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Pilates For Running

How Pilates will help you run better and with less chance of injury 

Running offers various perks for your body and mind. In fact, much like 20 mins of Pilates, running can help clear your mind, lift your mood, sharpen concentration, and even improve your sleep. On the physical side, it boosts blood circulation, improves heart health, reduces blood pressure and enhances your aerobic fitness and lung capacity.

However, there's a balance to strike. Engaging in running demands coordinated efforts from every muscle, joint, tissue, organ, and body system, constituting a comprehensive full-body workout. The repetitive impact from running, especially on your ankles, knees, and hips, can lead to wear and tear. From impactful stress on joints to imbalances in muscle strength, compensatory actions, and strain on supporting tissues, the benefits of running can come at a cost to your body… if you aren’t careful. 

Enter Pilates!

With its deliberate, controlled movements, Pilates targets deeper muscle groups that provide support to your muscles and joints during high-impact activities like running. This makes Pilates a powerful complement to any runner’s training plan, improving their strength, speed, technique and endurance, whilst reducing chance of injury.

Whether you are beginning your running journey, wanting to elevate your running performance or constantly suffering from aches and injuries as a runner – Pilates can help you run stronger and better, with more ease and comfort.

Here's exactly how Pilates enhances your running performance:

Core: 

Pilates doesn’t just work the abs but it builds deep core strength by targeting the small stabilising muscles in the abdomen, lower back, and pelvis. 

A strong, stable core balances and powers your stride, helps maintain your form as you fatigue and reduces your chance of injury.

Breath: 

Pilates teaches controlled, deep breathing techniques, enhancing lung capacity and improving breathing mechanics. 

This helps you maintain steady oxygen intake, reducing fatigue and supporting endurance during runs.

Joints:

Pilates targets stabilising muscles around your knees, hips, pelvis, ankles and shoulders, strengthening your joints and improving their range of motion. 

Strong, mobile joints improve your running gait, help the body better deal with the constant impact of running and reduce risk of injury.

Spine: 

Pilates strengthens small postural muscles that support and align your spine, and improves your spinal mobility and flexibility.

A healthy, stable spine helps you maintain an upright posture and recruit the correct muscles whilst running, reducing strain on your back, enhancing overall stability and enabling a more streamlined and energy-efficient stride.

Muscular Balance 

Through focusing on form and alignment, Pilates identifies and corrects muscular imbalances and builds even strength across the entire body.

Addressing muscle imbalances helps produce the right muscle firing patterns for more fluid movements and better distribution of force and stability, improving overall biomechanics and  reduces the risk of injury.

Flexibility

Pilates exercises lengthen muscles, alleviate tightness and promote blood flow, helping to increase flexibility.

This reverses any stiffness from running, promotes faster recovery and better flexibility leads to a more fluid and efficient stride.

One thing that’s surprised me about LIVE BRAVE Pilates is just how big an effect it has had on my running. My marathon times are getting quicker but more importantly I have far less niggles and aches!

LIVE BRAVE Pilates Member

How to combine Pilates with your running 

It is absolutely possible to combine Pilates and running. The amount of Pilates that you complete each week will vary based on your personal goals, training plan and time.

Here are a few ways to combine Pilates and running:

  • Start by adding Pilates into your warm up and cool down
  • Try a 10-15 min Pilates workout before a run
  • Add longer Pilates sessions to your rest or short-run days 
  • Take a gentle Pilates class on your rest day

Our top LIVE BRAVE Pilates classes for runners:

13 Min Runners Warm Up

9 Min Runners Cool Down

11 Min Runners Hip Mobility

13 Min Hip Flexor Strength and Length

23 Min Deep Core Strength

For a full programme to add to your running plan, try our 21-Day RUN BRAVE programme.

NOT A MEMBER?

Download our free RUNNER'S GUIDE that has been designed to support you to run better, improving your alignment, correcting imbalances and shielding you against injury.

You’ll receive nine expertly crafted running sessions and four Pilates workouts tailored specifically for runners, alongside essential information on combating common running injuries. There’s also two special offers waiting for you inside too! Download here.

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