Whether you run for fun or you are serious about running marathons, trying to improve your speed or endurance or you are just starting out, including Pilates in your weekly routine will help you to remain injury free and strong.
Here are a few benefits of Pilates for runners:
Pilates stretches and strengthens you at the same time and will use muscles that are not specifically used in running.
Pilates will improve a runner’s overall strength, flexibility, balance and mobility.
Pilates exercises will help keep the pelvis in a stabilized level plane therefore allowing the extremities more range of motion and flexibility.
Pilates will improve a runners posture by elongating the spine and strengthening the muscles of the back as well as maintaining proper alignment in the knee ankle and foot.
Your core will be a lot stronger thus helping to relieve the pressure on your joints.
Here are a few Mat exercises to add to your training routine.
Pilates Mat Exercises Part 1
(Rolling up slowly and incrementally helps to lengthen the muscles of the low back, increases the flexibility and articulation of the spine and increases core strength).
Lie on your back, reach your arms up over your head, keeping the back of your lowest rib on the mat. Inhale, reaching your arms up towards the ceiling, exhale and lift your head up between your arms, continue the rolling up
and reach towards your feet. Return to the start position by gently squeezing the buttocks and tuck the tailbone to begin the roll back.
Single Leg Circles
(Great for stretching hamstrings, increasing flexibility and mobility of hips, core control, pelvic stability)
Lie on your back, straighten your leg towards the ceiling, pointing the foot, maintain the stability of the pelvis. Circle your leg across your body and down and out and away from your body. Repeat circles in each direction, lower leg and repeat on the opposite leg.
(Increases spinal rotation, stretches mid and upper back, lengthens low back muscles, lengthens the hamstrings, lengthens the quadratus lumborum which lifts the hip,creates balance in pelvis).
Sit up tall with your legs straight and open, shoulder width apart. Reaching your arms out to the side. Rotate torso to one side, reaching the arm in front towards the little toe of the opposite foot.
Return to the starting position with our evening distributed on the sit bones and repeat the rotation on the opposite side.
(Strengthens the back and hip extensors,improves pelvic stability, opens the chest).
Lie on your stomach with your arms reaching overhead and your legs straight. Lift the right arm and the left leg, switching to the left arm and right leg quickly without rocking your hips from side to side.
A few reminders:
Keep your abdominals engaged, keep your shoulders away from your ears and breathe!
Hope you enjoyed this post, part 2 posting soon. Let me know if you add these exercises to your routine.