4 Ways PiYo Can Improve Your Running

Photo credit: J. Vilchez [public domain]

PiYo is a low-impact, well-rounded fitness program that combines the mind/body practices of pilates and yoga, which will sculpt and define your whole body. Pilates strengthens and tones the body, while yoga promotes flow of movement, body awareness and relaxation. These two fitness disciplines combined are a perfect complement to any running program. Here are 4 ways you can improve your running with PiYo.

1) Strengthens your core

Good running form is key to becoming a better runner and avoiding injury. A strong core will improve the stability of your pelvis, hips, and even your knees during running. Strong abdominal muscles go hand-in-hand with strong running. Abdominal muscles stabilize the pelvis and support the torso while you run. Runners with weak abs tend to run out of steam quickly. Also, they tend to have a less stable pelvis which can lead to hamstring and lower back pain injuries. Runners with strong abs tend to have a more stable gait, better posture and have fewer lower back problems.

2) Corrects Posture Imbalances

Your running technique is completely dependent on your posture. The efficiency of your running technique is directly proportional to the quality of your posture. Poor posture makes your body’s muscles work harder to hold you upright, and it restricts the circulation of blood to your muscles and organs. Pilates helps to stretch and lengthen all the major muscle groups in the body in a balanced fashion. Yoga brings the mind and body together and is built on three main elements – exercise, meditation and breathing. Pilates and Yoga both improve postural and muscular strength.

3) Improves Your Focus

Yoga is one of the best ways to improve your focus, because it teaches mindfulness and breathing techniques for relaxation. The warrior pose, for example, requires intense concentration and focus because your whole body has to be engaged, and your gaze must be fixed on one place. Once you learn what it truly means to quiet your mind and breathe into discomfort, you’ll add a very useful tool to your running arsenal, especially during those grueling long runs when you just can’t find your groove. You’ll also gain a greater appreciation for the sport of running when you learn to be present in your races, appreciating the sights, sounds, smells and sensations that only an endurance event can offer, instead of always looking at your watch to achieve your best race time.

4) Increases Muscular Endurance

Increasing muscular endurance will make longer duration activities feel easier and help prevent injury. So, if it’s easier to run longer, you will run much farther. Our bodies work as a system and with better posture, gait and movement everything will work at optimal capacity. Poor movement, on the other hand, will not only increase the risk of injury and chronic pain from poor mechanics, but also cause fatigue to set in much quicker. PiYo is an ideal cross-training program for runners, as it’s designed to increase physical endurance, posture, flexibility, coordination, and core strength. It involves focused, controlled movements that can be adjusted to create different levels of difficulty. Breathing, centering and flow of movement are also part of the program.



About Robin R.
I’m an AFPA certified personal trainer & nutrition consultant, NASM certified corrective exercise specialist, NASM certified youth exercise specialist, online fitness coach and freelance writer specializing in health and fitness. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health. I specialize in weight loss, functional strength training, total body toning, aerobic conditioning, plyometric training, nutrition planning, and home-based boot camp style workouts for women. My goal is to make every personal training session fun and effective for my clients. My services include both in-home personal training and online fitness coaching.

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