There’s something about running that is so satisfying, and as Adidas so beautifully coined in one of their advertising campaigns a few years ago:
‘The longer I run, the smaller my problems become.’
But how do you keep your body as strong as your mind?
The strengthening power of Pilates can help prepare the body for everything from short sprints to long distance runs and can be a major factor in helping prevent injuries and weaknesses slowing you down or stopping you in your tracks all together.
It’s all about the glutes!
Anyone who has been to Ten knows how passionate we are about getting you to activate your glutes! Now whilst most of you probably think we just love watching you suffer during those painful last few seconds of a side-lying leg press, there is actually science behind it!
The activation and strengthening of the glute muscles actually helps to stabilise your pelvis and prevent one of the most common bio-mechanical deficiencies out there – the internally rotating knee (image B).
Strength from within…
Running has an incredible impact on the body – and whilst most people think the knee and the ankle are the major joints that take on stress – the spine plays a very important part in it too.
The strengthening of the spine through classic Pilates moves can help to prevent lower back pain commonly caused by:
- Compression of the posterior spinal structures
- Tight hamstrings
- Tight hip flexors
- Poor core strength
- Poor pelvic stability
In classes we can help you strengthen these areas with exercises such as:
These exercises are easy to replicate at home – and just a simple set of them once every few days can help to maintain a strong and solid running posture. Ask your trainer for more details on how to do them yourself to help build up your strength between classes.
Stretch it out!
Tight hip flexors are a very common ailment that runners suffer from, in and out of class.
Tightness in these areas can very often lead to an undesirable tilt in the pelvic region (image B).
As mentioned above in relation to the spine, this tilt can lead to pain in the lower lumbar region of the spine and an inefficient running posture. Stretches in class can help to lengthen these muscles.
But again, replicating pilates stretches (see right) before and after running can be very effective in preventing tightness creeping in and causing this excessive tilt.
Overall, Pilates is widely recognised and recommended as a highly effective way to maintain a strong and functional posture through our daily lives – and workouts. The complete postural alignment and strength that Pilates can help you achieve will only work wonders in helping you run better, harder, faster and stronger.
Now, where’s that London Marathon registration form…?