When it comes to overall health no one can argue that cycling is bad for you. Well, Couchlandrians might, but they don’t count. Cycling is fantastic for improving cardiovascular fitness and as a low impact sport it puts minimal strain on joints like your hips and knees. Regular aerobic exercise (like cycling) also increases levels of endorphins in your brain which can reduce anxiety and improve your mood.
However, as a proud citizen of Sufferlandria, you do more than just ride a bike. You Suffer on a bike. You make bikes Suffer. You make other people riding on bikes Suffer. As joyous as that sounds, it can, believe it or not, lead to some problems. Not that any of us would ever think of doing something else, but being hunched over handlebars while your legs make 13 inch circles isn’t exactly what humans were made to do.
The two biggest problems that come about from riding a bike are limited flexibility and poor core strength. This is where the new Sufferfest yoga program comes in. Yoga has been around for thousands of years, but only recently has it gained widespread acceptance within all forms of elite sport.
Adding just a few yoga sessions a week can begin the process of loosening the tight hamstrings and hip flexors you have likely developed through all your glorious suffering. The dynamic nature of many yoga moves has the added benefit of constantly engaging your core muscles. That means throughout a session you will not only improve your flexibility, but also your core strength.
Just like all aspects of physical fitness there are no quick fixes. Improving your flexibility and increasing your core strength will take time, but with a little time on a regular basis these exercises can make you faster on the bike. Getting more flexible will allow you to get a little bit more aerodynamic, and better core strength with help you put even more power into your pedals.
With that in mind, it’s not a question of whether you should be doing yoga. Rather, the only question you should be asking is “When can I start?”
Your training plan has yoga practice thoughtfully scheduled into your daily and weekly program. Each exercise is scheduled in conjunction with cycling workouts in order to optimise the training adaptation. The exercises are scheduled with beginner practitioners and a low time commitment in mind. If you are more experienced with yoga or you nd yourself capable of repeating the beginner modules without fatigue or loss of form, you may wish to add some more exercises to your regimen.