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Can pilates help prevent running injuries?

June, 2021

Running is a great method for improving your fitness pretty quickly.

It is also an ideal form of exercise because you can easily set yourself goals and work towards better results. In fact, one of the big advantages of running over other workouts is that it is free! You don’t need an expensive gym membership (although I do recommend investing in some decent running shoes).

However, if you are just starting out or if you are prone to injuries, running can be quite challenging and it isn’t uncommon to pick up sprains and pulled muscles.

One way that you can cut down on running injuries is by practicing pilates.

What is pilates?

Pilates is actually relatively new as it was developed in the early 20th century – unlike yoga that has been around as a form of exercise for about 5000 years.

Pilates is all about building strength, flexibility, and endurance through a series of exercises that are designed to improve the length of your body.

It can be quite rigorous but the advantage of pilates is that it is great for beginners as you can really ease yourself into the workout.

How can pilates prevent running injuries?

What does this have to do with running?

Well, some of the exercises that are involved in pilates can actually help to prevent running injuries. One of the main reasons people pick up running injuries is through imbalance and a lack of stability. This will often get more noticeable when you begin to up your distances and speed.

Pilates, with its emphases on flexibility and strength, is the perfect way to cut down on running injuries. For example, one of the central parts of the body that Pilates focuses on is your hips. Tight hip flexors are very common in runners and can lead to many problems, but Pilates can loosen your hips and create a bigger range of motion.

You can also correct your posture and gait when running with Pilates too, as this is another very common reason for picking up various injuries when out for a jog.

What are the best Pilates exercises to reduce running injuries?

Pilates consists of a wide range of different exercises but some are more beneficial for runners than others.

If you are thinking of using Pilates to improve your running performance and lessen the chances of picking up an injury, you should focus on:

  • The Saw
  • Single Straight-Leg Stretch
  • The Roll-up
  • Pilates Push Up
  • Back Extension
  • Reverse Plank Leg Pull
  • Plank and Leg Lift

You can find a ton of great Pilates resources online that show you exactly how to carry out these exercises.

It isn’t 100% guaranteed that practicing Pilates will ensure that you don’t pick up any running injuries at all. However, even spending one exercise session a week on Pilates, will improve your core flexibility, strength, and endurance which will greatly reduce the chances of picking up a niggly injury from running.

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