Whether you’re a competitive runner or weekend jogger trying to shed a few pounds, there’s no doubt that running is an easy way to keep in great cardiovascular shape. But your body can take a beating – this is especially true if it develops asymmetries.

Body asymmetries develop because of poor body mechanics, causing certain muscles to become overused (a common trait in runners), while others become underused. This can result in a variety of ailments from lower back pain to hip bursitis to anterior knee problems.

It can also lead to a wide variety of tears, strains and pulls.

Pilates exercises create a stronger, more flexible spine and core, and also promotes faster recovery from strains or injuries.

For a runner, posture is one of the key ingredients to success. And posture is very dependent on a strong core. Pilates develops a strong core by supporting and strengthening the muscles of the torso, hips shoulders and pelvis. These can eventually lead to a huge positive difference in your posture, technique, balance and stability. It enables you to focus on where your head and neck are in relation to the spine and pelvis, on down through the legs and toes. This all adds up to more efficient movement and less chance of injury.

[Excerpt from Balanced Body]