Yoga and cycling goes hand in hand, so it is no surprise more and more cyclists get off the bike and take to the mat. At first it may seem like an unusual combination but when you bring into the equation of flexibility and strength in not just your legs, but core and upper body too, you begin to see exactly why it works so well.
Core strength for cyclists
You may have had the pleasure (or displeasure) of cycling up Cleeve Hill, Buschcombe Lane, or Leckhampton. All three are tough going yet often required if you are looking for Cheltenham cycle routes that lead you into the beautiful cotswolds. Strengthening the core helps you maintain using the energy in your legs as well as standing up and attacking those hills. Some gradients are tough and if you haven’t got your weight forward enough, you risk falling backwards.
Without doing exercise outside of cycling, it is tough to work on all aspects of your core. After all it is built up of more than just your abs.
Flexibility and positioning
Flexibility is crucial in cycling. To go faster and reduce energy expenditure, an aerodynamic posture is a must. The lower you can get on your bike, and the tighter the body you can make, the less wind resistance you’ll get. Flexibility is also closely related with strength output.
Having flexible muscles in your legs can help create stronger strokes. Whilst it might be marginal gains, they all soon add up. By being flexible, you can output more power, enhance your aero technique, and prevent injury.
Yoga prevents cycling injuries
You can use yoga to recover your muscles after long cycling sessions. If done through a light session, you can relax your muscles and increase blood flow to help get the muscles on the mend. Cyclists tend to exert more power in one leg than the other, and yoga helps align the spine and strengthen all round to naturally even this out. In doing so, you are less likely to injure a leg by overusing it during a long ride.
As seen by these three benefits, yoga is an essential for cyclists wanting to develop their cycling performance. You’ll cycle better with yoga, in your outdoor cycling as well as your Urban Ride indoor cycling sessions.