Wednesday, July 27, 2005

pilates perspective

For those of you who don't know what pilates is. Check here for a full history of it. www.pilates.com/history.html Basically it is active stretching, with resistence with a focus on breathing and core engagement. There are many different avenues, from mat classes to work on what is called a reformer, probably for the exact reason that it is designed to reform your body. I have now taken three private classes, and will soon be taking two to three hour classes a week in an attempt to gain flexibilty, which I think is a limiting factor in my cycling performance. I am also going to get a yoga ball and some thera bands? to do some strecthing here at home while I am in my down condition. I plan to continue these things even when I get healthy and am riding agian, variety is the spice of life, they say.
It is a stretch, pun intended, these are not exersises or movements that I am used to, but with the focus on core and whole body interaction I think that more cyclist should do this. I am so tight in my hip flexors and soaz? that it effects other things, maybe even breathing, and it certainly could add to the tension I feel at 3 am already.
I call the reformer a tourture device because that is exactly what it feels like, tourture. So check it out, not exactly what you thought a endurance freak like myself would be doing, but in a weakened and down condition I need to find a low impact way to stay in shape. If you think you have strong core and are in the shape of your life, this is the next step and may humble you a little, you will be ahead of most americans but those who have been doing this for a while even the 45 to 50 year old ladies will put you to shame. It is good, it keeps it all in perspective. So check it out.

2 comments:

Sally Edith said...

Nat,

I have done the reformer, found it to be helpful and wonderful, if a bit expensive to do on a regular weekly basis, however classes are more affordable and doing the reformer once a month is working for me, eventually I will do it weekly. Great for you for "stretching in this way." Love, mom (talk with you soon. )

ashwinearl said...

Have you ever looked into Rolfing? It is a soft tissue manipulation technique. It is based on a 10 session format. I did the first 3 sessions and started to see a difference. I know several cyclist that have been happy with the results. Never did finish the whole series cause it is pretty expensive.

I too am terribly inflexible in the psoaz, hip flexors and hamstrings. That is something the rolfer said a lot of cyclists suffer from.

I also did a Serotta cycling fit. It is based almost soley on flexibility and not on static measurements like inseam. That was very eye opening. Because of my poor hamstring flexibility my power suffered when I bent over too far. We ended up raising my bar a bunch. The gain in power was immediate and significant.