Can Pilates Make You a Better Runner?

Get the Basics…
  • Pilates can help marathon runners avoid injuries and improve their run.
  • Pilates helps you cross-train your muscles, correct your gait, and better connect with your body.

The annual New York City Marathon is approaching this Sunday — November 5, 2017 — and participating runners have no doubt been training for months! What many don’t know is that Pilates can actually help runners avoid injuries and improve their run.

Whether you’re an experienced marathon runner or you just enjoy a morning jog, Pilates can help you maximize your run.

In preparation for the NYC Marathon, we held a fun “Pilates for Runners” class at our studio, Physio Logic Pilates & Movement. During this fun yet informative class, students learned the right moves to become even better runners. Below are a few moves we discussed!

Cross-Train Your Muscles

Running will exhaust major muscles groups. Pilates will cross-train these muscles by working them eccentrically and concentrically. It will also give those muscles a break. For example, if you feel that you overuse your quads, doing hip-extensor-specific exercises will help your body recognize that it can couple these muscle groups together during your run or get up a hill using the glutes and hamstrings.

Correct Your Gait

Utilizing the Pilates footwork series will work the intrinsic muscles in the feet. These movements not only find the “abs” and “biceps” in your tootsies, but they also appropriately carry the proper connections up your kinetic chain, which will help to correct your gait cycle and distinguish correct from incorrect alignment.

Carrying this knowledge all the way to the top of the head is going to make you a more efficient runner. Understanding correct head, neck, and back alignment will not only make your run feel better, but it will also alleviate the compression in your hip, knee, and vertebral joints with every stride that hits the ground.

Tune and Connect With Your Body

Taking the time in a Pilates lesson, even for 15 minutes, to really focus on your body and give it what it needs each day is so important if you are expecting your “machine” to run every day. Create a well-tuned, connected body that will honor your wishes and run efficiently forever!

At Physio Logic Pilates & Movement, we believe that “you’re only as young as your spinal cord,” to quote Joseph Pilates. The spinal cord is central to all physical activity, especially running. We encourage students to apply the principles of Pilates to their physical lives both in and outside of the studio.

Understanding the importance of a strong center and developing your own maximum strength and flexibility helps you lay the foundation for a strong, healthy, confident body.

So before your next run, enroll in a Pilates class to become stronger and leaner, improve your balance and posture, and rehabilitate and prevent future running injuries!

Lynda Salerno Gehrman is the Founder and Director of Physio Logic Pilates & Movement. Tying together her training, her studios are now the BASI Pilates teacher training centers of NYC for which she serves as assistant faculty at their California headquarters. As a reputable Pilates educator in her own right, she has appeared on the cover of Pilates Style magazine, for which she’s penned several articles. While she equally enjoys working with the professional athlete as much as the exercise novice, she specializes in using her keen eye to reorganize sport-specific gait patterns, recognize muscle initiation and imbalances, and teach corrective strength training, applying the works of Pilates to any practice.