Runners and cyclists and anyone else who puts their body through repetitive movements can use Pilates moves to add core strength and stability, as well as increased mobility in their spine, hips, and shoulders, says Stanford’s Nanci Conniff, who works with pro athletes who have realized the benefits that Pilates can have on their training.
“With Pilates, you’re strengthening the muscles that are closer to the bone. You’re always working to lengthen instead of shorten muscles,” she says. This can counteract the tightening and stress of high-impact training.
Kneeling on your right knee, with left leg extended straight out to the side, lean right, placing your right hand on the floor. Raise your left leg until your foot is just below hip height. Exhale while swinging left leg forward; inhale as you bend left knee, sweeping the leg back as far as possible. Repeat 5 times, then switch legs.
Lie facedown, propped up on elbows, legs stretched long and pressed together. Lift the torso from the floor, keeping the pelvis and thighs down. On exhale, bend your right knee to kick your heel toward your butt two times quickly, then inhale as you stretch the leg to starting position. Repeat 10 times for each leg.
BY LEANDER SCHAERLAECKENS