Training: Yoga for Cyclists
One of the primary complaints of the cyclists after an event like Paris
Roubaix is their low back hurts....
This past weekend was the Paris Roubaix road race in France, whethere it is
the Boulder Roubaix in Boulder, Colorado or Battenkill in New York; many
cyclists, after an event like these, complain about their low, mid or upper
back. Similarly, many cyclists have trouble getting low enough on their TT bikes
or producing power in the low position. This is usually due to inflexibility of
the hamstrings, core musculature and hips.
Yoga is practiced in India for medical benefits, through certain poses,
specific tissues, systems, and organs are compressed, or opened in order to
achieve a desired outcome. Yoga can be used to treat conditions ranging from
depression, diabetes, and sleep problems, to more physical ailments like
osteoporosis, scoliosis, nerve function and response, and of course, stretching,
strengthening, and lengthening muscles. It is also a fabulous method of
preparing for or cross training for sports.
Yoga has been around for thousands of
years. The literal translation for yoga is "balance", specifically, balancing
body and mind.
It should be noted that not all yoga classes are the same. There are as many
types of yoga as there are forms of martial arts. There is yoga for strength,
yoga for meditation, fast-paced yoga, slow-yoga, hot yoga...the list goes on.
Finding a class that is right for you may take some experimentation, but don't
quit looking right away if you didn't like the first class you tried. Find the
class and instructor that suits your needs and progress from there
Cyclists have universal tendencies toward spinal flexion, kyphosis,
spondylosis, low back pain, weak upper body, limited flexibility in the
hamstrings, hip flexion and common injuries including IT Band Tendonitis,
Patellar tendonitis and torsions or misalignments of the knee and foot that
start in the gluteals.
However, cyclists also have common goals such as increasing VO2 max,
increasing HGH, or at the very least, maximizing the efficiency of the
circulatory system to deliver as much oxygen to working muscles as possible.
Many yoga poses combine physiological benefits with muscular and/or skeletal
benefits as well. Furthermore, practicing the most necessary poses at least
three times per week can be an effective cross-training tool for any athlete.
There are literally thousands of different yoga poses, all with different
benefits. Some examples of poses that would be beneficial to the cyclist include
(but are not limited to):
Standing Deep Breathing:
*Generally good for the lungs and respiratory system
*Helps lungs reach their maximum expansion capacity
*Is very good for asthma, shortness of breath, and nervousness
*Increases circulation to the body
Standing Bow Pose
*Increases circulation to the heart and lung
*Improves elasticity of the spine
*Creates union of strength and balance
*Activates digestive system
*Good for dysmenorrhoea, digestion, kyphosis, scoliosis, low back pain, low
blood pressure, menstrual disorders, spondylo-arthritis of lumbar spine
*Increases spine strength especially in the lower spine
Fixed Firm Pose- (advanced)
*Increases circulation to the lower limbs
*Strengthens and improves the flexibility of the lower spine, hips, knees, and
*Good for lower back pain, sciatica, gout, rheumatism, and varicose veins
*Helps prevent hernia
*Strengthens Psoas muscles
Spine Twisting Pose
*Improves flexibility of the spine and hip joints, relieves back pain, and helps
prevent slipped discs
*Good for lumbargo, rheumatism of the spine, kyphosis, scoliosis, cervical
spondylosis, and arthritis
*Increases circulation to the spinal nerves, veins, and tissues
*Calms the nervous system
Some of the above moves are advanced and you should consult a yoga instructor
with questions about form. Any yoga instructor with a minimum 500-hour
certification will be able to assist you in finding the necessary poses to
maximize benefit to the cyclist.
Ainslie MacEachran: is a premier level coach with
For more information about Yoga for cyclists
you can reach him through the website.
Planning Your Season 2010
Resolve To Do
Break & Winter Training for Cyclists
Riding & Thermo
Regulation By Chuck Coyle