21 March 2017
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Benefits of dynamic pilates for runners

September 22, 2013
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Running may be one of the most natural forms of exercise we can take, but due to its repetitive nature, and its high impact on joints and muscles alike, injury is a common problem for runners at all levels.  To make matters worse, the majority of runners train on tarmac, a notoriously unforgiving surface that does nothing to cushion the impact.

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Dynamic Pilates is an effective form of pre-habilitation (body maintenance and injury avoidance), so can be a fundamental element of a runner’s training programme.  By releasing tight muscles, isolating and strengthening the areas most often affected, specifically the back, hips and legs, it will help to make running less painful and more efficient.

The key overall benefits of Dynamic Pilates for runners are:

Stability – Dynamic Pilates isolates and strengthens the key muscles that provide stability for the hips and lower back (two of the main areas where runners experience problems).

Flexibility – Dynamic Pilates works on the ‘isolate, fatigue, stretch’ principle to maintain and improve the length and health of muscles used when running.

Function – There is a great saying – ‘you should always train the way you play’.  Whilst this means that you should give 100% in training it also means that you should train your muscles in the way that you intend to use them. For runners this means working their stabilising muscles in upright postures. Dynamic Pilates integrates the use of key stabilising muscles into these postures so that the strength benefits gained are easily transferred from the studio to the road or track.

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TenPilates’ highly effective Dynamic Pilates workout is a fast, effective way of providing the strength and stability that a runner’s body needs.  Using Reformer beds, the exercises also stretch overworked and tight muscles to maintain muscle health, benefiting serious and recreational runners alike.

By strengthening the core and encouraging correct muscle activation, Dynamic Pilates significantly improves functional dynamic stability – the body’s ability to hold itself in better alignment for longer, even under fatigue – maintaining upright posture, stability and responsiveness.  Stopping the knees from rotating inwards, and helping the leg muscles maintain their vital function as efficient ‘shock absorbers’ will protect the bones and joints from the repetitive impact of running.

Here, David Higgins (Founder and Master Trainer) reveals the key areas in which Pilates can really help improve your running performance, reduce the likelihood of injury and keep you running for longer:

Core: Running has a massive impact on your body and, most notably, your spine.  The stronger your core is the more able it is to help absorb some of this impact and prevent the spine from having to take on the shock of each foot strike (especially if you are running on a hard surface like concrete or a treadmill).  A strong core will also help you keep a strong running form during longer, more challenging runs, and actively reduce your risk of any potential injury.  Ten’s innovative technique isolates these all-important deep core muscles and works them to fatigue so that they strengthen quickly.

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Glutes: Many of the problems experienced by runners can be attributed to weak and inactive gluteal muscles.  Dynamic Pilates wakes these muscles up and gets them working effectively again.

Posture: Runners are rarely aware of postural problems that can affect their running.  TenPilates are experts in postural analysis and can identify how your body moves, and how to correct postural problems.

Self myofascial (foam rolling) release: TenPilates encourage runners to use the foam roller to actively release problem areas, allowing your body to move more freely.

Functional movement: The very act of running challenges our bodies by taking it off balance with every stride we make.  Improving your balance will help train your neuromuscular system to adjust the alignment of your body in order to keep you from falling over!  The more regularly you do core stability exercises, the more your body will adapt to being able to keep itself strong and stable when you challenge it.  Dynamic Pilates takes Pilates’ classic focus on core strength and stability and integrates them into functional movements, which will specifically help you run.

Stretching: The repetitive impact of running on the joints and muscles increases the need for stretching, not only to reduce the risk of injury, but also to improve posture by restoring correct muscle balance around the joint.  Stretching also increases the blood and nutrient supply to muscles and cartilage, reducing muscle soreness after training.  Ten can provide you with a series of focused and technical stretches to help you gain and maintain flexibility and muscular health.

Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

TenPilates is the home of Dynamic Pilates in London. As the latest development in Pilates, Dynamic Pilates offers an enhanced full-body workout designed to give visible results, fast. Set up in 2007 by David Higgins and Joanne Mathews, TenPilates boasts six studios across London with a wealth of committed fans including many high-profile faces. The Notting Hill, Chiswick, Hatton Garden, City, St James’s and Mayfair studios span the Capital and employ the most highly qualified and experienced Trainers, each having subsequently spent over 300 hours in the TenPilates Training Academy mastering the Dynamic Pilates programme.

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