What are the benefits of Pilates for runners?
More and more runners are realising the benefits that Pilates has in providing a form of exercise that complements their running training routine. Pilates instructors are experts in movement and have the ability to work your body through the complex movements that are required to develop an efficient running style . Most people think that running is something that we all can do quite easily, but to do it well it is actually really difficult and we have all seen runners struggle due to poor technique. Running requires a strong core, good hip flexion, extension and rotation. Runners also require rotation in the spine as well as good control through their shoulders, head and neck.
Running is a repetitive activity which means some of your muscles can be overused while others will be underused. This can cause muscular imbalances and also injuries. Pilates looks at your body holistically so covers all areas. It will help your balance and coordination, both of which are needed for agility, power and speed in your running. It also makes you more aware of how to control your own body which helps you improve your running style.
The repetitive nature of running means that every time your foot hits the ground it has an impact on your body. It leads to a force travelling up through your feet, your legs to the lower back, rib cage and neck. Any weakness in that route will increase the probability that an injury will occur. Pilates can make all these vulnerable areas stronger and more able to deal with the stress that running puts on your body. It can help with sports injuries too but more importantly, practicing Pilates can protect your body and reduce the risk of developing an injury in the first place.
Pilates is a low impact form of exercise that looks at your body holistically. It produces a strong core that means your body is more stable, improves your posture and balance, and because you have better control of your body it will also enable you to run more efficiently. Good posture will make you feel taller, breathe more deeply and make you lighter on your feet, making you a better runner.
Good breathing technique is one of the main principles of Pilates and these techniques can be used to great effect in your running by increasing your lung capacity. It is much more effective and efficient to use your diaphragm to push the breath through your chest and lungs, transferring oxygen into your blood flow, rather than overusing the accessory muscles in your neck and shoulders.
Pilates stretching improves flexibility by constantly lengthening the muscles during exercises which means your muscles can withstand the full range of movement that running requires. This protects the muscles and decreases the risk of injury.
Running can be a life-enhancing experience but runners are renowned for overdoing it or powering through pain or injury. Pilates will put you more in touch with your body and make you aware of even small changes to either your physical or mental health. This will prompt you to take action before the problem becomes much worse.
Pilates has many important benefits that will enhance your life not just benefits associated with running. Research had shown it can improve your concentration, your energy levels, your mood, your self-belief and it teaches you to accept your body for all the amazing things it can do. Pilates aims to make you best you can be.
If you want to start benefiting from all Pilates has to offer, why not try Pilates Scotland’s on demand 14 day free trial now by clicking here. You will gain instant access an extensive library of classes with new classes added every week. Make the commitment now to see improvements in all aspects of your running.