6 Ways Runners benefit from Pilates

Pilates for Injury Prevention
Muscle imbalances and poor posture after a certain amount of time can create injuries. Many of us move in ways that neglect the stabilizing muscles of the body, and result in incorrect muscle firing patterns. This can happen in our daily life after prolonged sitting, incorrect squatting, or from injury such as a car accident. When we move incorrectly in some way it places too much pressure on some muscles and weakens others, and results in a muscle imbalance. Pilates in a small group setting with an experienced professional helps strengthen the abdominals, back, gluts, shoulders, and hips to balance out the body and re-align the joints in neutral. We want to achieve a neutral spine because it is the most shock-absorbing position for the body where the discs are evenly spaced.

At Flourish Pilates we offer a therapeutic approach that can only come from experience, training, and a small group and community atmosphere. At Flourish, Pilates is more than just a group fitness class at a gym where you are a number and you have different instructors that don’t know how Pilates can best assist you individually. At Flourish Pilates, Clare takes time to get to know her students so they can work collaboratively to help empower themselves inside and outside of class.

The goal of an on-going Pilates practice in a small group setting is to help improve posture, balance out the body, achieve good form, and develop proper muscle firing patters. This process is often not intuitive. Starting with Personal Training is ideal, where we can do a postural analysis and identify ways in which Pilates can help you specifically. After learning the principles of Pilates, many clients have found relief. For example many clients no longer have to get routine steroid injections, or visit the chiropractor for back pain. Not only does Pilates help with treating and preventing injury, clients continue to benefit from the many other benefits of an on-going Pilates practice.


Reformer vs. Mat
When starting a Pilates regime, the Reformer is ideal because it gives people support to obtain neutral spine. This can assist with developing ideal movement patterns for the body and can prevent injury. The Reformer can also assist with increasing ankle flexibility, and hip and shoulder mobility. When our core muscles are strengthened and the muscles surrounding our joints are firing properly we can move without compensating in our back and decrease the likelihood of back injury.

What is Pilates?
The primary goal of Pilates is to develop core strength and enhance functional stability and movement through the entire body, instead of working a series of independent muscle groups and parts. Pilates is similar to yoga in the sense participants stretch and strengthen muscles at the same time. Pilates is different from yoga in that students gain strength from continually moving, rather than holding a pose. Pilates also differs from yoga in that Pilates focuses more on achieving core strength and maintaining a healthy neutral spine alignment, and strengthening the stabilizing muscles of the body that are often under-utilized in other forms of exercise. Pilates is the perfect compliment to a regular cardiovascular routine, such as walking.

Joe Who developed Pilates?
Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates, born in 1880 in Germany. In 1920 he introduced his method called, Contrology to the United States and opened up a studio in New York. After his death from a fire in 1968, his exercise method grew in popularity. His method has been modified by contemporary leaders in the fitness industry and is now called, Pilates.

Semi-private Personal training and Pilates for Runners and Golfers
Clare Baxter, Owner, climbed Mt. Hood, ran a 1/2 marathon, and has specialized training in Pilates for Golfers. Runners need to stretch tight hip-flexors, ankles, and hamstrings and strenghten the hip extensors, abs, and glutes. Decrease your risk of injury, and start reaping the benefits of an on-going Pilates practice. Golf works one side of the body, more than the other. While some muscles are overused, other muscles weaken. Strengthen the abs, back, legs, hips, shoulders, and arms. Balance out the body, and strengthen the stabilizing muscles to both improve your game and decrease injury. Train with a friend, or on your own.

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