Running is a great form of exercise! It can be both meditational and cardiovascular. It improves health and reduces weight, but anything we do with a repetitive movement and pattern can sometimes lead to injury or pain... especially if we are not using proper form or working our legs in balance.
What can Pilates do for you and your progress as a runner???
Pilates can contribute to your running in many ways!
- Expose a weakness or imbalance you might not be aware of. Pilates exercises have a wonderful way of showing us exactly where our muscles are tight, weak or uneven. When we are able to pin point these weakness it gives us a guide to help improve and create balance back into the body. Imagine only walking on one edge of a rug. That rug might look perfectly normal for a while, but over time the rug will start to harden down, fray, then eventually tear. Just a small imbalance in our body can cause a long and dangerous effect over a period of time. Pilates will help you take of your running body for many years to come when we can correct and improve these habits.
- Many runners fight with tight and inflexible muscles. Pilates incorporates stretches, both dynamic and static. For runners it is important to stretch the muscles you use while running. Stretching your hips, hamstrings and calfs are important both before and after a run.
- Another key concept to Pilates is strengthening your latissimi dorsi or lats. Building lat strength and awareness improves posture while running. This keeps your shoulders from rounding forward and your trapezius and neck from straining while running.
- Pilates has your back! Pilates is all about making your back happy and supported. This usually starts by strengthening your abs and giving your body the muscles it needs to support your spine.
These are just a few ways Pilates can up your running game or help reduce a pain or injury you're currently fighting.