Q: My lower back always feels tight after a long run. What can I do about it?
First, I would recommend seeing your Doctor to rule out the possibility of injury.
During a long run your back stays basically in the same position- this may be where the feeling of tightness is coming from. Often people find relief from stretching after running by either bending forward and letting their torso hang over their legs or stretching in the other direction- stand with feet wider than your shoulders and push your hips forward. Depending on the structure of your back, probably one direction feels better than the other.
While running, try pulling your stomach in and up toward your chest. This motion is meant to engage the abdominal muscles and encourage them to support your back. Keeping your powerhouse active during any activity can help alleviate back discomfort.
Q: I am a tri-athlete. Many people I train with attribute Pilates to increasing their speed. How does Pilates help improve a triathelete\’s speed?
In sports like running, swimming and biking it is easiest to increase speed when your body is not expending extra energy. If your powerhouse is strong, your hips and shoulders will not move excessively. This will allow you to use your energy for your legs and arms and allow you to be a more powerful triathelete.
Pilates can also shave seconds off your time because of the stretching component involved in a Pilates workout. Reducing tightness around the hips and shoulders allows for a longer stride while running, a better reach while swimming and more power in your cycling.