Whether you are a competitive runner or weekend jogger trying to shed a few pounds, there is no doubt that running is an easy way to keep in great cardiovascular shape. But your body can take a beating. This is especially true if it develops asymmetries.
Body asymmetries develop because of poor body mechanics, causing certain muscles to become overused (common in runners), while other muscles become underused. This can result in a variety of issues from lower back pain to hip and knee problems. It can also lead to a wide variety of tears, strains and pulls.
Pilates exercises create a stronger, more flexible spine and core, and also promote faster recovery from strains or injuries. For a runner, posture is one of the key ingredients to success; and posture is very dependent on a strong core. Pilates develops a strong core by supporting and strengthening the muscles of the torso, hips shoulders and pelvis. These lead to a positive difference in your posture, technique, balance and stability. It enables you to focus on where your head and neck are in relation to the spine and pelvis, on down through the legs and toes. This all adds up to more efficient movement and less chance of injury.
Pilates exercises will:
· Build up the back muscles evenly
· Elongate and align the spine for better stability
· Expand the diaphragm
· Increase overall flexibility, strength, and balance
· Increase range of motion in hips and shoulders
· Enhance concentration through focussed breathing
· Provide more upright running
· Help bodies recover faster from injuries
Performance Benefits. A stronger and more stable core helps a runner:
· Run more efficiently uphill with a stabilized musculature
· Run more efficiently downhill with a stronger and more balanced sciatic area
· Experience less tightening of the neck, head and shoulders
· Increase oxygenation and stamina with a diaphragm that is able to fully expand
· Focus on proper movement with better kinaesthetic (physical) awareness
· Decrease fatigue because of less strain on the body
· Shave seconds off your times because you move more efficiently
· Run without pain!