This is part two of the Pilates for runners. I hate getting sidelined by a stinking injury so I try to do exercises to keep my quardriceps, hamstrings, glutes/piriformis and calves strong. Strength in these areas will help decrease my chance of knee injuries and instability.
This exercise is called The Shoulder Bridge which strengthens the areas mentioned above. I was reading a great article at www.ideafit.com about this exercise. I do it often so I thought it would be a good one to share. First, I come into supine position walking my feet close to my butt and I try to align my heels with my knees and my arms and shoulders are by my side. As I inhale I lift my back off the floor one vertebrae at a time until my hips are as high as possible. I exhale. I then support my hips with my hands, engaging my glutes as I inhale the bridge a little higher. If I need to modify, I just stay in the first bridge position with the arms and shoulders by my side inhaling and exhaling as I lower and lift 6-8 times. If I want to progress further, I add the single leg lifts. I inhale one leg up and exhale back down to be parallel with the other thigh. I do each side about 6-8 times before slowly lowering the bridge down to the floor. I transition slow and controlled and I always focus on maintaining length in my spine throughout the movement. I engage my inner thighs to make sure my knees do not open. I finish by bringing my knees to chest to relax.
Shoulder Bridge with single leg lifts/advanced:
I will continue this series of Pilates for runners later this week, so be sure if you are interested to check in again. I know there are a lot of fun races going on this time of year, so these might be exercises you may want to try. Always check with your own physician if you are starting any new exercise program. I do recommend if you have never done Pilates that you find a qualified teacher to get you started.
Hey runners, what do you think of color runs? I am thinking of doing one.