Pilates for Runners

Kerry Brygger
Pilates Class

Pilates for Runners

Pilates greatly benefits your body by providing opportunities to strengthen, stabilize and elongate in ways that we may not experience in our day to day lives.  Through Pilates and lessons learned during sessions or classes, the Pilates student can easily transport the strengthening, stabilization and elongation into functional day to day movements for improved living.  This is particularly important for the distance runner and distance event (duathlon / triathlon) athlete.

Joseph Pilates, the founder and creator of Pilates, developed his movements and sequences out of need; in his youth, he was ill and cured himself through his techniques.  The method of Pilates is to teach an awareness of breath control while strengthening the deep core muscles (core being both front and back body of the trunk), as well as improving spinal alignment.  By utilizing this system of strengthening and stretching exercises you can develop the body’s core strength, mobilize the spine and build flexibility.  The Pilates exercises are designed to improve range of motion, flexibility, circulation, posture and abdominal (core) strength.  Performing them regularly can lead to decreases in back, neck and joint pain.

While the stigma for Pilates is that it is for the flexible, the fit, the professional dancer and others in similar unique circumstance, Pilates benefits a multitude of people.  I think of those struggling through both chronic and symptomatic back pain.  By strengthening the front and back body, pain free living can be achieved.  This is somewhat likened to the same idea of a brace for your body.  A brace, essentially, is put in place to strengthen the body’s weakened condition.  After a predetermined amount of time the brace will be removed and the body, ideally, will have found a new strength.  Unfortunately, I do not have the ability to estimate how many Pilate’s sessions, classes or workouts are needed to reduce pain.  Consistency is key and learning to love your body for the amazing physical specimen it was designed to be.  Caring for it the best you can is the best recipe for pain free, functional living and running. By implementing Pilates exercises into your training regimen you can help to prevent injury, enjoy more pain-free miles and potentially enjoy additional speed.

Links:

Elena Sonnino-How Pilates Benefits Runners.  http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/12/09/how-pilates-benefits-runners

Post on Pilates and Running.  http://www.thebalancedlifeonline.com/pilates/pilates-and-running-2/

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