Pilates is a great addition for runners to help decrease their risk of injury and to improve their efficiency of running. Whilst running is predominantly cardio based, strength of the glutes and core are integral to support the pelvis and spine during locomotion.
Similarly, strong lengthened hamstrings can decrease the risk of hamstring strains, whilst strong flexible calves and ankle stability decreases the risk of lower limb injuries such as the common ankle sprain and calf or achilles strains.
Gluteus medius, in particular, is a key muscle in stabilising the hip and controlling the pelvis during movement. Weak glutes can lead to injury of the hip, knee, ankle, lower spine or a combination of a few.
A strong core is required to support the spine, and especially important during high impact exercises. When you run, up to three times the force of walking can be generated and reverberated through the spine. Therefore a weak core and weak spinal stabilisers can result in the runner being more susceptible to injury.
Whether you are a competitive runner, recreational or occasional, all runners can benefit from a tailored studio Pilates program which focuses on key areas that will improve your strength and stability for running. Aside from the benefits associated with running technique and injury prevention, you may also see marked improvement in your running efficiency (run longer and/or more comfortably), due to improved muscle balance and function. The coordination and timing of the muscles around the hip and lower limb can be trained through Pilates exercises to improve response time and alignment during your running stride.
For more information, please feel free to ask any of our instructors in the Neutral Bay studio and they will be happy to incorporate exercises that will assist your potential and enjoyment of running for years to come.