3 cyclists on their bikes

3 Ways yoga benefits cyclists

Whether you prefer city cycling, mountain biking or road biking, yoga offers many benefits for cyclists at all levels.

Want to optimize your pedal stroke? Try yoga for endless benefits—it's the perfect complement to your cycling practice.
Here are 3 reasons to roll out your mat and start practicing yoga.

1. Gain flexibility

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or experienced cyclist, riding a bike puts your body in a relatively abnormal position. You need to lean your body forward as you pedal and grip the handlebars with your hands. Over time, your muscles and joints need a bit of love. Yoga is a great way to stretch and soothe your joints while also gaining flexibility. Regardless of the type of cycling you practice (road, mountain or city), yoga can help you to reduce your risk of injuries and muscle pain; it will also improve your overall range of motion. Once you've stretched your muscles and improved your flexibility, you’ll be ready to get back in the saddle and pedal better than ever.

two cyclists on their bikes

2. Develop muscular strength

For cyclists, it is particularly important to work on strengthening the trunk muscles. A key area that is the starting point for many movements, a strong trunk allows for better alignment of the spinal column, which leads to better posture on your bike, even when fatigue sets in. Have you ever noticed that some cyclists lean to one side of their bike frame when going up an ascent? This is most likely because their trunk is not strong enough to achieve stability in the saddle. Yoga is an excellent way to improve your postural alignment and strengthen the trunk muscles, which allows you to adopt an aerodynamic position on your bike. Yoga also improves your balance by working your stabilizing muscles; which is helpful when you are on sections of the course that are narrow and fast.

3. Improve breath control

Competitive cyclists pay close attention to their V02 max level, which is the maximum flow of oxygen inhaled by the lungs and used by the muscles in a unit of time. Whether you are trying to beat your best time, explore different neighbourhoods in your city or take on steep hills, having the capacity to breathe better will optimize your performance and allow for a faster and more controlled recuperation after effort. In addition, having a regular and fluid breathing pattern allows you to stay cam and have better control of your bike. By practicing yoga, you will develop good breathing techniques that will become automatic when you’re pedalling on your bike. 

man stretching on a yoga mat

And more!

The breathing techniques learned through yoga can also help to improve your concentration skills. The more consistent your breathing pattern, the more alert you'll be when riding your bike. This way, you can keep yourself and others safe.

Also, when you're pushing yourself to maximum effort on your bike, you can relieve some of the burning sensation in your muscles simply by shifting your focus to your breath. This will take your cycling performance to the next level

Doing yoga on your rest days

Ideally, you should use your rest days to do a routine that includes static stretches or a series of floor poses. You will feel the benefits in your whole body.

Try hatha yoga. This type of gentle yoga allows for deep stretching as you hold poses for multiple minutes.

You may also want to try hot yoga as it is easier to go deeper into your stretches when you are in a room that is heated between 38 and 40 ˚C. Drink lots of water before, during and after the class. Hydration is essential. Feel free to move at a slower pace, or to go into child’s pose for a while if you start feeling dizzy.

Those who would like to move at a faster pace may want to try ashtanga yoga, power yoga or kundalini. Again, it's important to respect both your physical and mental limits during any type of yoga practice. Remember, the goal is to relax both your body and your mind.

man doing yoga on a mat

Cyclists, get re-centred with yoga

With a series of dynamic stretches and poses (asanas), yoga offers a variety of benefits that can help improve your cycling.

Woman stretching after a run

Running + yoga: Why they work together

They may be very different activities, but running and yoga complement each other really well! Find out how a regular yoga practice can help improve your running performance…

A boxer wearing red gloves and her head guard

Yoga: An important complement to combat sports

Whereas combat sports are all about control, offence, and defence, yoga helps you find inner calm, serenity, and peace of mind. They may seem like total opposites, but surprisingly, they’re the perfect pair.

woman doing yoga

How to choose the right yoga mat for your practice

There are many different types of yoga to choose from, and a yoga mat is a must-have accessory for your practice. Follow our guide to find the one that’s best suited to your needs!

three men doing yoga on the beach

Which yoga style is for you?

There are an impressive range of yoga styles out there today. Your expectations and abilities will determine whether to go for something more gentle or dynamic. We'll help you find the right yoga style for you!

Woman doing a meditation session

Mindfulness and yoga: one breath at a time

Practicing mindfulness and yoga regularly has many benefits, including stress-relief and a feeling of well-being. Therefore, we have outlined effective meditation and mindfulness exercises to calm your mind and ground your body.

woman adjusting her cycling jacket

Cycling: don't let cool weather stop you!

Whether it's to get to the office, do your shopping, or for leisure, you've chosen to use a bike! Congrats on a great choice! As winter approaches, these habits will help you continue cycling despite the colder weather.

woman doing yoga

Why yoga and cross-country skiing are a great match

Did you know your yoga practice can actually help you improve your cross-country skiing? The two activities have some skill and strength requirements in common that make them an ideal pair.