Pilates is a great addition to any running regime, whether beginner or elite. Pelvic stability and correct balance of lower limb musculature will improve your stride and decrease your risk of injury.
Targeting specific muscles recruited in running can improve your power and endurance too.
Pelvic control is necessary to be able to limit the amount of rotation and tilting of the pelvis. This centre balances the distribution of forces from your upper body down through your legs to your feet. Therefore, correct pelvic alignment and control to be able to maintain a relatively stable pelvis whilst in motion is important for injury prevention for both the lower back, hip, knee, ankle joints and all muscles in between.
Dynamic pelvic control is achieved through deep core strengthening, balance of musculature around the hips, and posture. In Pilates we begin with strengthening the core, rebalance muscles, and correct postural deviations. From there, we can challenge pelvic stability by increasing endurance and practicing movements similar to a running stride where we can focus on technique and correct distribution of forces through the body. Adding unstable stable surfaces like rotator discs and BOSU balance trainers even further challenges stability. Gluteus medius plays an integral role as a hip/pelvic stabiliser. Bring on those clams and abduction!
Imbalance between left and right sides is a major cause of injury. With a focus on balance and alignment in Pilates, we can identify weakness and strengthen to rebalance the muscles, and so becoming more mechanically efficient. This reduces those pesty niggles and may increase your running distance through improved efficiency of your running technique.
Muscles integral for power and endurance in running are glutes and hamstrings. As females are genetically quadricep dominant, strengthening the glutes and hamstrings are even more necessary. This reduces the risk of knee pain and increases your stride length and running endurance. Bridging/hip rolls and scooters are essential and are a great addition to your Pilates program.
Correct alignment of the lower limbs reduces the risk of knee and ankle injuries. Pilates exercises like footwork, side leg press, scooter and standing leg pumps are great to focus on your alignment and control. Increasing the challenge with rotator discs and bosu require even more stability and control - great for those trail runs!
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at Art Of Pilates, Neutral Bay.