I've had numerous injuries over the past couple of years and very tight muscles seem to be a constant contributing factor. I've tried a couple of Body Balance classes but didn't like them at all. I didn't feel that I was doing enough stretching and felt constantly frustrated at not being able to balance on one leg and do the various exercises, so, should I just man up and do some more, or try Yoga, or Pilates or just sod the lot and stretch at home ? The advantage to a class is that I would have to do the full hour rather than cutting it short at home and I guess that the routine would be more balanced (excuse the pun).
Both are excellent, pilates works alot more your core and helps you to improve your posture etc, but is also very good to help strenghten muscles that us runners use, such as the muscles around the knees (I have suffered injuries to the outside of the knee and some of the exercises helped to strengthen these before). Yoga, depending on what yoga you do depends. I currently go to Ashtanga yoga and it pretty much works your whole body. But alot is lower body. I had suffered from shin splints last year for pretty much the whole year and since I started yoga back in March, I have not even had a niggle there and I have been doing a lot of speed sessions etc.
I think doing at the class is a lot better than home, as not only can you not cut out (unless you want to be beat by a room full of women) but also the teacher can make sure you are doing the exercises effectively and not doing anything to injure yourself further.
I would say give both a go and see what you like. Also for not being able to balance on one foot. I'd advise doing balancing exercises at home, like balancing on one leg whilst brushing your teeth. (some good ones can be found on youtube)
On a cheaper and easier note you could try self massage with a foam roller or a "the stick"/ rolling pin.
I invested all of £3 on a rolling pin from Wilko's and watched some vids on YouTube and over the last 2 weeks have noticed a considerable decrease in tension and general stiff/soreness (other than when actually rolling) in my soleus and tibialis anterior which have caused me issues in the past!
Just saying there may be some equally effective yet cheaper & easier options than paying for classes.
But then I am a little miserly so.....
I've tried quite a few things including pilates, core strengthening, foam roller etc. Pilates gave me some good strengthening exercises / stretches, however the frustration for me was that some classes didn't target the areas that mattered to me. Inevitable with one class to suit all I suppose. At the moment stretching/strengthening is done at home or the gym, but under my own control I'm really not disciplined enough.
I teach Pilates, but I also love yoga ... I tried Body Balance a fair few years ago when first trying this stuff out, and found it quite tough as you only get a bit of this and a bit of that, and depending on the training the teacher has had, as to how appropriate it is.
So I'd agree with others, give both a go perhaps and see what you think. I may be biased but I definitely have far less problems with my back since taking up (and teaching) Pilates, my core is stronger and that in turn has made me a little faster (all things being relative!!) I think.
Agree also that the foam roller is a fantastic tool, balancing - definitely do it at home, easy to work into every day stuff, as is general stretching as well. I am useless at disciplining myself to do stuff at home so that is where a class is a good call. Can take a while to find a teacher that you 'click' with sometimes though.
Pilates is quite difficult to dip in and out of though, unless you've done some kind of basic intro course, most people struggle with the breathing concepts and give it up - which is an enormous shame.
I've found that TRX classes work for me. I just find yoga, pilates and body balance so boring a real chore.(Sorry) so never stuck with it.
The TRX classes I go to are 30mins long and that's long enough for me just not a class type of person. I started off doing 2 a week and now that I have increased my flexability and core I do 1 a week to maintain it.
I used to do Pilates, only stopped as our instructor seemed to do the same class every week and I had to pay for it on top of my gym membershop. Otherwise I would say it is good, it takes a lot of exercises from yoga so I would say there are similarities between the too.
I now do yoga and have found this has helped my balance, flexibility and core strength quite alot and has turned me from an over pronator to a neutral runner. I would advise trying a few classes of each to see which one you prefer and talk to the instructors about your needs.
Yes Pilates can get a little tedious if there is no variety for sure - for the instructors too!!! Looking at pictures of Joseph Pilates aged 60-odd (while a little freaky) is very motivational - his strength and mobility for his age are really quite inspiring!
I think you'll do a bit of balancing in yoga too..
i personally quite like body balance as I enjoy the tai chi bits thrown in. I also am the worst in the class in one-leg balancing etc.
found pilates boring and frustrating, yoga seems more convincing
+1 for Pilates. I've done it for over 3 years and I'm sure it's not just a coincidence that my two spells of injuries (knee and IT band issues) have coincided with the times I have stopped doing Pilates. When I had a recent injury (IT band), I went every week to Pilates for about 2 months and this helped me to recover. I think the breathing that you learn in Pilates also helps enormously with running. I've tried yoga and did enjoy it but not convinced it has the same benefits to running. Pilates is all about having a strong core and this is what every book you will ever read on running will tell you is important. My friend is a physio and is convinced that if everyone did Pilates (not just runners), the NHS would save millions.
That's pretty much what I've found with the Pilates - it's the core strength and the breathing which seem to really make the difference with the running, just feel I have more control and when you start to wilt in latter stages of long races (I like ultra stuff), I'm feeling more upright and strong still.
I did like the Thai Chi elements of body balance and I love the stretches you get from Yoga.
As with everything it is horses for courses so absolutely about finding what works for you, because if you don't enjoy it etc you won't stick with it and then you'll never see the true benefits, but I am with your physio friend SlowK
Thanks guys. Guess I'm going to give both a go really and see how I get on, after a bit of practise standing on one leg
Once in pilates we had to stand on one leg with our eyes closed.
Now you're just scaring me
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