Today's blogger: Rachel Zavala, Shape fitness intern
Like many group-cycling enthusiasts, I love pushing my legs to exhaustion with hills and sprints. But I'm not a big fan of stretching—and my legs pay the price with frequent aches and pains. So I was excited to try Power Fusion at Flywheel Sport, a new one-hour class designed to stretch out your kinks and increase your strength, so you're more comfortable in and out of the saddle.
During the class, I performed stretches and strength moves barefoot. The rationale behind the sans-shoes policy: "It forces you to engage all the supporting muscles of your legs and feet to balance," says instructor Laine D'Souza. I definitely felt like my thighs worked harder during a series of sumo squats. Another move I felt big-time: walking planks (you walk your hands and feet from side to side while holding plank pose.) This exercise strengthens your core, the key muscle group that supports you on a bike. In-between strength moves, we did dynamic stretches—such as lunges and hip rotations—to target the notorious tight spots for cyclists. (Need some new stretch ideas? Click here for six of our faves.)
This class definitely lived up to its "Power Fusion" name as my muscles were still aching two days later. But the soreness served as a healthy reminder that in order to maximize your performance on the bike, you have to strengthen and stretch your muscles, too.
The class incorporated a few yoga and Pilates moves, too.