Pilates for Runners – An under-utilised tool! – Align Health Solutions

Pilates for Runners – An under-utilised tool!



Running is one of the most universal sports in the adult population due to its accessibility, low cost and its many beneficial health outcomes. Whether you’re a long-time avid runner or just beginning on your running journey, strength and conditioning training should be an essential component of any running regime. However, despite the extensive evidence highlighting the benefits of regular strength and conditioning training on running performance and injury prevention, this essential component is often overlooked and disregarded.


Pilates is one form of complementary training that has gained significant popularity amongst runners, and for good reason.



The benefits of supplementing your running schedule with regular Pilates training is multifactorial and can improve:


1)  Body Awareness and Running Form – Although running is an activity requiring cardiovascular fitness, it is also a complex neuromuscular skill involving proprioception and coordination of multiple muscle systems. As we fatigue, our running form tends to deviate from the ideal posture, often appearing as pelvic instability, knee valgus, ankle instability and a slouched posture. With a heavy focus on postural awareness, tactile and verbal cues during complex movements, Pilates can help to translate proper running mechanics from the studio to the roads. Evidence has been shown to support the idea of running retraining, specifically in those who have a number of lower limb conditions such as achilles tendinopathy, calf pain, patellofemoral pain, gluteal tendinopathy and more (Barton et al. 2016).


2)  Mechanical efficiency – With an improvement in running form and body awareness, comes an improvement in mechanical efficiency. Running with an increased efficiency allows your body to use less energy for the same amount of effort exerted, permitting increased maximum speed or prolonged endurance efforts. On race day, this will give you the upper hand when running against others with poorer efficiency.


3)  Injury Prevention – In a systematic review of 17 studies investigating running-related injuries, it was found that the overall incidence of lower extremity injuries varied from 19.4% – 79.3%, with the most common site of injury occurring at the knee (Gent et al. 2007). Outside of a sharp increase in running load, contributing factors to running-related injuries include muscle imbalances, lower limb weakness and lack of mobility (Laws A, Williams S & Wilson C 2017). The Pilates approach offers a variety of interesting and challenging exercises to mobilise the muscles which are often tight amongst runners, as well as strengthen the muscles of the lower limb to allow for more dynamic control, specifically around the hip and knee joints.



Regular implementation of Pilates into your running regime can help improve proprioception and running form, increase mechanical efficiency and can assist with injury prevention through reducing muscular imbalances and strengthening the lower limb and core muscles. If you’re interested in coming along to one of our run-specific classes, feel free to get in contact with our friendly staff here at Align Health Solutions.



Class structure


Here at Align, we are offering an 8-week run-specific course held once per week on Thursday from 6:30am – 7:30am for the price of $150 (private health rebates may be applicable – please check with your provider prior to purchase). The class involves a combination of flexibility, strength and aerobic conditioning. Using a circuit-style approach utilising our free weights, pin-loaded machinery, small equipment, aerobic equipment and clinical Pilates equipment allows for continual improvement and a dynamic range of exercises to keep things fun and engaging.


If you would like more information on the course and would like to see what the sessions involve, please feel free to come along to two of our free ‘come and try’ sessions below:


  •  Thursday 17/02/22 6:30am – 7:15am
  •  Thursday 24/02/22 6:30am – 7:15am


Click here to book your FREE ‘come and try’ session!





If you are also currently on the lookout to join some local run clubs, please see below for plenty of options in Adelaide. Lace up those sneakers and let’s get moving!


Local run clubs



–  Adelaide Running Crew
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/108841288928


–  Northern Running Group
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nthrungp/about


–  Southern Running Group
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/southernrunners


–  Run as One
Instagram: @runasonecoaching

–  The Run Club
Instagram: @therunclubadelaide


–  21 Run Club Instagram: @21runclub


– Trail Running SA
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trailrunningsa






Barton, C, Bonanno, R, Carr, J, Neal, BS, Malliaras, N, Franklyn-Miller, A & Menz HB 2016, ‘Running retraining to treat lower limb injuries: a mixed-methods study of current evidence synthesised with expert opinion’, Br J Sports Med, 50:513–526.

Laws, A, Williams, S & Wilson, C 2017, ‘The Effect of Clinical Pilates on Functional Movement in Recreational Runners’, International Journal of Sports Medicine, 38(10):776-780.

Gent, RN, Siem, D, Middelkoop, M, Os, AG, Bierma-Zeinstra, SMA & Koes BW 2007, ‘Incidence and determinants of lower extremity running injuries in long distance runners: a systematic review’, BR J Sports Med, 41:469–480.