie Claire)

Mary's Pilates for Cyclists Performance Program

To help you achieve your cycling performance goals, Mary has created the Pilates for Cyclists Performance Program, based on Pilates principles and exercises customized to cycling’s physical demands and to your specific individual needs.

The program begins by strengthening the core muscles you use with every stroke and by restoring proper body alignment to help you reach an optimal pedaling rate for better speed and endurance. Other components of Mary’s program focus on improving your balance, hip and leg muscle flexibility, and coordination and breathing for efficiency and to prevent injuries. Pilates can correct muscular imbalances such as overloaded quads by stretching tight hip flexor and quads and working opposite hamstring muscles.

Mary also can assist in your recovery from injuries through customized exercises and modified program specifics.