Pilates and Running

Many runners are unaware of the importance of a strong core, which is the foundation of your running technique. Without it, form and technique tend to diminish when you become tired, which frequently lead to stress related injuries. But Pilates will help strengthen you both physically and mentally.
Pilates creates a stronger, more flexible spine and core, and also promotes faster recovery from strains or injuries, as well as preventing them completely.


For a runner, posture is one of the key elements to success, and posture is dependent on a strong core. Pilates develops a strong core by supporting and strengthening the muscles of the torso, hips shoulders and pelvis. These will eventually lead to a huge positive difference in your posture, technique, balance and stability. It will enable you to focus on where your head and neck are in relation to the spine and pelvis, on down through the legs and toes. This all results in more efficient movement and a much reduced chance of injury. Joint mobility, improved flexibility, body awareness and, a strong core are just a few of the benefits of Pilates that can help you with running. Some runners avoid yoga because they do not want to over-stretch their muscles. Pilates will most definitely not do that. There is some stretching and flexibility work in the exercises, but these will be adjusted for your needs by your instructor if inform them before the class starts.

Pilates will:

• Build up the back muscles evenly
• Elongate and align the spine for better stability
• Expand the diaphragm
• Increase overall flexibility, strength, and balance
• Increase range of motion in hips and shoulders
• Enhance concentration through focused breathing
• Provide more upright running
• Help bodies recover faster from injuries

Performance benefits:
• Run more efficiently and rapidly with a stabilised musculature and a stronger and more balanced sciatic area
• Experience less tightening of the neck, head and shoulders
• Increase oxygenation and stamina with a diaphragm that is able to fully expand
• Focus on proper movement with better kinaesthetic awareness
• Decrease fatigue because of less strain on the body
• Run without pain!

Pilates for cycling

Have you noticed the body language of a tired cyclist?

The chest drops so that the neck has to bend unnaturally to hold the head up, and all the weight falls into the front of the arms, the deltoids, biceps and forearms. This will inevitably lead to many possible injuries if not dealt with!

Cycling can cause problems with tightness and posture. It requires being in constant forward flexion. This causes excessive bending of the lumbar spine, a forward rotation of the pelvis and over stretching the muscles in the upper back, resulting in the shoulders rolling forward and a shortening of chest muscles. Tight pectorals, rounded shoulders, overdeveloped quads and outer thigh muscles, tight hip flexors and tight hamstrings will likely be apparent in cyclists. These imbalances put strain on the joints and spine, and might lead to knee and back injuries.

Pilates creates a stronger, more flexible spine and core, and also promotes faster recovery from strains or injuries, as well as preventing them completely.

What does a strong core do for cyclists?

Core strength helps transfer more power to the pedals by providing a solid platform for the lower body to push against. Riding with a weak core can be compared to putting a Porsche engine inside a Hyundai chassis. You can have all the power in the world but with a weak chassis the power will dissipate elsewhere.

Pilates exercises are targeted to develop strength in the deep intrinsic muscles of the abdomen and spine, taking pressure off the superficial muscles and promoting more balanced and efficient use. This kind of inner strength training, along with Pilates’ focus on alignment and torso stability will support you as a cyclist through those long rides, without the risk of injury.

Pilates also helps you become more self aware about what each part of your body is doing. This awareness allows you to correct the things that will increase your speed, power and enjoyment on the bike.

Pilates and Football

If someone had walked into a football dressing room 15 years ago and explained the benefits of classes in Pilates, they would have been laughed at and asked to leave. And not so politely!

But football’s attitude towards Pilates has changed drastically.

Many footballers, as well as other professional athletes, are increasingly and rapidly turning to Pilates to stay at the top of their game. Both Tottenham Hotspur and AC Milan include it as part of their training regime, and Steven Gerrard, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs all owe their long careers at the top to miraculous method.

Pilates can help footballers to improve coordination, mobility and flexibility, all of which are essential to ensure that footballers are at their best throughout the season.

Pilates not only helps footballers recover from injuries, but in fact helps prevent them altogether, which could otherwise see them on the bench or in the stands for months at a time.

Some injuries acquired on the pitch are unavoidable, but most injuries such as groin or hamstring strains, prolapsed disc issues, and joint sprains can all easily be avoided with the help of Pilates.

These injuries are often caused by muscular imbalances with many footballers having strong and overworked quadriceps, strong and tight hamstrings, calf muscles and hip flexors but weak core muscles. All of which frequently result in poor trunk and pelvic stability, and poor flexibility, which essentially results in a body that’s for from it’s best.

Pilates will change that.

Pilates and Tennis

Pilates won’t just help reduce injuries. It will also improve movement, power and ultimately your game.

Tennis requires strength, power, endurance and speed but mobility, flexibility, control and balance are equally important.
Tennis poses a challenge for both amateur and elite professional players with enhancing performance while remaining injury.

Avoiding injuries is difficult in tennis as it is a sided sport and without a proper physical conditioning programme working muscles correctly and reciprocally, players will easily develop strong muscular imbalances.The repetitive movements from serves and swings with cause common tennis injuries such as ankle and calf sprains, stress fractures, frozen shoulder and tennis elbow.  Pilates helps build flexibility, strength and endurance and emphasises breathing in order to relieve stress and allow adequate oxygen to flow to muscles. Andy Murray turned to Pilates in recent weeks to stay fit after a back problem. He is said to have realised the growing importance of mind over matter in his game amid an overwhelming weight of expectation on his shoulders.


“Right now I feel good, I’ve practiced well the last few days and not been waking up with soreness or stiffness, I started Pilates a few weeks ago which I think has already helped.” No muscle group is under or over trained and for Murray it is proving to be an invaluable addition to his training regime.

Pilates and Rugby

Pilates is a must for any player wanting to drastically improve performance and reduce injury risk.

Rugby has always been a game of power, speed, strength and stamina. Today, even at amateur level, it is played faster and harder than ever before.

The forces acting on the body during tackles, scrums, rucks, mauls and line-outs, and the requirements of the body to deal with these forces continuously over the course of a season are demanding to say the least. Unsurprisingly, injuries are more frequent than ever. Some injuries on the field are unavoidable but most of them can easily be eliminated with the help of Pilates. A growing number of rugby players, including the national Ireland team and the Welsh Rugby Union, have turned to Pilates as a way of improving co-ordination, mobility and flexibility, as well as for both recovering from injuries and preventing them in the first place.

Rugby forwards must possess the ability to deliver controlled power from the  unbalanced body positions adopted in the scrum. A Pilates programme can greatly improve general mobility and enhance core strength while easing the stress placed on the neck and spine during intense scrummaging.
Pilates will not only drastically reduce the risk of injury, but will also push you to your limits, visibly transforming your body into your best possible physique.

Pilates will change that.

Pilates and Horse Riding

Pilates exercises increase your body awareness, and improve flexibility, balance, and strength in order to facilitate an optimal riding experience.

Pilates helps equestrians:
• Lengthen the spine and strengthen the core, which stabilises the body in movement
• Sculpt a stronger body with increased flexibility, strength, and balance
• Create a deeper seat and enhance the suppleness of the lower back
• Strengthen the abdominals
• Increase hip independence
• Increase leg and body length

With a strong core and increased flexibility, riders can:


• Freely and gently move arms and legs around a stable base
• Help clarify aids and hold jumping form
• Avoid collapsing and bouncing in the saddle
• Better absorb a horse’s movement
• Improve posture to help you deepen your seat
• Increase comfort during and after your ride
• Maintain neutral pelvis so you can easily follow your horse’s movements
• Develop a trusting riding relationship, where your horse responds to your commands and is confident in your ability

Pilates and Golf

Hit the ball further, straighter and more accurately with less chance of injury

Whether twisting your body on a drive, squatting down to measure a putt or leaning over to pick up a ball, you constantly torquing your bodies. Golf also requires repeating the same essential movements. As a result some muscles become overused and others are weakened, causing an imbalance.
For a golfer, muscle imbalances can affect the legs, hips, arms, shoulders, and the lower back. It can also affect your game, particularly for those over the age of 50. Your drives may be shorter and less accurate, your stamina may decrease, and the potential for debilitating strains, pulls and tears becomes much higher.
Tiger Woods, Rocco Mediate, Phil Mickelson, Annika Sorenstan, Camilo Vilegas, Richard Beem and Betsy King all use Pilates to improve their golf game..

Not only will Pilates greatly reduce the chance of injury, it will also drastically improve your performance on the course. Pilates will strengthen your core muscles. Developed core strength will improve your swing by increasing your ability to stabilise your body better when initiating movement from your core.
Pilates will increase your flexibility. Improved mobility of the spine and flexibility will allow you more rotation with ease. This will allow you to have a more efficient, powerful and accurate golf swing.

Pilates will change that.

  • “I first worked with Sandrine and her team at Sandrine’s Pilates in February 2010 where she tailored a Pilates session especially for my ‘On Camp with Kelly’ initiative. Since then Sandrine and her team have been involved with many Kelly Holmes Education programmes.  I am really impressed by Sandrine’s knowledge, enthusiasm, professionalism and her ability to adapt each session to include elements of challenge, learning and development. Believe me when I say one of Sandrine’s  sessions makes you alert and gets you switching on your core muscles!”

    Dame Kelly Holmes Double Olympic Champion
  • “Sandrine has really helped me to re-educate my training on my core stability, flexibility and balance. I enjoy learning new ways of testing my ability and challenging my body. Sandrine has been such a great support with this over the years and I love going to the studio to use specialist equipment.”

    Louise Darby Great Britain Sitting Volleyball Player
  • “BarrePlus classes at Sandrine’s Pilates studio really changed my body shape. I am now the smallest and strongest I have ever been. Classes are very challenging but fun too. At Sandrine’s Pilates I have not just changed my body and posture but I have made friends too, it is very social and friendly.”

    Jane Sulton NHS Nurse
  • “I have been referred by my osteopath to go to Sandrine’s after a major surgery in my lower back. Her expertise, encouragement, support and patience help me in my recovery. I would never have been able to go back to my daily tasks without her help. I even went back skiing last year. Thank you.”

    Richard Parker Barrister

Contact Information

Sandrines Pilates
12A London Road,
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
TN1 1DE

01892 618493

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