The barre below is far from the roads, trails, or track. It can, however, bring you closer to being a better, less injury-prone runner. Read on …
In April 2012, I had an open spot on my training schedule (because I had just started being coached and a few particulars had not been firmed up yet). I used that open spot to go to a pilates session with Laura Ring of Laura Ring Pilates (now CORE Aspirations). At the time, I was impressed by the session and the benefits I believed pilates could bring to my running. Although I did participate in a few other workouts after that first session (such as Core at Journeys in Yoga) which incorporated some pilates principles, I did not pursue the pilates route with any consistency.
I was finally able to reconnect with Laura on a recent Saturday when I took her “Pilates Total Barre” class. Before I even talk about the benefits of barre work for running, I must first mention how much I loved the Beatles playlist. So fun to work out to something a little different.
As I see them, the benefits of barre work for runners include:
Strengthening The Core
We are chronically guilty of overworking the obvious running-related muscle groups (hello, quads) without making sure the complementary muscle groups are equally strong. When there is an imbalance between the two muscle groups, we are more prone to injury.
I know this isn’t something everyone is looking for but just sharing what it does for me. My daughter is a dancer, so for about 15 years I have watched beautiful, gifted, acrobatically proficient women (and men) fly through the air and make their bodies their instruments. I will never be able to do that, but I love the feeling I get once in a while of being a bit balletic in my movements.
You may ask what balance has to do with a sport that involves propelling ourselves forward relentlessly, but so much of a runner’s form can hinge on where their center of gravity settles. Having to balance in pilates barre helps us be more familiar with our bodies and more able to adjust them to be more efficient on the roads and trails (and treadmills).
This concept is always making itself apparent to me in yoga, and similarly in pilates. They say a runner should focus ahead of them on where they want to be (as opposed to down at the road in front of them). Pilates forces the participant to learn to focus their gaze at a spot that helps them retain balance and have an intent to move forward.
I really encourage you to consider making barre a part of your training plan. For information on the options available at CORE Aspirations, please use the contact information below:
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Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many.