Do you want to improve your speed and running efficiency across 5km? Maybe you should try Physio-led Pilates! Or at least, that’s what the research says!
Clinical Pilates is a form of Pilates that focuses on posture, core strengthening, focus, balance, control, strength, and flexibility. Run by Physios, Clinical Pilates has an abundance of clinical research to support its use as a valid rehabilitation tool particularly in reducing pain and disability associated with the cervical and lumbar spine. Clinical Pilates has been shown to be an effective exercise intervention to improve functional core stability, postural control and strength. And as recently as April 2018, Clinical Pilates has been shown to improve running economy, and shave time off 5km time trial in experienced runners.
The trial compared two groups of experienced runners, performing the same 12 week running program. The Pilates group performed pilates 2x weekly for 12 weeks in addition to the running program. The results of the trial show a significant improvement within the pilates group 5km trial, an average improvement of 2.4 minutes. In comparison the non-pilates group only improved on average 0.9 minutes in the 5km time trial.
Although this study was only performed with 16 participants in each group, the results are promising. Also, this study used only Mat Based Pilates, which does not have the benefit of resistance training through the use of pilates equipment. As shown in one of my previous blogs, running efficiency can be greatly improved with a strength based resistance program. Therefore I believe it would be a valid hypothesis that equipment based pilates may provide even further improvements to running economy and performance.
At Bend + Mend our Pilates sessions are all run by Physiotherapists and incorporate the use of the Reformer, Trapeze, Wunda Chair and other equipment. If you are a runner, of any level, whether you run 2km or 60km per week, Clinical Pilates is a valuable tool for you to add to your training program.