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Pilates for Runners

Pilates for Runners Revisited

From the desk of Kristen M. Reynolds, PT, DPT, PMA®-CPT

With the days getting longer, the temperatures unseasonably warm, and the Boston Marathon looming upon us, local runners are exceptionally inspired to hit the bricks, cobblestones, and uneven sidewalks. As I mentioned in my 2011 blog about Pilates for Runners, this population needs to remember to incorporate cross training into their regimen to prevent imbalances in the body in order to avoid injury that keeps them off the cobblestones.

The best way to start is to meet with a trainer that can perform a postural and movement screen to see which muscles and joints are in need of more mobility and stability. Private Pilates sessions will allow you to have a program tailored to your body, utilize the Reformer, and learn specific Mat exercises that you can perform on your own.

Another great method of making Pilates “a habit” is to find a small group class that works with your schedule and attend 1-2 classes each week. Consistency is important because classical Pilates is presented in a traditional order and modern day classes tend to provide a wide variety of variations and modifications for everybody. Routine practice fosters precision in your execution, improved muscular control, and increased range of motion and flexibility. Joseph Pilates’ quote “In 10 sessions you will FEEL the difference, in 20 sessions you will SEE the difference, and in 30 sessions you will have a WHOLE NEW BODY” has become famous for a reason!

How can you start Pilates training at OMBE?

  • Schedule a complimentary 30 minute demo with a Pilates trainer
  • Book your first Pilates class at a special rate of $15
  • Take advantage of our March special and receive 10% off a private Pilates session
  • Sign up for the Running Elite Program, which includes a videotaped running gait analysis, 80 minute sports massage, Yoga for Runners class, and Pilates class

Until then, try one of my all-time favorite Mat exercises that is exceptional for runners – Side Kick! It will help to increase the strength in the lateral hip to enhance alignment during your stride:

Alignment:

Lie on your side and line up head, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles (“body like a pencil”). Ensure shoulders and pelvis/hips are stacked on top of each other and the spine is straight.

Now move legs slightly in front of hips to stabilize your trunk and protect your lower back. Flex both feet (“toes toward your nose”).

Reach bottom arm along the mat to rest head on, then put top hand behind head (“elbow reaches to ceiling”) so that you are balancing on the bottom side of your body.

Coordinate Breath and Whole Body Movement:

Prepare by INHALING through your nose as you lift your top leg a few inches toward ceiling (“heel should be the same height as your hip”). Continue to flex foot and send energy out through the heel.
EXHALE and kick leg straight forward, creasing at the hip without rounding spine or rolling shoulder backward. Feel lower abdominals lift up and under ribcage (“keep core strong and centered”).
INHALE, point toes long, and extend leg straight back (“like a pendulum on a clock”). Keep lower abdominals lifted in and up to ensure that back does not arch and shoulder does not roll forward.
Concentrate on precision and only execute the kick as large as you can stabilize your core.
Try to establish a rhythm as you kick front and back.
Perform 5-10 repetitions, then roll onto the other side to balance the body.

 

If you have any more questions about Pilates, please feel free to contact Kristen from www.kpilatesrehab.com.

Kristen Reynolds, DPT, PMA®-CPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
PMA® Certified Pilates Teacher

Kristen Reynolds earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science from James Madison University in 2006 and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in 2009.

While practicing in orthopedics and sports medicine, a mentor introduced her to the Pilates Method and she has since pursued comprehensive certification to compliment her clinical interests. She is certified by the Pilates Method Alliance, the only professional certification in the field, as well as an active member of American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and APTA Sports Physical Therapy Section.

Always interested in sports and fitness, she is a former dancer, YMCA and Junior Olympic gymnast, coach, and ACE personal trainer. Integrating the Pilates principles and repertoire into her physical therapy practice has produced successful rehabilitation outcomes for a wide variety of patients, including adolescents, elite athletes and dancers, and individuals with chronic orthopedic conditions. Kristen utilizes this alternative therapeutic approach to improve muscle performance and joint mobility, correct posture and alignment, enhance body awareness, and create an evenly conditioned body that is more resilient to extremity and spinal injury. She greatly enjoys designing programs to target personal goals, educating clients to incorporate Pilates into their daily activities, and teaching small group Ballet Barre and Mat classes.

 

~ by admin on March 6, 2012.

Exercise, Pilates, Sport Performance Therapy, sports medicine

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