Pilates for Runners

Running is perhaps the most popular form of exercise in the United States.  According to Running USA, there are approximately 36 million runners in the US, about 15 million of whom run 100 days or more each year.  From casual joggers to marathoners and elite track and field stars, runners encompass the full spectrum of experience.  Perhaps the reason for the popularity of running as a form of exercise and fitness is that it requires no other equipment than a pair of quality running shoes.  It can be done virtually anywhere, and for casual runners, requires no specific training.

However, running does, in fact, take a toll on the body through jarring, repetitive motions.  Though a person may have started out just tying on his or her shoes and jogging around the block, it becomes quickly apparent that there are necessary training techniques to help prevent and avoid injury.  For runners looking to improve performance, increase overall health, and reduce the risk of injury, cross training is critical.

Pilates is an extremely effective form of cross training for runners.  Pilates trainers in Oklahoma can help runners understand how Pilates can complement running.  According to Pilates Pro, Pilates can:

  • provide an assessment of overall strength, flexibility, and balance.
  • emphasize awareness of posture.
  • create uniform muscle development.
  • introduce the functional mechanics of the spine and extremities.
  • emphasize good form in both Pilates and running.
  • work all muscle groups for effective cross training.
  • teach breath control.

With its emphasis on balance, posture, focused breathing, and attention to proper form, Pilates naturally supports running.  Both mat work and reformer exercises are effective for improving health and running performance, increasing core strength, correcting postural imbalances, and increasing balance in the muscles of the back and the hips.

Whether you run for general health and fitness, or whether your competitive nature pushes you to improve your distance and/ or speed, Pilates can help you achieve your goals.   

7 comments (Add your own)

1. Cami wrote:
At one time, running was my only form of exercise. I used to have a lot of knee and hip pain. After I began studying Pilates, I realized although I was 'fit', a lot of my muscles were weak. Pilates sessions strengthened muscles all around my joints (and other places) I had no idea how to strengthen on my own. I get much more out of my runs now, can run farther, and avoid injuries.

Thu, July 5, 2012 @ 9:47 AM

2. Chanel wrote:
, Do you plan on competing in the Olympics or sohntmieg-stop running and just do another exercise. (I'm not kidding, he actually said this to me). He also told me to stop all physical activity and come back to see him in one month. He did get blood work results off me and said that everything looks great (no arthritis or inflammation). He also sent me for a CT scan on my lumbar, which came back excellent.The Neurosurgeon looked at my lumbar MRI and said its the nicest one he's ever seen, and that there is no way the minor bulging disc was causing this pain. He said that maybe this pain was coming from my neck, so I had an MRI done of my cervical spine. The results showed nothing wrong. The Neurosurgeon told me that there is nothing else he can do for me and recommended that I don't see any other surgeons because they might want to do surgery even though there is nothing to do surgery on. At this point, I wanted sohntmieg to be wrong, so that I could get surgery and fix the problem.The Orthopedic Surgeon looked at my lumbar and cervical MRIs and said they look wonderful. He ordered me a thoracic spine MRI, which turned out fine-nothing wrong there either. He said he couldn't help me. So I asked him If I was your daughter would you tell me that you can't help me? He was very nice, and said there is nothing he can do because he sees nothing wrong in any of the MRIs.The Acupuncturist did his thing with the needles, but I got no relief after 3 sessions. It was getting too expensive to see no results.The Sports Medicine Dr. got more blood work on me, along with an MRI on my pelvis/hips. Everything came out wonderful. He suggested a steroid injection in my SI joint to take away the pain, and he gave me a script for Physical Therapy (he included the Active Release Technique on the script) I did not take the steroid injection b/c I wanted to try the PT and ART first.The Physical Therapist worked with me 2 times a week for a month and told me that my problem is too advanced for her. She did perform ART on me in my glutes, however I don't know if she was doing it correctly (she is not certified in it, and was only doing it the way someone showed her how to do it) She said that she is overwhelmed with my problem because she doesn't know root cause of this injury. I was even evaluated by the Physical Therapist Sports Director, whom did a very thorough examine with me to find the problem. He said that the internal rotation in my right hip is very poor and my left heel rotation is very tight. He also examined my running form and said that it looks good. He sent me back to the same PT, who once again said that she doesn't know what to work on with me anymore since I'm not getting better (this was today).I've been reading Programmed to Run by Thomas S. Miller along with too many other running/injury books. I learned a lot about running posture and I have compared my running posture to the book's posture. I never really thought about my posture before. I am a heel striker, my arms swing low and straight forward (they never cross my chest at all), and my low back is slightly arched when I try to run tall. Now I understand that I had bad running posture. I have my own thoughts on how this injury happened and I believe that it could have stemmed from improper arm swing. According to the book the lower arm should move slightly across the chest and this would create internal rotation in the hips. I did try running 2 miles this past week using this proper running posture. I was hoping for a miracle, but I can still feel the pain. I like this new running posture, however it does not change the fact that I have an injury that needs fixed.I feel like I've tried everything. I'm not giving up, but I'm not sure where to go from here. I need help. I need a Running Doctor!

Fri, July 20, 2012 @ 6:52 AM

3. Nihat wrote:
The knee will randomly bhtoer me like on a long car ride or flight, but for the most part he's holding up really well. The doctor told me i was one of the weakest people he's ever seen (whatever!), so I've been trying to focus on hip and core strength to help the continuous healing process. I am not running Chicago this year because I'm afraid (wimp) it is not fully healed. I hope to run NYC next year! It will be my 3rd year in the lottery, so I'm hoping year 3 is the lucky year!Summer is the best time to live in the city hopefully your job search goes quickly! Let me know when you're here and I'll try and keep up with you on a run

Fri, July 20, 2012 @ 6:54 PM

4. Patricia wrote:
That is great news!!! Last year, in April, I jacked up my knee and watiing for the MRI was the worst! I did have a tear in my meniscus, but it wasn't large enough to need surgery and with PT I was able to train for the Chicago Marathon! Yay! Stick to the PT and listen to your body the hardest part was not being able to train 100% and having to cut runs short when I was in pain, but it paid off! Good luck

Fri, July 20, 2012 @ 7:19 PM

5. Tirta wrote:
Thank you Liz! Your story makes me feel a lot better. How's your knee doing? Are you ruinnng Chicago this year?BTW I LOVE when you have pics of Chicago in your posts. I can't wait to live in the city. Maybe we can run along the lake sometime?

Fri, July 20, 2012 @ 8:50 PM

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