Sports Pilates is a great add-on for any runner or triathlete to stay injury free and moving their best. While a lot of us have heard about pilates health benefits, why should you try to add it to your routine? It is difficult to start Sports Pilates when you do not know the benefits of Pilates, is it healthy for your body, or if Sports Pilates is good for runners. Here are some simple reasons to add Pilates to your routine:
1. Works and Tones your Muscles
Running is great for burning calories but you do not use your muscles that much. This is why runners tend to get injuries to the ligaments, tendons, or joints and not suffer muscle tears. We don’t use our muscles enough to tear them but we certainly overload our joints and other passive structures. Doing Sports Pilates once per week can help really tone and strengthen your muscles. Allowing you better shape and less chance of injury.
2. Keeps your Joints Healthy
Linked to the first point, Pilates allows you to move through a larger range of motion than our sports. Generally, people running move through the same small range of motion. This can make our hips especially tight and stiff. Having a routine that moves and challenges your body in a different way is a great way to keep the joints moving the way they should. Movement in the joint is what allows the oil (Synovial fluid) to lubricate the joints.
3. Improves Core Strength
A major difference between Pilates and Yoga is the focus on strength in Pilates. Core stability is a major element of any Pilates routine. Particularly with the Pilates for Runners and Triathletes that we do we focus on improving core stability in ways that will enhance core stability when running. This allows more directed energy forward when we run and race.
4. Better Glute and Leg Strength to Protect your Hips
Another key area that Sports Pilates focuses on is glute and leg strength. With Sport Pilates, we take this to another level as we first learn how to activate and strengthen these muscles on the ground before we begin to use these muscles in standing and simulate running positions. We find this allows much greater transfer to running afterward.
5. Better Coordination
Running can fail to really challenge our body’s coordination as we get used to our unique stride and running mechanics. The Ethiopians do really complex drills that look like a child playing with their hands over head then down at their knees. They do this to constantly stress their bodies. Practicing and mastering different Sports Pilates moves should allow you greater coordination and control of your body.
6. Better Posture
Except for the most elite racers, the rest of us have to have day jobs to fund our running and triathlon! As such, with excessive sitting, our posture can be worsened over time. Pilates works on a lot of the postural muscles that become lazy and weak with excessive sitting. Having a practice once per week that works on these muscles helps to counter-balance the stresses we place on the body.
7. Less Back Pain
Again due to poor posture and excessive sitting it can put a lot of stress and strain on our backs. Especially for those who sit all day and then go sit on a bike to exercise this can be a problem. While we also have Back Pilates programmes that target more specifically back pain, sports Pilates can help strengthen the core and the back muscles helping to take pressure off the spine.
8. It’s a Great and Different Workout!
I love running. The best part about it is the efficiency with your time. Once you are out the door you are running and getting the most out of the time you put into the run. With the gym, I see a lot of times I can go and not really feel I got much done! Our Sports Pilates programme is follow along so you simply follow me as I guide you through the exercises. We get a lot done in 45 minutes and you will feel great afterward, knowing you had a great workout with a lot of new and interesting moves!