Flexibility is a big part of a cyclist’s fitness level. But not all cyclists think about their flexibility on their bike. There are a few ways for you to improve your flexibility when you’re not riding. One of those is by practicing yoga. This can result to improved endurance, power, speed, and strength.
Cycling is a really fun low-impact aerobic exercise that you can do to get your blood pumping and lose some unwanted pounds. However, constant biking can also lead to decreased flexibility and limited motion range, especially if you do not do proper stretching before a ride. You’d be surprised but countless cyclists actually suffer from a lack of upper body strength, knee problems, tight hamstrings, poor posture, and more.
Even if you have a good form, that does not mean you won’t suffer from tightened muscles after a ride. That’s why it is crucial that you limber up your muscles – especially because you work them so hard when you do those climbs and sprints. Yoga can help you with that.
With yoga, you do not just get the benefits of proper stretching through correct alignment. It also gives you the opportunity to focus on your breathing and consciously feel how it moves through your entire body, calming your mind. This breathing technique can be applied while you are on the bike, to create more oxygen intake for you – a great help for when you’re riding sprinting. This also promotes body awareness, delivering better coordination. Balancing postures can also help improve your balance on the bike and gives you more agility.
Yoga helps you achieve a more disciplined mind, as well as a truly relaxed mental state. You’ll find that this also affects your entire body, relaxing it. If you are a competitive athlete, then you have already heard a sports psychologist, your coach, or your teammates tell you that you should only focus on the present moment and to know confidently that you have trained hard and you are ready. Yoga works the same way, teaching you to live in the moment and acknowledge that your past has brought you to where you are now. This is very important not just for elite athletes, but also for those who are just discovering a new love for biking or those who are recovering from an injury.
Yoga is an excellent way to strengthen your core which drives a lot of your power when you are on the bicycle. A strong core means less back pain and less chance of strain. The more and the longer you practice yoga, the stronger your upper body becomes.
With a clearer mind, more flexibility, a stronger upper body and core, and a better breathing technique, you will be able to enjoy more power, stamina, and strength when you ride.