3 Essential PILATES Exercises for Running
By Cristina Giampuzzi, MPT, CSCS, Certified STOTT PILATES ® Instructor Orthopedic/Sports Medicine Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan Pilates is an excellent compliment to a marathon training program. The focus of Pilates is core stability while improving strength, flexibility, and endurance. The aim is to provide optimal musculoskeletal performance. Running activities alone will not provide a well rounded experience. Running has great cardiovascular benefits; however, it may lead to muscular imbalances in the body. Running is a forwardly directed motion; therefore, it’s important to train using side to side and rotational movements as well to reduce injury and prevent potential imbalances. Pilates exercises can help train muscles that are not specifically used for running, i.e. obliques, hip abductors, hip adductors, and back muscles. Oblique muscle strength will help maintain a stable trunk while running; therefore, improving your efficiency and decreasing trunk rotation which is energy wasting. The following exercises mainly address obliques, gluteals, hamstrings, lumbar stabilizers, and hip stabilizers. Good luck with your training – see you on Marathon day!
Lie on back with legs elevated to 90/90 position. Maintain abdominals flattened and low back in contact with the floor. Place your fingertips behind your head, tuck your chin, and curl your upper body away from the floor. Rotate your torso to the right bringing your left armpit toward your right knee as you fully extend the opposite leg. Return to center and rotate your torso to the left, bringing your right armpit towards your left knee while extending the opposite leg. Repeat 10x. Rest. Perform 3 sets.
Shoulder Bridge with Alternating Leg Lift
Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat. Flatten your abdominals. Lift your pelvis from the floor. Maintain level hips, then extend one knee and lift leg toward ceiling. Lift and lower 3x. Place foot onto floor and repeat on other side. Lower pelvis to floor. Rest. Lift pelvis again and repeat leg lifts. Perform 3 sets for each leg.
Advanced Side Kick
In tall kneeling, place one hand onto floor directly in line with your shoulder. Maintain flattened abdominals and ensure your rib cage is aligned with your pelvis. Lift your opposite leg parallel to floor and opposite hand behind your head. Lift and lower your leg without allowing your pelvis/spine to waiver. Repeat 10x. Rest. Perform 3 sets, then repeat on the other side.
For more information on these exercises contact Cristina @ email@example.com at the Brasza Outpatient/DMC Fitness Center.