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Pilates Bicycle–Just Like Riding a Bike, Except You Use More Abs

Pilates bicycle on the foam rollerThe Pilates Bicycle exercise is just like riding a standard bike, except it’s more challenging to core muscles like your abdominals. As you pedal your feet, try to ensure that your abdominals keep working to hold your pelvis stable. If your pelvis starts rolling back and forth on the roller, you know your abs have checked out and you need to reengage them.

Even if you don’t have a roller, you can practice this exercise on the mat. However, by having a roller, you allow your legs to move slightly in to extension at the hip joint. This is important to keep the muscles of the hip joint balanced.

Pilates Bicycle

  1. Begin on your back with your knees bent, heels in line with your SITs bones.
  2. Lift your hips so you can slide the roller under them. When you lower your hips, your sacrum (tailbone) should be on the roller. Place your hands on either side of the roller to help keep it stable.
  3. Use traditional Pilates breathing.
  4. Inhale in to the sides of your ribs. Exhale and tilt your pelvis slightly in to Imprint.
  5. Inhale to lift your left leg to Table top.
  6. Exhale to lift the right leg to meet the left.
  7. As you inhale and exhale, pedal your legs. Truly, you want to imagine that you’re pedaling a bike, so keep both knees bent throughout the exercise.
  8. Keep your abdominals active throughout the exercise. You’ll notice if they start to quit because your pelvis will start rolling back and forth on the roller.
  9. Pedal forward for 8 sets.
  10. Then, switch directions and pedal backwards for 8 sets.
  11. When you’re finished, bring your legs back to Table top.
  12. Inhale to set your left foot back on the ground.
  13. Exhale to set the right foot on the ground.
  14. Lift your hips, and slide the roller out from underneath you.

Finding a Foam Roller

If you want to order a foam roller, I recommend the OPTP brand foam roller. Their foam rollers are firm and don’t dent or bend easily. It’s crucial for your foam roller to be firm and stay the same shape throughout its use.

Foam rollers are a great tool to elevate your Pilates mat work, but they’re also wonderful self-massage tools. Here’s a link to some foam roller stretches.

Pilates Bicycle Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

What do you think of this exercise? Is it harder or easier to keep your reaching leg bent as opposed to straight? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi! I'm Sarah, and I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. When I'm not working with clients, I'm researching the best ways to get rid of pain. Do you want to learn how to practice yoga and Pilates safely in your own home? Or, do you want to know all my tips and tricks for pain relief? Join my mailing list and receive free goodies to help you.

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