How can Pilates complement your running?
It provides a full-body workout at a low-impact level. Pilates focuses upon three fundamentals:
Alignment, this relates to the positioning of the body from a bone perspective. Once the bones are aligned the joints are in more of an optimal position to create efficient movement as the muscles can be recruited accordingly. By focusing on alignment the body becomes more efficient and graceful in movement and stride length.
Breathing, in which a lateral breath is encouraged creating a cylinder effect into the ribs, below the navel and lower back. Gaining control of the breath can improve lung function when running.
Centring- this refers to the powerhouse of the core. Pilates enables you to move from the centre outwards mastering control of the upper and lower limbs. When running this will reduce rotational forces allowing the body to be more streamlined and propel forward.
It can be used in recovery from injury as the exercises aid in the healing process and still allow you to maintain your health. Pilates focuses upon symmetry throughout the structure enabling short muscles to be lengthened and weak muscles to be strengthened.
An excellent method for cross training to help build your speed and endurance. Pilates not only uses matwork but small equipment such as the wobble board, bands, weights enabling the body to be challenge through a different stimulus. In addition Pilates machines such as the reformer and chairs can also be used.
Pilates helps to keep the neck and shoulders free, an area prone to tension when running. Pilates lends itself to flexibility in the muscles as well as strength and stability and mobility in the muscles.
By focusing upon the spine the body is able to rebalance itself decreasing the likelihood of injury.