Strengthen your core and reach a 5K PB by mak­ing Pi­lates a pil­lar of your train­ing plan

Men's Health (UK) - - In This Issue -

Add Pi­lates to your train­ing reg­i­men and you can shave min­utes from your 5K PB in weeks

Let’s get some­thing straight from the off: Pi­lates is not fancy yoga. While the an­cient In­dian prac­tice boasts body and mind ben­e­fits, Joseph Pi­lates’s pro­to­col is em­i­nently more use­ful when it comes to tak­ing min­utes off your splits. Grab a mat, a ring or – even bet­ter – a re­former, and you’ll se­cure core strength, joint mo­bil­ity and, ac­cord­ing to a new study, elite run­ning speed.

The re­search, pub­lished in Plos One, found that run­ners who took part in a 12-week Pi­lates pro­gramme were able to shave an im­pres­sive two min­utes off their 5K times – no spir­i­tual awak­en­ing re­quired. Their mat ses­sions be­came pro­gres­sively harder each week, start­ing with ba­sic moves such as the roll-up and the hun­dred, then ad­vanc­ing to the open-leg rocker. This af­forded sub­jects speedy gains in core sta­bil­ity

that helped them to stretch their speed. A weak core ham­pers your run­ning po­ten­tial by caus­ing you to hunch over, pre­vent­ing your lungs from ex­pand­ing to full ca­pac­ity. This re­stricts the flow of oxy­gen to your mus­cles, cru­cial for fu­elling your run. Pi­lates reme­dies this by straight­en­ing out your pos­ture and keep­ing your chest open.

The par­tic­i­pants not only boosted their VO2 max, but also ex­pended less en­ergy, even though they were run­ning faster. So, your new record will also be your eas­i­est run yet. We’ll race you to the mat.


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