The Benefits of Yoga, Barre and Pilates for Runners
It's an unfortunate reality that runners often neglect full body workouts when they are training for an event or marathon, forgetting how much we use our arms and core to power us through those last few km's, that hill incline or sprint to glory at the finish. At District you have a lot of options for cross training. This week we focus on why we recommend our Mind Body Studio workouts to all runners.
World renown athletes rave about the benefits
The benefits for Runners and athletes of various disciplines practicing Pilates is well documented. All members of the world’s top Ballet companies practice Pilates to ensure body awareness, joint health and longevity in their careers. Top athletes who credit Pilates with helping their elite fitness include Venus Williams, Andy Murray, Lolo Jones (hurdlist) and 3 time World Champion runner Allyson Felix.
It focuses on strengthening core muscles, an area that is crucial yet often overlooked by runners
Barre uses Pilates postures and various Pilates foundations of exercises wiht a ballet spin. Pilates (or Barre) isn’t something you need to do as a stand-alone exercise, it perfectly compliments other disciplines (such as running) because it creates better proprioception (awareness of the body in space), better alignment, stronger core, strength and lengthening.
It’s mostly low impact - giving your joints a break
Pilates and Barre focus on balancing the working local muscle groups close to the joints, strengthening the weaker muscles and stretching the potentially overworking muscles. It balances from side to side of the body as well as upper to lower and is especially good for the cross over motor skills. This then fire neurons on the opposite side of the body even when that side of the body is inactive - basically it’s working everything where you need it!
Our studio helps improve balance and focus
Pilates, Barre and Yoga are all great for giving your body a change in focus, as you can shut out the outside world to concentrate on your own physicality and body’s ever changing limits. A huge mental advantage when running. Our connection and acceptance of what the body can do each day is linked to better mental health, relationships, stress management, parasympathetic nervous system activation (returning your body to a state of balance) and better training results.
Barre workouts focus a lot on opening the hips, as a runner with incredibly tight hip flexors, this is painful yet necessary
If you are a long distance runner for example, then quads and hip flexors take a bit of a beating and a discipline like Barre is perfect as it encourages strength in the glutes taking it out of the quads, hip flexors and lower back.
Not sure if Pilates, Barre or Yoga is for you? Come into any one of our Mind Body Studio classes and you will be greeted by professionals who excel in their discipline and genuinely want you to get the most out of your running, and your class. Talk to them about areas you want to work on and they will guide you through.
Cross training maximises efficiency and trains the brain too!