Would you like to improve your runs and get a little further or maybe a little quicker? Pilates may be the answer to how to run better.
For a good running technique, you want to ensure that you're standing in the correct posture and also there is plenty of core stability to help carry yourself properly. These two techniques are the centre of pilates, which makes Pilates a great way to better your running.
Lynne Robinson, co-founder of Body Control Pilates and author of Pilates for Life, says it's more to do with the fact you're working in alignment, rather than just the stretching and strengthening aspect of the exercises. Just making a few small changes to your body can make a big difference to your run.
Why should runners do pilates?
Lynne says that pilates is a great exercise to do with running because you're strengthening your core stability. The fact of the matter is that you use more than just your legs when you run, you need stability to keep your body upright and you engage your lower abs as you lift your legs.
Like the picture below, lie on your back, feet parallel and knees bent. You should exhale as you begin to lift your tailbone off the matt, rolling onto your shoulder bones with weight distributed between your shoulders and feet.
Breathe in, whilst you hold the position. To release the position breathe out, and repeat this ten times.
Lying on your side, you should have your knees bent with feet at the back. You might find it comfortable to have a cushion between your knees. As you exhale, keep your feet together but raise your top leg, so you are opening your legs like an oyster shell. It's important to keep the pelvis strong and stable, which engages your muscles.
To return to the starting position inhale a breath and repeat with control ten times on each side.
Prone knee lifts
Lying on your front, to keep comfortable you might want your head on a towel, small pillow or matt. And place your fingers under the pelvic bones. Bend one leg to a 90-degree angle, and lift the leg up off the matt as you inhale and keep your pelvis stable. Exhale and lower the leg to starting position, repeating the move ten times on each side.
Stand with your feet hip distance apart, and reach your arms forward for balance. Breathe in and sit back into a squat position, ensuring ankles, knees and hips are lined up. Exhale to stand back up and repeat the move ten times.
One-legged Pilates squat
The same as above, you just move your weight into one leg. You might find that you don't have as much movement to begin with put you'll soon get stronger and lower with the movement. Repeat the move eight times with each leg.