Pilates reformer exercises for runners

Dynamic Pilates reformer exercises can be tailored to target the strength and stability needs of runners. By incorporating these exercises into your training routine, you can improve your core strength, balance, flexibility, and overall body control, enhance your running performance, and reduce the risk of injuries. Adding an extra Dynamic element can improve stamina while getting the benefits of the concepts of Pilates. Here are the top 8 Dynamic Pilates reformer exercises designed to strengthen key muscle groups for runners.

1. Footwork – Heel Raises:

  • Benefits: Strengthens the calf muscles, which are essential for running propulsion. 
  • Dynamic Variation: Add in arm weights to increase upper body strength.

2. Long Box Pulling Straps:

  • Benefits: Focuses on strengthening the upper back and improving posture.
  • Dynamic Variation: Add swimming with the legs between sets of pulling strap variations. 

3. Leg Circles:

  • Benefits: Improves hip mobility and strengthens the hip flexors. Strengthening your hips provides more support, as running has a lot of impact on your joints.
  • Dynamic Variation: Add a stability ball under your tailbone for an increased challenge

4. The Hundred: 

  • Benefits: Builds core strength and stamina, essential for maintaining running form and endurance.
  • Dynamic Variation: Add a prop like a circle or ball between your ankles for inner thigh activation to challenge your inner thighs and pelvic floor.

5. Side Leg Series:

  • Benefits: Targets the hips, glutes, and outer thighs, important for stability during running. 
  • Dynamic Variation: Add weight to our top arm and include the upper body in a variation.

6. Teaser:

  • Benefits: Enhances core strength, balance, and coordination.
  • Dynamic Variation: Face the straps and add additional arm work in between teaser sets.

7. Standing splits with Squats:

  • Benefits: Strengthens the quads, hamstrings, and glutes while improving balance.
  • Dynamic Variation: Add weights or the Magic Circle to your squats.

8. Lunges: 

  • Benefits: Strengthens the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Focuses on stability in the standing leg, while increasing power in the working side.
  • Dynamic Variation: Add weights or magic circles, and work on a press-up with your upper body between lunging sets.

9. Short Box – Round Back:

  • Benefits: Focuses on the lower back and core strength.
  • Dynamic Variation: Add weights to your variations.

Pilates exercises for runners for mobility

Mobility is a critical component of a runner’s training regimen, as it can help improve your range of motion, reduce the risk of injuries, and enhance overall running performance. Reformer exercises, when performed with a focus on mobility, can be highly beneficial for runners. Here are some that specifically target mobility and flexibility for runners.

1. Cat-Cow Stretch/ Spinal Mobility on Reformer:

  • Benefits: This exercise improves spinal mobility and flexibility in the back and pelvis.

2. Pelvic Tilts on Reformer:

  • Benefits: Enhances pelvic mobility and helps alleviate lower back tightness.

3. Legs in Straps – Hip Circles:

  • Benefits: Improves hip mobility and flexibility, this is essential for a runner’s stride.

4. Spine Twist with Straps:

  • Benefits: Increases spinal mobility and stretches the back, shoulders, and chest

5. Supine Leg Stretches in Staps:

  • Benefits: Targets hamstring and calf flexibility.

6. Mermaid Stretch:

  • Benefits: Increases side-body mobility and stretches the intercostal muscles.

7. Rowing Front

  • Benefits: Stretches the hamstrings and lower back.

8. Tree 

  • Benefits: Core stability, spinal mobaliztion  and stretches the hamstrings and lower back. 

Incorporate these Pilates reformer exercises into your training routine to develop the strength, flexibility, and stability needed for running. When working on mobility, focus on deep, controlled breathing during each exercise to enhance relaxation and flexibility. At Power Pilates UK our dynamic team can lead you through a class targeting all of these muscle groups to support your running. 

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