Yoga is a mix of power and flexibility exercises; it helps strengthen the muscles of the whole body. In cyclists, a problem of muscular imbalance is very common. Along with practicing lunges and leg lifts, a cyclist must also incorporate yoga. Yoga has been in practice for over thousands of years now. There are great benefits of yoga for cyclists as well.
Yoga is very good to build the mind and body. It increases aerobic strength for focusing on the cycling for the cyclist. Yoga can be used to relax the tension created in the muscles by the long cycling sessions. It will prove helpful to have an overall balance in the body and fitness.
Has yoga for cyclists been tried by anyone?
Many elite class cyclists have been yoga as a part of their training program. Yoga is very good to attain power and endurance. Athletes have been using yoga as an edge over their competitors. Yoga also helps cyclists who overcome their injuries. Yoga can be practiced in many different varieties. There is power yoga as well as slow yoga. We suggest that beginners begin with slow yoga and then you can move on to power yoga. All the movements of yoga are useful for a cyclist as they focus on the continuous movement of the whole body. Yoga helps the free movement of the joints like ankles and hips which are very essential for the cyclist.
Benefits of yoga for cyclists
A cyclist needs to focus on the strength of his legs. He or she must practice poses that target muscle strength and allowed flexibility. But do not forget to target your back as well. The spine needs to have strength and flexibility as well for a long cycling time. Cyclist spent a lot of time bent over while cycling. They need to take care of their backbone as well as muscles. Yoga can help them prevent injury and develop strength. Yoga helps a person practice deep breathing. The muscles are trained and the person in turn learns how to control breathing for an effective run. Yoga helps ease out any pain and also ensures the reduction in injury. When the joints and muscles will be more flexible, so injury will e less. It also helps relieve stress from the muscles due to long sessions. The spine stays under stress due to bending and shocks received during cycling. Yoga can be used to relieve targeted muscles. Take help from a professional to know which pose is best for you. They will also ensure your recovery.
Here are a few poses which are beneficial for the cyclist.
Adho mukha svanasana: in this pose, the strength of the backbone is targeted. A person is either facing downwards to the floor or facing upwards towards the roof or sky. By this pose muscles of the shoulders will be strengthened. They are needed to hold the handlebar for a very long time. Cyclists go for cycling in tough terrain and practice for long hours at a stretch. This pose is helpful in recovering from injuries or shoulder tendonitis. Instead of the muscles being able to carry the weight of the arms, the tendons start to bear the burden and this results in tendons becoming aggravated. It may become very painful. But the situation can be controlled by regular practicing of yoga. Try to do a yoga session in the morning before you go out for your cycling practice.
Baddha Konasana: in this pose, the flexibility of the hip joint is targeted. The soles of the feet are touching together while the outside of the knees remains flat on the floor. This pose helps maintain the healthy external rotation of the hip joint. Many people have locked hips or there is stiffness, this pose of yoga helped relieve locking or stiffness from the hip joint. Having a healthy hip joint is very necessary for a cyclist as they need to be sitting on the cycle for long. The hips have to take a lot of stress in the rough terrain. Long hours of sitting on the small cycle seat too can be painful. Practice this pose daily for relief from pain in the hips. It is very essential for new professional cyclists. Though, a regular practice of this pose will be helpful for all the athletes. It is one of the most important poses of yoga for cyclists.
Druvasana: this pose targets the strength of the backbone or the spine. It is also known as the bow pose. It helps open up and stretch the front part of the body while ensuring the strength of the back muscles. The person must begin with lying down flat on the stomach. Bring his/her hands next to your body and try bringing their heels close to the bottoms. Next, hold ankles with your hands. Hold the left ankle with the left hand and right ankle with your right hand. Try breathing slowly and stay there for two to three repetitions. In the beginning, when it becomes difficult you can start by doing one side at a time also known as the Half bow. As you begin to become more flexible then you must practice the full pose. As the cyclists stay bent for a very long time during the cycling session, they must practice this pose daily. It will increase the flexibility of the spine. It will help in recovery from any damage already made. Also, ensure that there is no injury in the future.
Virasana: This pose is used to target the ankles. It is also known as the hero pose. It is very useful in strengthening the ankles, knees, and feet. These are the most used parts of the body for a cyclist. Some people like to do this pose while sitting on a block. The person must sit down on the knees and feet wider than the hips. He/she may choose to place a block under their buttocks between their legs for more comfort. The top of the feet must press against the floor and eyes turned inwards. You must try to stay in this position for two minutes at least. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. The strength and flexibility of ankles are essential for a cyclist. In the beginning, many new professional cyclists have the problem of pain in ankles. This pose is beneficial yoga for cyclists.
Savasana: This pose is used to relax. It is also known as the corpse pose. At the end of every yoga session, the person must practice this pose for at least five to 10 minutes. This pose helps your body absorb all the positive effects of yoga for cyclists sessions. It gives you time to relax for a few minutes in the day. During this pose, you must try to release any tension in your body. Trying to breathe as naturally as you can while emptying your mind of any worry of family or work. This pose not only helps the body but also refreshes the brain, as you try to free it from the preoccupations. Having a fresh brain is as important as a fresh body.
Tips for successful yoga sessions:
While practicing yoga a person must remember to hold positions for a long time. they must ensure proper positioning and breathing. You can take help off a professional yoga trainer in the beginning. They shall help you understand and practice the simpler pose first and then move on to the difficult ones. Remember to target muscles in the upper back, hips, and abdominal. The chest muscles must not be ignored as well. If it is a challenge to hold a position for a long time in the beginning begin with repetitive small sessions. Do not leave yoga even if you are demoralized. It is only with practice that you will be able to master the yoga poses. It will only harm you rather than helping you if you do not complete the session of yoga for cyclists by doing all the suggested poses on a daily basis. HHHHHhhhalf-knowledge of anything is wrong and especially for yoga.
Even if you have been using yoga for strength, you must supplement it with other forms of exercise as well. Do not use yoga just to improve the strength and speed it can also be used to relax your mind and body. There will be full coordination between the muscles of your body and the mind. As it is important to be able to win the competition. Yoga for cyclists shall also ensure the prevention of injury and build a stronger system. Once you begin practicing yoga you can stay fit for the whole life. You need to change the pose you do on a daily basis according to the target area. And if you do not want any specific pose then practice all the above-given pose. Yoga sessions must be done under professional supervision and in the morning. You can try to do yoga in the fresh air. This will be even more effective.