Yoga offers benefits to athletes in a wide range of sports, including cyclists. The improving weather has cyclists in northern states anticipating getting back out on the road. When getting back into shape for cycling, yoga is a great addition to your workout routine.
Yoga offers several benefits to cyclists. Yoga opens the hips, stretches the muscles and increases flexibility, strength and endurance. In addition, yoga helps to prevent the soreness that is so common the next day.
Cyclists often feel muscle tightness throughout the body, specifically in the many muscle groups that are worked in cycling. This tightness is very common when getting back on the bike after the winter months. Yoga helps to stretch out the muscles, improve flexibility and reduce muscle tightness.
Pranayama breathing exercises help cyclists breathe more efficiently. Learning to breathe correctly increases endurance and improves oxygenation to the muscles and tissues of the body. This provides better performance on the bike and less pain after.
There are several yoga poses that are helpful for cyclists. Some asanas to use to get in shape for cycling include pelvic tilts, seated forward bend, twists, lunges, prayer pose and camel pose. Back bends help to counterbalance the forward hunching position and effects on the back. Consider the muscles throughout the body that are used in cycling and focus on including poses that stretch and strengthen various muscle groups and joints.
When practicing yoga or any type of stretching, you want to warm up the muscles with some gentle stretching before moving on to more complicated poses. For this reason, following an instructor, whether at the gym or studio or at home with a DVD will help you warm up the muscles and stretch the entire body.
There are yoga DVDs available with practices that are specifically designed for cyclists. These practices incorporate the poses that are most effective for helping cyclists to reach their goals for improved strength, endurance and greater flexibility and balance. You can find DVDs online and in some stores that cater to sports enthusiasts or yoga.