Yoga for Cyclists

Cyclists, like most people that participate in sport usually have tight muscles. This is inevitible because you are constantly using the same muscle groups, and if you don't stretch, the muscles will continue to shorten and get tighter.

When repeating an exercise, it strengthens the muscles which is great to improve your .... in the sport, however if you aren't stretching, excess muscle tightness can lead to injury, pretty easily. How many people do you know that take part in a regular sport that have had an injury? It doesn't even have to be an injury caused by the sport, you could simply pull or damage something doing an everyday activity more easily if the muscles are tight.

Cycling causes a very particular movement pattern that is unlike many other sports, regardless of whether your road or mountain cycling. Therefore this movement pattern uses specific parts of the body that become stronger and inevitably tighter. This blog post pin points some of the main areas that are prone to tightness when cycling and ways to relieve this with yoga poses.


Trapezius 




When cycling, your neck is constantly craining up to be able to see the path ahead. In-order to lift your neck up and hold it in place your trapezius are working extra hard to secure and stabilise the neck. Although strong traps is the dream of most bodybuilders, it is also a key area that can feel tight and cause discomfort. Here are some yoga poses that allow you to relieve tension in the trapezius...


Lower Spine 



Even if you don't cycle, chances are at some point in your life-time you have experienced lower back pain, it's an extremely common problem. When cycling you tend to hunch over and which creates a lot of pressure on the lower back. 


IT Band 



The ..... or IT Band is the muscle that runs down the outer side of the thigh and connects the knee to the hip joint. With the constant cyclic movement of the legs it can cause this muscle to become extremely tight. This is also a common problem with runners, however it can be stretched very easily with these exercises...



Hamstrings 


Tight hamstrings are the bane of my life, constantly praying for relief in the back of the thighs. I dread the day that i'm due a sports massage because it means tears and bruising. But maybe if I did stretches such as these a little more often then I wouldn't babble like a baby on the massage table.


Cya!
Eryn


Balancing Your Protein Intake

It isn't anything new that we need a sufficient amount of protein in our diet in-order for our body to function properly. Protein in one of 3 macronutrients that are necessary for our body to go about its daily busy hassle free. It is made of amino acids that are used to build strong bones, build and repair muscles and several other functions in the body. 


Something that isn't discussed as often though is when we should be eating protein. As with most nutritional advice, the focus is on what to eat and very little is said in regard to other aspects of diet. And that's no surprise really, it's hard enough knowing what to eat when there is so much advice out there, let alone even considering that when you eat things might make a difference too. 

But, the frank truth is that the timing of your consumption of protein might in fact have an effect, especially if you're an older adult, and here's why...

A study has taken place in the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham with 120 participants having their diet monitored through a 3 day food diary. Participants were split into ago groups, one group having an average age of 23 years old, the other 51 and finally 77. The study found that there were a variety of different patterns in the ways people ate, however people in the older group were much more likely to have a lower quality source of protein earlier in the day, such as bread. But why does this matter? 

Well, in order for the body to produce new muscle, stimulation is required, and this occurs when we eat protein. So that we can build as much muscle as possible, this stimulation needs to be regular. As these mechanisms become less efficient the older you get, it becomes even more important to have a regular, healthy intake of protein. 

So what does this mean? Well maybe you could be maximising muscle growth by eating protein on a more regular basis, rather than shoving your daily intake into two large meals. This may not only help to build muscle if muscle gain is your goal, but it also might aid keeping a healthy amount of body on the muscle if you are an older adult. 

Keep eating protein, that's the moral of the story. 

Cya!