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Biking and Pilates for the professional to the novice

Scott Minard came to Washington Ave Pilates as a client with his partner Sheri looking for help with his overall fitness and the goal of helping him become a better bike racer. He had done Yoga and liked the stretching aspect of it but, it didn't do much in terms of strengthening what he needed in order to be more efficient on the bike while he raced and trained. Pilates piqued his interest when he learned that it combined stretching and strengthening.

"I have raced various forms of bicycles for most of my life. BMX as a kid, mountain bikes in the 90's and 2000's and for the last six years cyclocross and criteriums. I enjoy the competition and camaraderie of the cycling community. The most enjoyable moments are helping new riders learn new skills and challenge themselves to exel."

Scott's credentials are impressive he is a USA Cycling licensed coach, Training with Power certified and Cyclocross Skills instructor. Some of his Cycling achievements are Stat Crit Champion Cat 3, State Cyclocross Champion Cat 2, 16th Cyclocross Nationals Austin,  Top 5 Mountain Bike Championship 4 years in a row, Houston Grand Crit Winner Masters cat and many others.  He is involved in many Cycling Organizations including GHORBA board member, USA Cycling Race Directors, USA Cycling Race official and Bayou City Racing Team president to name a few.

Biking is a very one-dimensional sport. You are static on the bike and your hands and upper body are not really moving or doing much at all. The legs especially those Quadriceps and Gluteal Muscles are working in a single plane.  This creates an unbalance and tightness in the hamstrings. Believe it or not the abs or your core is very weak. Scott found this out when he came to Pilates.

"You are sitting for long periods of time and you become stiff and tight. Many bikers have low back pain from not only the weak core but lack of flexibility and holding the position for long periods of time. Women riders are also more likely to get IT issues and that will create a torque in the pelvis." Scott says. " Even those riders who are training for the  MS 150 or just recreational bike riders you need to have an overall fitness and well balanced body to be more efficient on the bike"

Scott not only is a professional racer but he is also a coach and helps other bikers with their training. He sees many riders with compressed backs and periformus issues as well as sore shoulders and necks. In regard to postural issues you have tight pectoral muscles and weak upper backs so a lot of riders will have "winged" scapulae.

Pilates helps open up the chest and strengthen the back for riders which in turns allows them to be in a better, more efficient position when riding. "It creates a more balanced Athlete" says Scott

Scott found in terms of his biking efficiency in just a month of doing Pilates he improved 15%. So for an average client coming in 2x a week he feels they could see at least a 5-10% in a month. "The first thing I noticed immediately was I was gaining more flexibility, after just one session. The strength was something that just one day I just was aware of how much had changed."

Scott found that Pilates was such a great partner with his bike racing that he went though the Teacher Training here at WAP and is now an instructor. His eye and knowledge from his bike training has given him a unique perspective when working with clients.