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To Be Determined Journal

To Be Determined is a journal of cycling, adventure and photography, curated by a NYC-based cycling team known as TBD Racing or Team TBD. From criteriums to cyclocross to product reviews and travel diaries, it is all part of the TBD Journal.

A night of mobility with MotivNY

Our new partners MotivNY, in conjunction with Rapha NYC, have been hosting a 4-part mobility series focusing on a range of topics specific to cyclists. With the recent cold snap/polar vortex (whatever we are calling it) I have been feeling more rigid and stiff from training than usual and was very excited to head along to the strength and mobility session.

The night was held at Motiv’s NYC pop-up @ 357 Canal Street. The pop-up space is compact but still feels quite luxurious and has enough space for 3 PT tables, kettlebell/stretching/strength classes and even has a Peloton treadmill.

The structure of the evening was a chat about why mobility and movement is important, followed by a short warm up and a few exercises designed to get cyclist-neglected body parts moving. Taking us through the movements was MotivNY co-founder and PT Luke and strength coach Michael.

From the initial chat I had a few key takeaways:

  • Cycling is one of the only sports without dynamic movement

  • Most of us spend all day in our jobs in a seated position and then jump on our bike to train for hours; again in a seated position

  • Constantly being in a seated position compresses the spine and compressed spines don’t move well

  • Time under tension is important and each body part that we want to focus on needs at least 2 minutes of total time under tension to improve

  • In order to make physiological changes the body needs consistency. If we were to spend 10 minutes (5 areas x 2 minutes) a night 5-7 nights a week practicing the movements our functionality as a human would be greatly improved

  • Amateur cyclists spend a lot of time training to increase capacity but due to our lack of ability to control or joints and movement we are not even close to unlocking the capacity that we already have

After the chat we got into the movements (which Luke said ideally everyone would perform every day), the routine consisted of:

  • A warm-up with walking out on our hands, standing up, lunging and reaching over our head with the hand matching the leg that wasn’t extended forward, swapping legs and repeating

  • The second part of the warm-up was a squat, grabbing your toes, standing up and then lunging and reaching over our head with the hand matching the leg that wasn’t extended forward, swapping legs and repeating

After the warm-up we focused on three main areas of mobility neglect for cyclists; spinal, hip mobility and shoulder. We did one exercise for each but they were quite detailed and specific movements so I won’t describe them here (because I will probably get them wrong). Your best bet is to check out one of the Kinstretch classes as Michael and Luke are brilliant at talking people through the complex movements.

Luke demonstrating a cat/cow where he showed incredible control to move each vertebrae independently.

Post-class the three of us TBDers in attendance spoke about feeling a lot more freedom in our movements and are committing to a lot more regular classes and personal mobility work to achieve the consistency that Luke spoke about. We’d also like to say a big thank-you to Luke and Michael from MotivNY for giving up their time and Rapha NYC for organising the night.

The fourth and final installment of the series will be held on February 5 at the MotivNY pop-up and the topics being discussed are recovery and developing proper cycling training plans. RSVP to the final session is available here