NAFC NewsBlast - January 2017 | Article 3
One Tip to Transform Your “Joy” Of Cycling
By Tammy LeBoss | thefitprofoodie.com
Powerful Breathing: Relax the Belly
Whether you’re cycling, doing yoga or trying to navigate life with greater ease, here’s one thing to focus on that could transform your training experience:
Relaxing the belly and opening up the back to the same degree are key in sustaining a strong breathing pattern.
Given the body position for cycling, it is much easier for the athlete to breathe through the abdomen as opposed to the chest. This is the reverse of what most trainers and Pilates teachers will tell their students.
While breathing through the chest and keeping the abdomen contracted all the time is ideal for just about every other sport, in cycling it is counter-productive.
Sucking the belly in stiffens up the upper body and uses extra energy where it doesn’t need to be spent. In cycling, you want the most of your energy expenditure to go to your legs because that is the engine. You want your upper body loose and ready to adapt to whatever terrain you come upon.
Remember, your upper body is just there to steer and if your muscles are tense already from flexing your muscles in your chest and upper back because you are focusing on scooping your abs, then you’re asking for trouble when you come upon a terrain change, obstacle or crash.
For powerful breathing, contrary to what you may have learned, relax the belly.