WHAT IS PILATES?
Pilates is a comprehensive body-conditioning programme with the aim of improving core-stabilisation and thus reducing injury risk and enhancing performance. To accomplish this Pilates incorporates the key principles:
- Movement Control
- Postural Awareness
- Breathing Control
The founder, Joseph Pilates, felt that modern society had robbed us of our natural physical and mental vitality. With the increased sedentary indoor living, our daily activities have failed to exercise the body in ways that are structured and balanced (Gallagher and Kryzanowska, 2000).
He understood that bad habits and repetitive postures associated with modern living were the main causes of injury such as lower back and neck pain, and that this could be avoided through core strengthening. He went to develop the concept of a regime of exercises to counteract these bad habits and improve our flexibility, movement control and breathing techniques. We now call this regime ‘Pilates’. Over time these exercises were modified leading to the development of the pilates classes we run today. (Australian Physiotherapy & Pilates Institute (APPI), 2014).
HOW IS PILATES RELEVANT TO RUNNING?
Running is considered a fundamental skill and a critical requirement for almost every sporting activity (Snache et al, 2014) as well as being a sport enjoyed (and despised!) by many in its own right. Running is one of the most effective ways to burn calories & maintain our cardiovascular fitness (heart health) and is therefore a particular favourite for many trying to get into shape and stay fit. The hormones released as we exercise (endorphins and serotonin) also help reduce our stress levels and improve our mental health.
However, research has speculated that repetitive strain injuries in runners may be due to runners primarily exercising repetitively in the same way. A lack of use of other movements and forms of exercise can result in weakness of the core and hip muscles, thus risking muscle imbalances, increasing the risks of repetitive strain running injuries.
Runners often suffer from pain in the groin or hips as a result of reduced stability of the pelvis and subsequent overworking of the hip flexor muscles (psoas muscles). By strengthening the core muscles through exercise such as pilates, the pelvis becomes more stable, reducing the work of the hip muscles as well as increasing the efficiency of the lower limb muscles, allowing for improved running form. This improvement in technique will also reduce the strains through the knees, ankles and feet greatly reducing the risk of overuse injuries such as patella tendonopathy, shin splints and achilles tendonopathy.
A study by Laws, Williams and Wilson (2017) found that following a 6-week course of Clinical Pilates, runners displayed a significant improvement in their functional movement ability, concluding that Pilates has the potential to reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries, whilst Finatto et al (2018) also identified a significant improvement for running performance following a 12-week Pilates training programme.
WHAT WE OFFER AT BRADLEY PHYSIO
Here at Bradley Physio we offer numerous pilates classes throughout the week, each run by one of our multiple highly trained therapists. We make use of a variety of pieces equipment aiming to keep sessions fun and varied and challenge our clients! We limit the places available in each class to less than 10, ensuring a personal service is delivered and any issues or queries can be addressed there and then within the class. Our classes are run in blocks of usually between 5-7 weeks with the same therapist taking each block to ensure continuity and promote confidence for our clients. We run classes at all three of our clinics, with specialised studios at our Rochdale and Rossendale branch that we pride ourselves on being calm relaxing environments.
The classes are also available to live stream throughout the week giving you the flexibilty to exercise at short notice in your own home.
For more information about our classes go to https://www.bradleyphysio.co.uk/service/pilates
To enquire about our classes give any of our clinics a call or drop us an email :
Rochdale – 01706 522922
Bury – 01204 888788
Rossendale – 01706 577899