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Before and After the Ride

Essentrics is the perfect complement to biking.

In honor of National Bike Month, I decided to pull out my bike, pump up the tires, and go for a ride. It has literally been years since I've ridden, and I don't know why. Bicycling is an environmentally friendly mode of transportation, as well as an excellent low-impact cardio exercise that's easier on the joints than running. And it's fun!

Since I've become an Essentrics instructor, I've developed a much keener sense of body awareness. As I was riding around my neighborhood, I noticed the way I was leaning forward over the handle bars almost the entire ride. Hmm, I thought, my hip flexors and pecs are in a constant shortened position. Then I became aware of my arms. They weren't moving much, and they were primarily being strengthened in a semi-short lever position. My quads were definitely working! But even with the pedaling, I wasn't using the full range of motion in either my hips or ankles. In short, cycling is a fun and very strengthening cardio workout, but it primarily strengthens the muscles in their shortened position. It works many of the muscles, but not all. As infrequently as I ride, I'm in little danger of the ill effects, but I could see that over time, bicyclists without complementary activities would likely end up with shortened muscles and tightened joints that could lead to decreased range of motion, muscle imbalances, and pain.

Essentrics to the rescue! The dynamic, fluid movements of Essentrics help increase flexibility and strengthen the body in preparation for cycling. The focus of Essentrics to strengthen the muscles of the body in their lengthened position helps to decompress tight joints and increase range of motion after a ride. An Essentrics routine systematically works the entire body to restore and re-balance it, to unlock tight joints, to help prevent injury, and to relieve pain. It's an excellent complementary workout to cycling, as well as any other activity.

I can't believe May is almost over! I think I'll bike more. If you haven't already, may I encourage you to take a ride? But before and after the ride, take an Essentrics class!

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