Use Pilates to develop your cycling powerhouse

As cyclists, we are always looking to improve our on-the-bike performance. Developing core strength through Pilates will translate to increases in wattage, stability, and endurance.

Joseph Pilates developed a system of exercises that emphasizes alignment, breath, and the development of a strong core. In Pilates, the core is more than just your abs; it also consists of the lower back and hips, together it’s known as the “powerhouse.” Consistently adding Pilates to your workout routine will improve flexibility, build strength and develop control and endurance over the entire body.

Using the Magic Circle on the reformer – Photo by Jessica Monte on

Getting started on the road to a stronger core is inexpensive. All you need is a mat. As you progress, you can add a Magic Circle (I often call it a torture device), but a towel, pillow, ball, or yoga block will work, too. Some studios offer sessions on Pilates-specific equipment, including apparatus like the Cadillac, Reformer, and Wunda Chair.

Pilates has been part of my workout routine for at least 15 years. Yes, I’m human. I admit not always being consistent, but when I am WOWZA! I see an improvement in my cycling as well as my body and how I carry myself.

I want to make more people aware of Pilates and how it translates to improvements on the bike. So I turned to Janine Newman. Over the years, I’ve taken a lot of classes from Janine. Her classes are fun, but they are tough. Sometimes you even feel her workouts two days later…a good sore if there is such a thing.

Janine brings a unique perspective to Pilates beyond being a certified instructor. She’s an Ironman triathlete, triathlete coach with Vision Quest, and a ballerina. Understanding the cyclist’s body, weaknesses, and how Pilates will help make us stronger bikers, Janine can tailor each session.

Take a listen to my interview with her, and maybe you’ll consider trying Pilates for yourself.

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