Exercise #1: Pilates-based Strengthening Exercises for Runners.

Week One Pilates-based Home Exercise for Runners: Skater

With running being a linear and repetitive sport, we runners tend not to use our gluteal/buttock muscles which gets us into trouble when training for longer distances that fatigue these muscles and compromise hip, pelvic and lumbar stability.

Skater is a great Pilates exercise that combines a single-leg squat on one side with active resisted abduction of the other leg, kind of like a speed skater would do. It also works on the ability to maintain the lumbar spine in neutral and pelvis level and hinge from the hip.

Here is the reformer version of Skater:

1. Start standing with one foot in the centre of the end of the reformer and the other in the middle of the carriage. You could place the foot on the reformer slightly back of the centre so that you get more gluteus medius engagement during the exercise.

Pilates Exercise runners Skater standing

2. Begin to drop into a squat position with the leg on the end of the reformer while you press out with the foot on the carriage.Pilates Exercise runners Skater squat

3. Slowly return to the standing position and repeat

For home version of this exercise that doesn’t require the reformer,  you can use a door anchor and a 6 foot thicker blue Theraband with handles tied on the ends (as in the image below). If you don’t have these, we sell both at Alaia for about $12 total, contact us for more information.

Pilates exercise runners blue Theraband

Here is a Home Version of Skater:

1. Close the door anchor in the doorframe and close the door

2. Loop the band around the door anchor. You can either put both loops over your foot to double the blue band(harder) or loop the band through the other handle to work with a single layer of the band(easier)

3. Start standing with the band around the outside of the heel on the leg that is furthest away from the door.

Pilates Exercise runners Skater band


4. As in the reformer version, slowly start to drop into a squat with the leg that is closest to the door as you slide the outer leg with the band out to the side and slightly back behind you.

Pilates Exercise runners Skater band back

Hold for 2-3 seconds and then return to standing in a controlled slow pace. Repeat 8-12 times per side, 2-3 sets.

We’ll post the next Pilates-based Runner’s home exercise in our series next week, so stay tuned.

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