With its focus on strength and stability, Pilates is ideal for runners.

Pilates strengthens as well as lengthens the body. It stabilizes and brings awareness to your weaknesses.             People see Pilates and yoga as interchangeable, but they’re not. Pilates strengthens you through length. Yoga – the odd pose aside – is more about opening and relaxing, but with Pilates you take the movement to its full length, you are moving your muscles eccentrically [lengthening], not concentrically [contracting], and making sure they are functionally robust as well as becoming more flexible.

This mat-based routine can be done in your living room and focuses on the four main pillars of running motion: rotation, leg mobility and hip extension, back extension, and core control.  The first few times really focus on getting your form right, rather than completing the allotted time, in order to get the correct movement patterns into your brain.

The workout

Aim to perform each move for 30-60 seconds and do the routine once to twice a week to become stronger, more powerful and better equipped to stay on the road and away from the physio

 

Clam hips off floor

With one elbow and knee on the floor, directly under your shoulder, draw your abs in towards your spine; Raise your entire body, keeping your neck long. On the exhale open your knees from glutes, squeezing your heels together. Inhale on the return. Repeat on the other side.

 

 

 

 

 

Bridging against wall

Place your feet flat on a wall, lower legs parallel to the floor. Draw your abs towards your spine, inhale and raise your body, squeezing your glutes together. At the top exhale and lower your spine vertebrae by vertebrae. Advanced move: try one leg at a time.

 

 

 

 

 

Tree

Raise one leg at 90 degrees to floor, toes pointed. Keep the other leg horizontal, an inch off the floor, toes pointing away. Draw your abs in, clasp your hands round your thigh and lift your body by walking your hands up your leg as high as possible. Walk them back down. Repeat on the other leg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lower abdominal toe taps

Lie on the floor. Raise your legs so your lower leg is perpendicular to the floor. Draw your abs in towards your spine. Slowly tap one leg to the floor and then the other. Challenge yourself to not move your pelvis.

 

 

 

 

 

Short spine

With your abs drawn in, raise your legs so they’re perpendicular to the floor; exhale and slowly take your legs over your head; inhale, then exhale and lower your spine with your legs in a diamond shape, pushing your spine into the mat vertebrae by vertebrae.

 

 

 

 

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