Haven't really seen my husband on Saturday or Sunday mornings since I bought him his first road bike in 2002. Yep, I'm the spouse of a road cyclist. Watched him come home morning after morning, with sweat pouring down his face and back, salt stains on his jersey and a big old smile on his face, like he had just climbed Mr. Everest.
Fast forward to around 4 p.m. when he groans as he sits down or gets up and all that stiffness hangs out in his joints for the rest of the week!
What's the remedy? You got it. Yoga!
The repetitive movement in cycling is tough on hips, legs, shoulders and back and CAN, if not addressed, lead to injury. Yoga poses and breath work allows the body to release and relieve stress in these areas of the body. Moreover, yoga can help with core strength, back strength, balance and focus. Whoa, these are all things that help improve a cyclist's speed and endurance in the saddle.
Road mountain cyclist, Zane Schweer, gets tight in the hamstrings, hips and back. By incorporating yoga practice in to his weekly regimen, he has improved his flexibility, which has led to a more fluid pedal stroke and less cramping. And less time off the bike to stretch in the middle of a race.
Yoga helps cyclists realize that some parts of their body are underused in cycling and comparatively weak, such as the core, the low back and upper body. Yoga practice helps to put the body in balance, the torso in balance to the legs, the right leg in balance to the left leg, which creates a more powerful and efficient stroke.
Yoga also helps cyclists fall! Improved flexibility and balance helps you fall more safely and get back up more quickly.
Yup, I've told my husband all these things for years, and still, ahem, he groans. Trying now to arrange for a class specifically for cyclists, where my husband and all cyclists will feel more comfortable with like-minded athletes.
Until then, my cycling friends, give yoga a try at a local studio. Even one day a week can help with muscle tightness and improve your ride.