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Why Pilates is great for runners

Posted on 1st December 2018 by

Pilates is an effective, mainly mat based, body-conditioning routine designed to increase physical endurance, flexibility, posture, co-ordination, and core strength. It involves focused, controlled movements that can be modified to create different levels of difficulty.

Pilates was developed by a German, Joseph Pilates, in the early 1900’s as a form of exercise for soldiers recovering from injuries in WW1. He then adapted it for use by gymnasts and dancers. This form of Pilates is known as ‘traditional’. There are a host of other types of Pilates too, including Reformer Pilates, which utilises equipment and resistance techniques.

At goPhysio, we teach the APPI method, which is a form of clinical Pilates. The APPI Method is a research based, clinical application of improving the way a person moves and functions in their everyday life. The traditional Pilates exercises have been broken down into clearly defined levels to ensure a standard, gradual progression towards normal, functional movement. This also helps to build a strong foundation to build and progress your core strength on. The core cylinder, the focus of all Pilates movements, consists of the four abdominal groups (external oblique, internal oblique, rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis), the three lower back groups (psoas major, quadratus lumborum, spinalis) as well as the muscles of the buttocks, hips and pelvis.

The core

The ‘core’ plays a key part for any sport – in running, the main purpose is to stabilise and support the spine and trunk, providing a strong centre for the transfer of forces. It helps to make the dynamic leg movements as efficient as possible. Strong core muscles also help to maintain good posture to maximise performance and minimise injury. Reduced core stability can cause excess movement in the trunk, through over rotation. This can lead to a poor running form, which in turn leads to increased fatigue and reduced performance potential. This is due to energy being wasted in the form of excess movement and poor control.

Pilates also has many other benefits for runners

  • Helps to identify any weaknesses that inhibit your running technique. It will provide you with muscular cues to help you fire and strengthen muscles that help you maintain a better running posture, which in turn will reduce the risk of injury and overuse.
  • A strong, balanced body helps you maintain proper form as you fatigue. Pilates helps you loosen your hips, legs and back, all helping you keep a fluid, long stride.
  • Pilates can decrease your recovery time after injury or a strenuous workout by increasing joint mobility, improving flexibility and body awareness.
  • Pilates breathing encourages you to use the diaphragm and control your inhalation/exhalations to assist with movement – this translates into better control during running.
  • Pilates helps to improve hip, pelvic and lumbar spine mobility & flexibility, through the movements and stretches.

We run over 20 classes a week at the clinic and even though they are aren’t targeted specifically at runners, it would be a great addition to your training regime to help with core strength, balance and improved mobility & flexibility.

To find out more about the classes or get started with Pilates, please call us on 023 8025 3317.

Pilates Exercises for runners

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Read more about Clinical Pilates

Take a look at our latest Pilates timetable

Our top 6 Pilates exercises for runners

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Our Top 6 Pilates Exercises For Runners

Posted on 17th July 2017 by

Pilates can be a fantastic way to keep your body balanced, which is especially important in a repetitive sport like running.

Here’s our top 6 Pilates exercises to strengthen and tone your running muscles, help to prevent injury and improve your running technique and efficiency.

Foot Series

  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart
  2. Bend your knee into a squat, keeping your chest upright and knees pointing over your toes
  3. From the squat position slowly rise up onto your toes (keeping the knees bent) then lower the heels
  4. Repeat 5 heel raises per squat, 10 times

Pilates for Runners Exercises Pilates for Runners Exercises


Shoulder Bridge 

  1. Lying on your back with your knees bent
  2. Squeeze your bottom to lift your hips off the floor
  3. Slowly extend one leg in line with your body, keeping the pelvis level
  4. Lower this leg then repeat on the other side
  5. Aim to do 10 on each leg

Pilates for runners goPhysuio


Scissors

  1. Lying on your back, bring both feet off the floor so that your hips and knees are at a 90 degree angle
  2. Keep you back flat to the floor
  3. Slowly lower one leg to tap the toes on the floor, then bring it back up to 90 degrees
  4. Repeat on both legs 10 times

Pilates for runners Chandlers Ford


The Clam

  1. Lay on one side with your knees bent, hips stacked one on top of the other and feet back in line with your bottom
  2. Lift your heels sop they are hoovering 6 inches off the floor
  3. Squeeze your bottom muscles to lift the top knee towards the ceiling, keeping your heels together and not rolling back from the pelvis
  4. Repeat 20 on each leg

Pilates exercises for runners


Swimming 

  1. From your hands and knees draw your tummy muscles in so your spine in straight
  2. Lift one arm up in front of you and the opposite leg out behind you
  3. Hold this balance for 5 secs without rotating or arching your back
  4. Repeat 10 times on each side

Pilates for runners


Hip Flexor Stretch

  1. Kneel with one knee in front of the other
  2. Keep your chest upright and slowly push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the front of the back thigh
  3. Gently tuck your tailbone underneath you to increase the stretch
  4. Hold 30 secs each side

Stretches for runners


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Clinical Mat Pilates

Pilates Timetable

Running Rehab Service