Gain Flexibility and Balance with Pilates for Running

Pilates for Running helps a runner develop muscles and ligaments that don't get enough work from running alone. Running is a simple exercise. You are just trying to propel your body forward. Weaknesses will develop in other muscle groups compared to the strength you gain in your legs from running.

One big area that Pilates helps runners with is it increases abdominal and lower back strength. Whenever I start running more I tend to get a side stitch. This is because my abdominals aren't in great shape yet either. Many pilates exercises focus on this area. Core strength keeps your body more stable and helps you to run with the correct posture.

Since running is an exercise that doesn't require much lateral movement, some areas in your legs like your hips may get ignored. Pilates also helps with hip flexibility. The exercises strengthen your body both laterally and horizontally. I like to run on the trails. Sometimes when it is a rougher trail, I have to move quickly from side to side. Also on a trail the footing isn't level so you land at awkward angles. Pilates can help prepare your body for this.

Most runners Cross Train to some extent because it helps the body with recovering from running. Also if you cross train, you are creating a more complete fitness level for stamina, strength, and flexibility.

A complete fitness routine involves more than one activity. Running always should be a staple of your routine, but mixing in pilates or yoga can help too.

- Written by David Tiefenthaler

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Cross Training for Runners
Side Stitch
Yoga For Running
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