It’s been awhile since our last client conversation and this month we speak to Yi Peng. Apart from his day job in the finance sector, Yi Peng is also a bike racer and a member of an elite amateur cycling team, the Specialised Mavericks, that competes in races across Southeast Asia! We speak to him about how he discovered Pilates and how it has helped him in his biking.
1. How did you first encounter Pilates
I was introduced to Pilates by my girlfriend, initially to help relieve some chronic neck and shoulder pain due to an separated shoulder sustained when I was a teenager. Apart from helping with the pain relief, I found that Pilates had a positive impact on my performance on a bike as well, and have incorporated as a key element of my training schedule.
2. How did you find Pilates help you with your sportThere are several ways that Pilates helps with bike riding and racing.
Firstly, my position on a road bike is pretty hunched over. Spending hours in this position puts significant strain on my neck, shoulders and back, and regular Pilates sessions have been very helpful in releasing tight muscles and relieving these effects.
Flexibility and strength are other areas where Pilates has had an effect; by improving the flexibility of my hamstrings and hip flexors, I am now able to get into a more aerodynamic yet comfortable position on my bike, which has had a tremendous impact on my performance.
As for strength, like most sports, a cyclist’s power starts with his/her core, and regular Pilates sessions have helped me learn to engage my core more effectively and recruit other large muscle groups such as the glutes to generate more power on the bike.
Finally, sometimes on really tough training weeks, my muscles are shot from the riding, and instead of working on strength, I spend the session working on myofascial release. This is a fantastic tool for recovery which allows me to train harder than I have in the past.
3. What is your training schedule like
Well, unfortunately (or fortunately), I’m not a professional cyclist, so I spend a significant amount of time at work, sitting at a desk or on a plane. I do most of my training before dawn on the weekdays, with a couple sessions of core work on weeknights including Pilates once a week. Weekends are when I do long rides with my team, or if there’s a race we’ll travel to the races as a team. Mondays are almost always a rest or recovery ride day.
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