The bike in Pilates exercises is your one-stop-shop for working your abdominal muscles, buttocks, arms and shoulders. Not only does it help you find balance and stability, but it focuses on building strong abdominal muscles which help with a plethora of other exercises.
Before doing this exercise, you should be well aware of how it is done, the benefits, and common mistakes that you should avoid. Otherwise, you could end up with unwanted injuries.
The right form for cycling in Pilates
To do this exercise, you need to get a weight mat. Doing it directly on the floor can put unnecessary pressure on your tailbone and shoulder blades.
- First, lie down on the mat and bring your knees up to your chest. Put your arms beside you and extend your legs towards the ceiling.
- Next, lift your legs above your head and balance between the shoulder blades. Make sure not to transfer pressure to your neck.
- Put your hands behind your hips to support your body and bring your pelvis up to put pressure on your hands.
- Your legs will come slightly back but maintain a 45 degree angle.
- Now the idea is to ride the bike inverted. Bring your right leg to the mat and bring it back towards you. As your right leg comes up, your left leg moves to the mat.
- Keep switching legs and continue the movement for at least ten repetitions for each leg.
- When you’re done, slowly bring your legs back to the mat while holding your hips to avoid any snagging.
Tips for better cycling in Pilates
It’s not going to be completely easy to extend your legs if you haven’t done the move before. All you have to do is start slow and only lift your legs until you can balance it. The more you exercise, the better you will get at it.
Keep your abdominal muscles engaged at all times. The goal of this exercise is to strengthen the core muscles. If you disengage the trunk, the exercise will not bear fruit.
Finally, control your breathing. All Pilates exercises require you to control your breathing. Not only does this help with overall movement, but it also ensures proper circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the body.
Benefits of cycling in Pilates
Do this exercise regularly:
- Improves heart health
- Improves joint strength
- Reduces stress
- Focuses on improving flexibility and stability
- Helps strengthen bones
- Helps improve posture
Each exercise will take time and patience to master. However, being aware of common mistakes can help you get to this point faster.
One of the most common mistakes in this exercise is transferring the pressure to your neck. If you do this, you put yourself in a vulnerable position and it won’t end well if you injure your neck.
Your physical alignment must be correct. If you feel your neck getting tight, stop the exercise and correct your posture.
Also, once you’ve taken a stance, don’t move your head in any direction. This too will put unnecessary pressure on your neck.
At the end of the line
Cycling in Pilates is an exercise you should incorporate into your workout routine, but you shouldn’t overdo it. Depending on the position you adopt during this exercise, you must give yourself at least a day of rest before doing it again.
Your abdominal muscles also need time to recover when you take the time to focus on them separately. Overworking will lead to fatigue, which opens the door to injury and cramps.