There’s nothing like soaking up the great outdoors and running is an excellent accompaniment to enjoying just that, the great outdoors, whilst reaping the benefits of one of the best forms of cardio. It’s a great way to keep you heart in check, increase stamina and lose weight which is always a plus. Coupled with Pilates, it’s a natural complement to strengthen core muscles, reduce injuries and increase balance. Runners come in all shapes and sizes and no matter the type of runner you are be it short distance, long distance, competitive, casual, the same group muscles are used to propel us forward making us well oiled machines.
So what are the benefits of running and Pilates? My husband, an avid runner had a major motorbike accident which left him with a ruptured knee, weakened muscles and decreased flexibility has since become an evangelical supporter of Pilates getting him back into running after being on hiatus for almost a year.
Here are just a few benefits that will keep you running like well tuned car.
Side Lying Leg Series
These help strengthen the gluteus medius and stabilise hips.
Lay on your back on the floor. Both legs are raised simultaneously above the ground and held in the raised position for a few seconds. It is designed to strengthen the abdominal muscles but be wary if you have back pains or injured your back as it places strain on your lower back.
Unlike crop circles, these are no mystery. They help stabilise hips and increase leg rotation.
Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, hip width apart, in line with sit bones. Arms long by sides, one leg reaching straight up to the ceiling, hip flexed at 90 degrees.
No, you do not need a swimming pool nor a beach for these exercises. Swimming exercises help thoracic extension which aid in reducing injury to your spinal cord.
Lie on the stomach with the legs and feet together, both arms above the ahead, chin on the floor. Simultaneously, raise the left leg, the head and right arm as high as possible. Switch the sides and repeat 5 rounds.
Side bends help strengthen abductors, adductors and obliques all muscles groups that keep us running well.
Stand upright with your feet slightly apart. Keep your shoulders pulled back and always face straight ahead; maintain this posture throughout the exercise. With one arm, reach down the side of one leg while raising the other arm up the opposite side towards the ear. When you feel a tension in your muscles, hold the position for a few seconds and repeat in the other direction.