Top 3 Pilates Moves For Runners, Guest Post from Erica Finds


Welcome to back to our Wild Workout Wednesday link up! Each week I link up with Angelena Marie from  Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced , Sarah at Creating Better Tomorrow and Michelle at Fruition Fitness to bring you workout ideas, motivation, inspiration and recipes to try.  Join us for a wild workout each week by reading along or grab the button and linkup if you have a fitness or healthy living post to share!

Today’s Wild Workout Wednesday post is brought to you by Erica Finds and it’s all about how Pilates can help with running! I’m not very well versed in Pilates so I’ll let Erica take it from here! 

Hi everyone! Erica from Erica Finds here. I am not a typical running blogger. I like to say that I am a blogging runner. I am an avid blogger and an avid runner – with 40 marathons and 125+ half marathons under mybelt. I only blog about running sometimes, but I think about it most of the time!

Annmarie asked me to fill in while she is away, so I want to share with you my secret for injury free running – PILATES.

Pilates focuses on core strength and balance. Many runners including me have been sidelined by a small injury that causes and imbalance and basically causes a chain reaction of strains and pains that are really hard to overcome. I have been working with Maureen from Ryan Wellness for the last 5 years. We met training for theBoston Marathon in 2007.

Here is a quick rundown on how she found Pilates:

“As a runner, I know that one of the most frustrating things that can happen during training, is to be sidelined with an injury. “It is estimated that between 30 and 80 percent of regular runners are injured in a given year.” Unfortunately, like many people,I’ve found myself in this group more often than I would like. In my search for a solution, I’ve experimented with many helpful strategies. I’ve tried different running shoes, rolled out my yoga mat, gotten massages, changed my training routine and lifted weights. Finally, I discovered Pilates.

I was skeptical at first. I was a bit of a cardio junkie and it was a challenge for me to get out of my comfort zone and try something completely new. I was however, impressed with the knowledge of my Pilates Instructors. I found that some of theexercises were very similar to what I was working on with my physical therapist.

Soon, I began to notice changes in my body. I thought I was just going to strengthen my core, and was pleasantly surprised to feel my entire body becoming stronger! I also discovered a new level of body awareness and better sense of balance.

I noticed that my running form was improving. I felt the spring in my legs returning! I was hooked and decided to become a certified BASI Pilates Instructor. I found thespring in my step in more ways than one. I decided to step away from my career as a P.E./Health teacher and combine my background in health, fitness, counseling andPilates into my own business, Ryan Wellness.”

Maureen says the top benefits for runners of Pilates are:

  • Strong Core
  • Muscular Balance
  • Strength and Flexibility
  • Body Awareness and Mind-Body Connection
  • Improved Posture

Practicing what I am preaching!

As for me, my running has improved (well recovered) a ton since I started doing Pilates. I no longer notice nagging pains or aches on a single side when I am well into a run or race. My core and back strength has helped me through many rough spots. I have better posture and I feel good. Pilates is also my recovery day activity so I feel like I am doing something good and low impact for my body.

Top 3 Pilates Moves for Runners from Maureen’s YouTube channel:

1. These killer hip and glute strengtheners:

2. These great balance exercises that I truly swear by:

3. These great post run stretches with the Infinity Strap – prefer a foam roller? Check out this video:

I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV, so please check with yours before you try a totally new exercise plan. For active folks, Pilates should be a safe and effective way to strengthen your core, balance and flexibility.

What do you do to stay injury free??

Erica lives and runs in Chicago and is training for her sixteenth New York City

Marathon (41stth marathon!) on November 1st. Erica blogs at Erica Finds. She is more of a blogging runner than running blogger, but writes on health, fitness, running, travel, deals, Chicago happenings and ideas – basically anything that she finds that could be of interest!


Thanks so much again to Erica for her awesome guest post!

Don’t forget to linkup below if you have a workout, fitness find or healthy recipe to share! :) 

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About me


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Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
Reply July 15, 2015

This is really helpful. I have been trying to do more pilates and I hear it is great cross-training for runners.

Reply July 15, 2015

Wow, great post Erica! I'm also an avid runner. I've never done Pilates, but swear by the benefits of yoga for all of the same reasons. I'll definitely try to incorporate these into my training! Thanks for guest posting!!
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Mary Beth Jackson
Reply July 15, 2015

I swear by yoga for all the same reasons! I believe it has really helped with my flexibility which leads to injury free runs!
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Reply July 15, 2015

How ironic that I just started doing majority of these exercises for a VMO issue two months ago! and now they are part of my routine :)
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Julie @ Running in a Skirt
Reply July 15, 2015

What a great combination of exercises! I do yoga for these reasons, but would love to add some Pilates in the mix! Checking out your blog now!
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Reply July 15, 2015

Hi Erica! Love pilates, great post thanks for sharing I will pop over to your site and check it out!
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Reply July 15, 2015

I always try to finish my workouts with at least a few of these moves, especially the hamstring stretches. Mine are SO tight.
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Erica @ Erica Finds
Reply July 15, 2015

Thanks for having me as a guest poster! So fun!

It is amazing how many of these exercises are part of PT (like Amber said). Definitely check out the infinity strap video (and strap) - most of these can be done with a towel or theraband, too!
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Nicole @ Fitful Focus
Reply July 15, 2015

Thanks, Erica! I need to do more stretching and core work like this! Sometimes it's the cross training and not the running that makes for a better runner.
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Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner
Reply July 15, 2015

I love the hamstring and IT band stretch! The stretch rope is an essential
Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted...Will Run For Chocolate-What Do You Run For?My Profile

Reply July 15, 2015

Awesome exercises Erica. Thanks for sharing them.
I love vids to help us understand proper posture.
Great post!

Abby @ BackAtSquareZero
Reply July 15, 2015

Great tips, I really need to be better about stretching.

Reply July 15, 2015

As a Pilates instructor and avid runner I definitely believe that practicing Pilates absolutely helps you in all aspects of running! I have seen a huge improvement in not only my own running performance but in those that I train. Great post and tips!
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Amanda Thebe
Reply July 15, 2015

Strength training and active stretching, imperative for endurance sports. Nice post!
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Reply July 15, 2015

hehe, I like the way you put that! :] I think of myself as "a med student who blogs/powerlifts/(etc.)."

I've been meaning to add yoga + pilates back into my life again (on a more consistent basis), so thank you for this! :]

Reply July 15, 2015

These are great moves! Thanks for sharing and for hosting again this week :)
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Reply July 16, 2015

I need to add these moves to my routine. Especially the one for hips. Mine are soo tight!
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Jess @hellotofit
Reply July 18, 2015

Love this list of Pilates exercises! Pilates really helped me find those "deeper" core muscles. I was able to work on really ENGAGING them during exercise!
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