New Class in September/October

Victoria Pendleton

It’s confirmed. We’re going to be running a series of five Pilates for Cyclists classes upstairs in The Hub at Roll For The Soul, a non-profit bike cafe and workshop in Bristol. Suitable for all ages and abilities, the 90-minute classes will take place on the following consecutive Saturdays – 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th September and 4th October from 16:00 to 17:30.

The cost is £12 per 90 minute session, or £50 if you pay upfront for all five sessions.

The class is limited to 7 attendees so to secure a place on one or more of the sessions, or to ask a question, please contact Melissa via the contact form.

Mats and blocks will be provided. Just come along in comfortable clothes and you’ll be ready to go.

To learn more about the benefits of Pilates for cyclists, and how Pilates has contributed to the success of some of the world’s leading riders, take a look at Melissa’s recent news piece.



Roll For The Soul

Roll For The Soul

In collaboration with Roll For The Soul in Bristol, a non-profit bike cafe and workshop, we are looking to run a series of five Pilates for Cyclists classes in the near future. To help us gauge demand, if you’d be interested in attending a small – no more than 7 attendees – Sunday morning class at a cost of £12 per 90 minute session (or £50 if you pay upfront for all five sessions), please contact Melissa via the contact form.

The Hub at Roll For The soul

To learn more about the benefits of Pilates for cyclists, and how Pilates has contributed to the success of some of the world’s leading riders, take a look at the news piece posted last week.

It would be great to have the chance to teach at Roll For The Soul. It’s the perfect place to run a Pilates class.  Think about it, you could get your bike fixed in the workshop while you Pilatesise your body upstairs in The Hub, and afterwards, reward yourself with a healthy lunch in the veggie cafe.

Inside Roll For The Soul

Pilates For Cyclists

Victoria Pendleton

How Pilates Can Help Cyclists

For any cyclist, improving efficiency is key – the more power you can produce with less effort, the faster you can travel for longer. Maintaining a good position on the bike, i.e. the legs turning the pedals smoothly whilst the head, shoulders and body remain still rather than rolling from side to side, avoids wasting energy and overworking the muscles and joints.

Pilates can help improve efficiency and increase the cyclist’s enjoyment of the sport in four main ways:

1.  Pilates targets the core muscles that help stabilise the rider on the bike, keeping the spine in the correct position whilst the limbs move. By improving core strength, cyclists can increase their power output and improve their balance and the way they handle the bike – always an advantage in terms of performance and safety for cyclists of all levels.

2.  Pilates improves flexibility and posture by stretching and strengthening muscles so they don’t set tight and short, a good preventative measure to avoid injury. This redresses some of the muscular imbalances experienced by riders, particularly those cycling regularly and for sustained periods of time. Common complaints suffered by cyclists, which Pilates can address, are:

  • tight hip flexors, hamstrings, quads and shins;
  • hypermobile ankles;
  • weak gluteals
  • rounded shoulders, forearm overuse and upper limb nerve irritation;
  • tight pectorals, neck and upper back muscles as a result of being hunched over the handlebars;
  • lower back pain from being flexed forward with the back and pelvis held rigid.

3.  Pilates encourages improved limb alignment when moving. This improves stability and protects against potential knee or ankle injuries caused by the knees or feet twisting or turning during the pedal stroke.

4.  Pilates improves muscle strength without increasing bulk, allowing cyclists to improve their power to weight ratio.

Chris Froome

What Some Of The World’s Best Cyclists Have Said About Pilates

Chris Froome: “One of the things I wanted to do was calm my upper body movement down and become more stable. Pilates core strengthening work has helped me with that.”

Victoria Pendleton: “I’ve been doing Pilates for more than a year and for me, it’s been a real breakthrough in managing back pain and building my postural muscles. I have lots of lumbar spine issues from spending my life hunched over a bike.”

Bradley Wiggins: “I focus on strengthening my core for 30 minutes each day, mixing up Pilates and yoga moves and using exercise balls. Without a solid core you can’t transfer power efficiently, and you’ll be left with dust in your eyes, however strong your legs are.”

Bradley Wiggins

Interested in attending a Pilates class tailored specifically to the needs of cyclists?  Follow this link for details of a new Pilates for Cyclists running in Bristol during September and October.

Pilates Foundation Publishes First Matwork Handbook

Reading while doing Pilates

The Pilates Foundation (of which Melissa is a full member), the UK’s oldest, most reputable and its only not-for-profit Pilates organisation, has just published its first handbook for matwork Pilates.

In keeping with its motto ‘The Highest Standard’, the handbook is a quality publication with stunning colour photos of exercises being performed by Pilates Foundation teachers. Each exercise is shown in a series of photographs. On the facing page are the headings: Purpose, Set Up, Breathing, Cueing, Variations/Adaptations and Contra-indications. Unusually, there are no written instructions on how to perform the exercises. The space below the headings is left blank to be filled in by the book’s owner. Pilates Foundation Board Member, Penny Jones, who oversaw the project, explained the rationale behind this decision…

‘A core value of the Pilates Foundation is to respect the individual approach of teachers whilst honouring the original work established by Joseph Pilates. So instead of a description of how to perform each exercise, there is the space for teachers and clients to write their own ideas from their own training, their own understanding of the first principles of the Method and their own practice.’

Pilates Foundation Handbooks

The handbooks, which were originally intended primarily for trainee and practising Pilates teachers, will enable anyone from clients to long-established teacher trainers, to build a unique and personal view of the Pilates repertoire. According to Jones, ‘The view of the Foundation is that this is the only way to ensure that Pilates continues to be a powerful and evolving system of well-being.’

The Matwork Handbook retails at £25 and can be purchased from The Pilates Foundation website.