If you have ever been in for a class, you've probably heard me bitch about my tight hips. I'm not usually one to complain and I have a fairly high pain tolerance (up for debate if you ask my brother...) BUT my hips are in real pain these days- I've definitely lost flexibility and some days when I roll out of bed I feel like I'm 90. So, obviously NOT ideal.
In these beginning months of opening MVMNT I have dedicated all of my time and efforts into getting in shape ON the bike. (I have to keep up with you guys!) So, I teach classes on the bike, then I train on the bike, and then I teach some more classes on the bike! With all of that training, I expected to feel a lot "better"- better about my endurance, speed on the bike, overall strength and health- but these days I feel like I have actually lost some of my power on the bike.
So I consulted an expert, "How can I improve my performance on the bike and protect myself from stiffness/future injury?"
- His answer? In short, more (albeit different) training. -
Personal trainer and former gym owner, Shawn, eloquently explained the risks we run when we do too much of the same thing. His biggest concern is something he referred to as a "postural imbalance". Essentially, if we spend too much time in the same position, our body will want to stay in that position. This leads to muscles that are tight in certain areas and underdeveloped in others. In my case, cycling for hours every day has gotten me "stuck" in a hunched over, tight hip position. (This is the exact moment in my life that I began to understand the old adage that there can definitely be too much of a good thing).
So what can I do about this?!?! "Cross-Training."
So, you're telling me I'm MEGA sore and I'm going to add more training into my routine???? Although it may seem counterintuitive, Shawn explained the importance of "exercise variability", or in other words complimenting my cycling with other exercises off the bike.
SG: "Someone who cycles a lot spends their time on the bike with a rounded back and flexed hips. In order to avoid injury and muscular imbalance, they need to train the opposite of 'rounded back and flexed hips'. This could be things like seated rows (using weights, check out this video HERE for tips...) OR practicing hip extension through the use of squats/dead lifts."
For my clients (or those of you who have actually read this far), I have two different points I want to make here.
- 1 -
If you are in the studio a lot and you're starting to feel like you've plateaued, it's possible that your body is craving (or needing) some different kinds of movement. Get involved in the SpinYin event we have going on every Friday night with aUM Yoga! Or, keep an eye out for the strength and conditioning classes coming soon...
- 2 -
If you have not been in the studio yet, maybe cycling at MVMNT is the perfect cross-training for you! For runners, cycling will allow you to work on your endurance while taking some of the impact off of your joints! For yogis, MVMNT is a great way to get some more cardio into your routine.
What's the moral here? Whatever it is that you love to do (cycling, running, yoga, weight lifting, etc.) you will not only feel better but you will also perform better if you add in a little cross-training. For me, Shawn prescribed squats, hip thrusts, seated rows, pull-ups and a f*** load of other fun stuff. While I'm definitely sore, I'm already feeling the difference in my body and on the bike.
Don't be afraid to try something new! MVMNT wants you to be your healthiest, strongest self!