“Cyclists: Looking for other ways to strengthen your legs? Try the 'leg pull,' a Pilates exercise that uses all of the muscles in the torso and upper back to stabilize the upper body and challenges the quad and hip flexors to mobilize the leg.
Start in a seated position [with your legs outstretched in front of you] and stretch your hands [on the floor] behind your hips with fingers facing forward.
Lift your hips off the mat to create a straight line from heels to shoulders. Keep your legs turned out slightly and inner thighs sealed.
Press your hands into the floor so that you engage your arm and upper back muscles. Press [your weight onto] the outer edge of the left foot and [lift] the right leg as high as possible without moving anything else. Hold it high, increasing the lift each time.
Attempt 10 higher lifts and switch sides. Repeat 4-5 times on each side.”
—Julie Erickson is a Pilates Method Alliance certified Pilates instructor and the owner and founder of Endurance Pilates. She has run 11 marathons.
As reported by Bethany Marzewski.