Pilates before and after running?
Pilates before and after running is a great combination to add to your running training.
If you already do Pilates then adding some running-specific Pilates exercises can have a huge impact on your running form. If Pilates is new to you, then spend time learning the Pilates technique first, learning about your body will help you understand your running too. You can give Pilates a go here with the 7 day Beginners Pilates challenge here
Why is Pilates good for running?
Pilates is a low-impact exercise, that focuses on core strength, flexibility, and mobility. All the areas as runners we should be already doing as part of our running sessions to help us get the best out of our bodies and running, reduce our risk of injury.
Read my blog The Benefit of Pilates for runners to find out more.
There are lots of Pilates exercises that work well for runners so Pilates before and after running can work well.
Pilates before a run
We already know that Pilates is good for mobility and flexibility and as runners this is an area as we head into our 40s, 50s, etc that we need to pay a bit more attention to especially before running. I often recommend a pre-pre warm-up with Pilates before I even think about my Running warm-up.
Focusing on Pilates moves that mobilise and help our flexibility is my go-to Pilates exercise before even starting my running warm-up.
With our bodies feeling stiffer whether from lack of movement in general or from increased loading from runs.
3 Pilates exercises for a pre-pre-run warm-up
Lying on your back in a neutral position, lowering your back into the mat, and lifting your bottom off the ground, squeezing those glutes as you do. This is a great way to start to wake up the glute muscles. The Pelvic tilt increases the blood flow to the lower back area.
Lying Spine twist
Lying in neutral on your back with your feet on the floor. Arms out to the side. Lower your knees to one side and then the other in a controlled manner. Keep your shoulders on the floor.
This is a great Pilates exercise to loosen up the spine before heading out for a run.
Lying on your front, finding your neutral position, engaging the glutes and core. Hands by the head and start to raise the chest, extending the spine as you do so. Ensuring that you feel no pain in your lower back as you make this move.
For most of us who sit hunched over a desk or phone for most of our days, good posture is essential not only for our confidence but for our running.
Do these 3 Pilates exercises before you start your running warm-up, not only will it wake up your mind but your body as well. It’s worth taking 5 minutes to do this (and not only on run days) especially if your body has started to feel stiffer with age and you have ongoing niggles and injuries.
Pilates after running
You’ve had a great run, you’ve got that runner high and you come bounding in feeling so good you wonder why you didn’t run a few more miles, or maybe you just have had enough but feel great for doing it.
However you feel, now is the perfect time to strengthen your body more while your muscles are warm and you are in the right headspace. 10 minutes of core strength and a stretch will help you on your next run.
1 leg stretch
Lying on your back in neutral, taking legs into tabletop, before moving 1 leg forward & back. You can have your head up or down depending on your ability. The 1 leg stretch is a good replica of the running movement.
Lying in neutral, legs into tabletop as 1 leg stretch. Curl up and place your hands behind the head to support it. Then as you bring a leg in extend the other and rotate your upper body. This works on strengthening the side muscles as well as core strength. Great for your running technique to help reduce upper body twisting which can use up lots of energy when we run.
Remember there are various Plank levels, this is an advanced move. Into your plank position ensuring you are in a neutral position, engaging glutes and core, without feeling any pain in your lower back.
Then engage your glute to slightly lift one leg, lower, and repeat the other side without losing your plank position.
Should you do Pilates before and after running.
Pilates before and after running is a great way to add strength, mobility, and flexibility to your running, to help you run better, to help you reduce your risk of injuries which as 40+ runners help us understand our bodies more as they start to change.
So, yes Pilates before and after running is a great time to add at least 10 minutes in. Ensure you do correct exercises before and after to get the benefits but doing Pilates regularly as runners will make a difference to your running.
You can find out more about Pilates for Runners, how it can help your running, how you can fit it in today your day, and see the benefits in your running.
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