Health and Fitness

Studio Pilates Performance Series: Running

Improve your speed, strength + endurance

Training to improve your run does not necessarily require more running! Pilates can dramatically assist your athletic performance and offers the perfect training complement to running, whether your focus is fitness based, competitive or for technical development. Studio Pilates delivers intense, 40 minute workouts on Pilates reformers in a small group environment that feels more like a personal training session, with our world class instructors modifying your moves for maximum gain.

Like running, Pilates is a whole-body workout, focusing on strength, mobility, endurance, body alignment and breath control. It offers physical and mental fitness and can help reverse some of the problems that specialised sports can create. Each class is scientifically designed by physiotherapists, to ensure safe and considered movements sequenced in a particular way to give you the results you want, fast! We work your body on all planes of movement – sitting, lying and standing – so that the muscles are worked from many different directions, producing a uniform and very deep strength and tone, even without using heavy weights.

Strong legs and lungs are not the only things needed for a fast run. A lot of speed comes from the core and proper body alignment. Studio Pilates focuses on strengthening and defining a range of muscles beneficial to helping a runner train for peak performance and endurance, with a stronger core, back and pelvis being among the main rewards. Pilates also provides a great active recovery session, shifting toxins and lactic acid.

 

Performance benefits

Body alignment and balance: Running places large forces on the body. Its inherently repetitious movements means that any weaknesses or imbalances result in certain muscles being overused, taking all the force and impact, causing misalignments which can add unwanted seconds to competitive running time or result in a variety of pulls and strains. Pilates helps correct body alignment and produce the right muscle firing patterns for more fluid movements and better distribution of force and stability through the gait style.

Core: A strong core has a big impact on form and efficiency and is the anchor of your running technique. It helps the body better deal with the constant impact of running, as the power source shifts to the centre, or ‘powerhouse’, of the body. Overall strength and conditioning of the Transverse Abdominis not only produces a strong abdomen and obliques, but the powerful stabilising muscles in the mid back, lower back, spine, chest and glutes. Pelvis stability and hip strength: Increasing the stability of the pelvis and the muscles around the hip joint that directly affect the alignment of the legs while running helps create an efficient running style that minimises any unwanted exertion and stress on the body, leading to faster runs over extended periods of time.

Knees: Your knees take a hammering when you train regularly. Pilates strengthens the quads and hip abductors, which support the knee and hips and provide greater running power.

Muscle conditioning, control and strength: Strength and conditioning work in Pilates builds stamina and power in your running. Lazy muscles are activated. Back muscles are developed evenly and the spine is elongated and aligned for better stability, allowing for more efficient uphill and downhill runs. Tight muscles, such as hamstrings, are lengthened. The building of long, lean muscles, without bulk, aids in speed and range of motion. Functional muscle development helps with coordination and reduced risk of injury. And the stretching component of Pilates provides a good active recovery session.

Flexibility and control: Pilates improves balance, mobility and stability throughout the body to create a proper foundation from which to generate running movements. Better kinaesthetic awareness can shave your run times because of more efficient movement as well as decreased fatigue in legs, neck and shoulders. Pilates also works the body through a greater range of motion than other forms of resistance training, increasing your functional strength specific to running.