As a high-impact sport, runners place their joints under a significant amount of stress every time they run. Whilst there is no denying that it is an excellent exercise for those looking to improve cardiovascular fitness, muscular toning and endurance, not to mention bone health. It is important to remember that when a runner pushes their body with high levels of running, the body can bear the brunt in the form of injuries and niggles that don’t go away.
Pilates is a low impact exercise that is a fantastic choice of complementary training for any runner. It places little stress on the body whilst strengthening the essential core stabilising muscles. This is not, however, the only benefit to be had from Pilates, so take a look as we sum up some of the other reasons you really should be considering Pilates as part of your running programme.
Pilates not only engages the core but can also help to improve muscle length through better movement of the joints through their full range and also by applying stretch to any shortened muscle groups. This offers a more fluid pattern to running and greater ease of stride.
Improves core strength
Pilates is excellent for aiding in the development of core stability. This doesn’t just mean the abdominals but also the stabilising muscles of the shoulders, neck, back and hips which are particularly important for runners. When a runner learns correct engagement for core back, neck and shoulder muscles, they are able to achieve a running posture that is more upright and better upper body relaxation.
Aids with injury prevention and management
Prevention is the best treatment for any injury, and Pilates can certainly help with this. How does it manage this? It helps identify and correct those imbalances that can increase the risk of injury.
If you want to run faster, then Pilates may be able to help you through exercises designed to target the weaknesses that can influence your running gait. Strengthening and improving Pilates aids in improving kinaesthetic awareness.
Improved control of breathing
Pilates places emphasis on synchronised breathing, the movement promoting diaphragmatic expansion. Through learning to control your breathing with Pilates, you can better understand your breathing during running and therefore improve your focus.
Low-impact Pilates exercises promote blood flow which helps against any negative side effects of longer runs or training sessions. Pilates can also help whilst recovering from injury, placing the joints at less risk of stress and even reducing recovery time.
Interested in experiencing the benefits that Pilates can bring to your running? Why not sign up for a course and see just how it can help you run better?