- Jocelyn Cohenour
Attention Runners: You need Pilates
If you have recently starting running after a winter hiatus or are just starting to run for the first time, Pilates is the perfect complement to your training program.
Since running is repetitive motion, runners tend to have overdeveloped muscles, usually the quadriceps. In Pilates we focus on training the posterior chain - your backside consisting of the glutes, hips, hamstrings, and the muscles of your lower back. A strong backside will offset the stress on your joints, specifically your knees. It also assists in opening your joints and muscles to allow you to go deeper into your stretches to increase your flexibility.
Correct Hip/Knee/Ankle alignment is crucial for all runners. Even the slightest imbalance in your stride can slow down your speed and cause injury. Pronating or Supinating in the ankle leads to muscle weakness, causing the knees and hips to overcompensate. From here the injuries trickle up and lead to knee, hip, and lower back pain. Add the impact of running and it's not going to be long before you are met with an injury.
In Pilates we spend a lot of time focusing on your hip/knee/ankle alignment - often the slightest change in your form can target an underdeveloped muscle. Exercises are done single leg, both legs, closed chain, and open chain - this allows you to see (and feel) where your weaknesses are. We also focus on your body working together as a whole system instead of individual muscles. Over time your pain and injuries are decreased while increasing your stride length and fluidity. Did we mention most runners see their time improved?
Not sure if Mat Pilates or Pilates Equipment are best for you? Runner's World gives a great explanation on the differences and benefits of both classes. Interested in feeling the difference for yourself? Contact us to get started: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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