Rebecca Ferguson was introduced to Pilates by the producers of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
What kind of training did you have to do for the movie?
“When I arrived at Heathrow for filming, the car that came to pick me up took me to the gym. From that day on, it was five hours of training, six days a week. It sounds crazy intense and it was. We had a month and a half to prep. I had Pilates to build up muscle and understand how your body works and to elongate muscles, and then very physical training for running. I had to be able to sprint half a mile [with] Tom Cruise. It’s very difficult to keep up with him. [Laughs] And then martial arts and fight choreography training.
One of the big differences that sets Pilates apart from other rehabilitative workouts for runners is that it supports and strengthens the entire body. For athletes and individuals of all ages Pilates encourages proper movement patterns, which help prevent against injuries, even those of the everyday variety. Many converts to Pilates attest to a better sense of body positioning and posture when sitting at their desks, driving, walking, or running.
Pilates is great for runners since the fundamentals emphasize balance, mobility and breathing, while strengthening the core muscles that support running. Breathing patterns and body mechanics are essential to performing Pilates movements correctly, which easily translate into a runner’s breathing patterns and posture to improve form and efficiency.
Posture is one of the most influential factors in a runner’s gait. Pilates helps you identify areas of weakness that can inhibit running posture and learn muscular cues to help fire the muscles surrounding the diaphragm, spine, ribs and hips in such a way to maintain better posture through the gait cycle.
According to Women’s Running magazine, “When doing Pilates, you are constantly engaging your core. You may think you run mainly with your legs, but you also use your psoas muscle (lower abdomens). Having a strong core is key, especially when running uphill, so your lower back doesn’t take over. Pilates has not only made my hips stronger but also stretched them at the same time, allowing me to have more fluid movements when I run. My legs can kick back further and my stride has improved. I wanted to yell to every runner, “You should be doing this!” It has all the benefits you get from a great yoga class, combined with the fast-paced yet slow method of fatiguing muscles until failure. It literally put no stress on my bones or joints. But don’t be fooled— I still walk out of class with my hair dripping with sweat and puddles next to me!”
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