Yoga and MTB

retroenduro

Likes Dirt
Had a yoga teacher move into the house im currently staying in, top bloke, anyway went to some of his classes and fark me its hard work! Im a pretty strong rider but my legs were crying after 10 minutes of warrior 1 etc. Anyway the way i see it is more core strength equals a better ability to chuck the bike around mid air and a better sense of balance.

Can anybody verify this? Does anybody do yoga to improve thier skills at MTB...i know alot of surfers do it but they are all unwashed hippie types.
 

Sic

Likes Dirt
I was a bit skeptical about doing Yoga when a mate suggested it but I gave it a shot and I think its really made a difference in a few key areas. Its certainly great for your core strength which helps with all sorts of things on a MTB but it also helps with leg strength and balance which are helpful fr pretty obvious reasons. Adding to your flexibility also helps in a lot of ways and if nothing else can reduce soreness the day after a hard ride IMO. So yes it helped for me.
 

gixer7

Likes Dirt
I swear by it. I can't ride much now due to injury (non MTB/yoga related) but whenever I was consistent with my yoga I was a better rider.

There is however a period of adjustment that is worth getting through. Your hamstrings can get smashed from all the stretching and you will feel slow on the bike at times. Depending on the type of yoga (I do ashtanga) it can also be hard work on the upper body making mtb riding very tiring especially on rougher tracks.

My suggestion is to ease into it if you want to keep riding. Give your body time to adjust.

Yoga won't improve your skills per se but one major benefit I found was that taking the tightness/dominance out of my trapezius and being able to use my lateralus muscles better really improved my cornering. Seemed like I was putting less weight on the front end of the bike - I guess I could use my core more effectively as well - this seemed to make the bike more balanced and hence my corner speed increased. I noticed this even more when I was doing pilates and my teacher got me focussed on strengthening my lats for weeks on end.

As a guy I was pretty normal in that my traps were over developed. Still are as my yoga teacher likes to remind me!

Also, taking tension out of your lower back and/or glutes frees up your legs to perform better. Doing a lot of glutes work was great for my riding.

I could go on for ages about the benefits. If you have more/specific questions happy to answer as best I can.

disclaimer. yoga dude for over 10 years and mtb rider for about 5 years I guess. Still ride sporadically.
 
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jumpers

Likes Dirt
Had a yoga teacher move into the house im currently staying in, top bloke, anyway went to some of his classes and fark me its hard work! Im a pretty strong rider but my legs were crying after 10 minutes of warrior 1 etc. Anyway the way i see it is more core strength equals a better ability to chuck the bike around mid air and a better sense of balance.

Can anybody verify this? Does anybody do yoga to improve thier skills at MTB...i know alot of surfers do it but they are all unwashed hippie types.
Well i am life time unwashed hippie type, been riding mtb since pre suspension days, yoga devotee for 20yrs and now teaching yoga.
Funny how you talk re strong legs etc - yoga gives you all round strength as uses many different muscles at once ie warroir 1 is not just aimed at "legs" - so many times i see young weight lifter types come to class and get disappointed because they cant do what the ladies are doing! I say works alot more muscles / ligaments / tendons thus giving overall body work as opposed to core muscles

Definitely helps my riding especially breath control - some many people talk up all forms training etc but rarely do they talk about breathe control. I remember reading about jarrad rando and he was doing alot breathe work and recommending it.

Will give you strength if you stick at it long term - you wont get the weight lifter body though:eek:hwell:

Can highly recommend.

Have a look for ashtanga yoga - its flowing form yoga set sequences. I have had really good results training surfers and swimmers using ashtanga. Give it a go - you be amazed at the effects
 
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cleeshoy

Eats Squid
Had a yoga teacher move into the house im currently staying in, top bloke, anyway went to some of his classes and fark me its hard work! Im a pretty strong rider but my legs were crying after 10 minutes of warrior 1 etc. Anyway the way i see it is more core strength equals a better ability to chuck the bike around mid air and a better sense of balance.

Can anybody verify this? Does anybody do yoga to improve thier skills at MTB...i know alot of surfers do it but they are all unwashed hippie types.
I do reformer pilates twice a week and it has helped my core area. I was a bit skeptical at first but I really enjoy it - its different to smashing yourself on the bike, but after a class I know I have worked!
 

driftking

Wheel size expert
Wheres MFI there was a thread with quite a significant debate about it. I'm sure he will be on here in no time.
Ill let MWI get into the studies but even if it doesn't improve performance you can be sure it does help other areas and aspects of your body and riding.
 

Mywifesirrational

I however am very normal. Trust me.
Wheres MFI there was a thread with quite a significant debate about it. I'm sure he will be on here in no time.
Ill let MWI get into the studies but even if it doesn't improve performance you can be sure it does help other areas and aspects of your body and riding.
Yeah, I was watching to see where this thread was going, I didn't want to anger people (as core stability people are more irrational the religious people about their beliefs and *cough* knowledge) in a brand new forum on the second day, lol.

http://www.rotorburn.com/forums/showthread.php?246702-Core-Stability-a-neuroscience-approach/page4

Summary: deliberately training for core stability is a waste of time and offers no measurable performance or clinical benefits. A systematic review published this month supports my 'opinion'. Along with evidence to show that core stability fails the principle of specificity. If you want a strong 'core' do heavy load resistance training that requires excellent posture.

I like Yoga, although I don't see that it has a whole lot to do with core stability (maybe that's why I like it?). Yoga has a completely different philosophy, if you haven't done it, it's worth a trial - very good for flexibility, posture and relaxation. Any Yoga teacher who advocates core stability does not actually understand what core stability is.
 

Anarchist

Likes Dirt
Summary: deliberately training for core stability is a waste of time and offers no measurable performance or clinical benefits. A systematic review published this month supports my 'opinion'. Along with evidence to show that core stability fails the principle of specificity. If you want a strong 'core' do heavy load resistance training that requires excellent posture.
I am sure that there are a lot of people who present a totally different point of view in that these exercises help them overcome some sort of postural issue, whether by yoga, pilates or similar. Another way of looking at all of this core stuff is that if it works for you, then it works. Placebo? Maybe. Who cares? If you feel better after doing Pilates, yoga, ball exercises etc then that's fine. If not, do something else. Most of us office working, pencil pushing, keyboard jockeys don't do enough low intensity exercise and do way too much sitting. Then we bang out some serious exercise on the bike and wonder why our backs are sore. Maybe core stability is an overused term and is trendy, but many of our lifestyle choices lead to poor posture and muscle imbalances, leading to chronic pain in joints, etc. Perhaps instead of using "core stability" as a phrase, we should use "poor posture" in its place, which is likely more accurate. The sum of the clinical studies reach a particular conclusion, at the moment. But like all good science, more research and more variable isolation might just point the wealth of knowledge in the opposite direction. It has happened before.
 

retroenduro

Likes Dirt
Well been doing yoga all week and went for a ride last night and smashed all my previous strava times so it obviously works :p

No seriously though, i do get some lower back pain generally including when i ride, especially when climbing (On a wide barred low stack AM bike) and im hoping that some of the back excercises and stretching we do will improve my muscles down there. Plus to be brutally honest i really enjoy it (always a good view if you know what i mean....). Im a proffesional desk jockey nowadays so anything to help negate the effect of sitting still for 6 hours a day would be good.
 

Anarchist

Likes Dirt
Well been doing yoga all week and went for a ride last night and smashed all my previous strava times so it obviously works :p

No seriously though, i do get some lower back pain generally including when i ride, especially when climbing (On a wide barred low stack AM bike) and im hoping that some of the back excercises and stretching we do will improve my muscles down there. Plus to be brutally honest i really enjoy it (always a good view if you know what i mean....). Im a proffesional desk jockey nowadays so anything to help negate the effect of sitting still for 6 hours a day would be good.
Me too. The issue I have is that many clinical studies are looking at a variety of athletes, not always with a regard for what they do the majority of their time. Are they pros, desk jocks, landscape gardeners? That sort of variable can easily confound a study or three.

Sure the data may not agree with me (or you RE!), but i have issues with some lower back pain, and found that relevant exercise, whether it is aimed at "core stability" or not, can and does help. Your result may vary. It may not improve your strava times, but it might make riding for a few hours more comfortable. That is a clinical benefit. And the view can be worthwhile. :eyebrows:
 

Lilley

Likes Dirt
Trials rider/mountain biker Ryan Leech (various Kranked films etc) is now a yoga instructor. He does yoga courses at events like Sea Otter and also takes part in biking and yoga combination retreats. He blogs a bit about yoga and biking on his site www.ryanleech.com

While I have huge respect for Ryan as a rider I don't know anything about yoga but he did make use of it throughout his riding career and found it helped him deal with the abuse professional riding took on his body. Might be worth a look.
 

Halo1

Likes Dirt
I found the spiritual and meditation part of the yoga class I did way too much for me an it put me off doing another class. But my local gym has the Les mills body balance classes and I have found it has improved my mobility and body awareness so I can get into better riding positions on the bike. The classes also have some pretty cool music to keep it interesting and fun.
 

Shrekmeister

Likes Dirt
without question i believe yoga helps....

its a matter of like anything consistency....wether its once a week , twice a week, etc...

wether you get to a local class or do the DVD's at home...eitherway it helps...

classess cost about $10 TO $15 each...which isnt much...

DVD's from stores like pro bike kit, cost maybe $60 each...but you get your moneys worth after a coupla weeks....get a couple and rotate them so it lessens the boredom...
 

shirtz

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I am sure that there are a lot of people who present a totally different point of view in that these exercises help them overcome some sort of postural issue, whether by yoga, pilates or similar. Another way of looking at all of this core stuff is that if it works for you, then it works. Placebo? Maybe. Who cares? If you feel better after doing Pilates, yoga, ball exercises etc then that's fine. If not, do something else. Most of us office working, pencil pushing, keyboard jockeys don't do enough low intensity exercise and do way too much sitting. Then we bang out some serious exercise on the bike and wonder why our backs are sore. Maybe core stability is an overused term and is trendy, but many of our lifestyle choices lead to poor posture and muscle imbalances, leading to chronic pain in joints, etc. Perhaps instead of using "core stability" as a phrase, we should use "poor posture" in its place, which is likely more accurate. The sum of the clinical studies reach a particular conclusion, at the moment. But like all good science, more research and more variable isolation might just point the wealth of knowledge in the opposite direction. It has happened before.
great comment. Im a desk jocky and have been doing yoga for a few months to assist my back. back of my legs and hip flexors were really painfull and yoga is helping a bit. Ive been to so many people and done so much reading though i dont really know if core strength is the answer for me. some people say stretch, some people say dont stretch, strengthen...i dont know what to belive!!!

Anyone here do bikram? that smashes me, but a few times ive felt great after.
 
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