Pilates for Runners

Double Leg Squat

Maybe the most basic exercise on the reformer, it still makes for a great warm-up, allowing you to think about your setup and engage your gluteal muscles.

– Aim to push through heels and squeeze your backside.

– Suggested springs – 2.5

Single Leg Squat

A slightly more advanced version of the normal single leg squat – this one involves a reciprocal action with the other leg, making it close to a walking or running gait. A great exercise for single leg endurance.

– Aim to push through your heel and keep your pelvis steady.

– Suggested springs – 2.5

Sleeper (Side Lying Leg Press)

The setup is important for this side lying variation of a leg press. This is a great gluteal exercise aimed at stability and endurance.

– Remember to keep the bottom of your ribs elevated and make sure you feel it in your backside. If you feel it in the front of your thigh, then try rolling the hips slightly forward.

– Suggested springs – 2.0

Knee Stretch

Perhaps the most common exercise I prescribe – the reason being is that it incorporates a great deal of postural awareness, right from the scapulo-thoracic area (in weightbearing) and then in to the lumbo-pelvic area. Feel free to use the mirror to help out every so often if you need.

– Remember to keep your chest away from your hands and lift your belly away from the floor.

– Suggested springs – 1.0


My favourite exercise for runners and cyclists. Incorporating single leg pelvic stability and the ability to discriminate between hip extension and lower back extension, it is sure to make your gluteals burn!

– Aim to keep the weight on the heel of your stance leg and sit your hips backwards (especially if you’re feeling it in the thighs).

– Suggested springs – 1.0

Rolling bridge + Push Out

This exercise teaches us to use gluteals and abdominals together whilst adding a good hamstring load by pushing away from the bar. It’s particularly nice for those who might be over-active in the lower back muscles as it gives us “permission” to bend and flex the spine.

– Aim to squeeze the backside and lift the tail first. Be sure to keep the hips raised as you bring the carriage back in to your feet.

– Suggested springs – 1.5

Standing Abduction

This exercise allows us to work on some gluteal endurance.

– Aim to push equally through both heels.

– Suggested springs – 1.0


A variation on the standing abduction exercise, skater teaches us hip control of the stance leg whilst work on gluteal endurance through range on the moving leg.

– If you feel it in your thighs try sitting your hips a bit further back and bring the weight on to your heels.

– Suggested springs – 1.0

Reverse Skater

This exercise is just a more complicated version of ‘skater’. The trunk stabilisation is challenged with a moving carriage to contend with.

– As for the initial exercise the aim is to load the hips by sitting backwards in to the squat. Aim to finish in the same position you start in!

– Suggested springs – 1.0

Reverse Abdominals (Shoulders)

This position promotes good trunk stabilisation whilst loading through the shoulder girdle muscles. It’s a nice position to promote trunk posture for runners and cyclists.

– Do your best to keep a stable rib cage, not allowing yourself to over-extend as you create load in the shoulders.

– Suggested springs – 0.5 (it’s a hard one!)

Reverse Abdominals (Hips)

During this exercise we learn to flex the hips (albeit together) whilst still using the abdominals to stabilise the pelvis and ribcage.

– Do your best to not let the hip movement create changes up the chain.

– Suggested springs – 0.5


Incorporating many aspects including balance, hip control, gluteal endurance and trunk control, this exercise is more challenging then it looks.

– Aim to keep the heel slightly lifted in the front foot and the back leg relatively stiff.

– Suggested springs – 1.0

Lunge + Pulse

A harder variation of the lunge, this one aims to load the gluteal of the standing leg to a higher degree whilst asking the bag leg to remain mobile and fluent.

– Keep your pelvis level and don’t let your pushing leg disturb your trunk control.

– Suggested springs – 1.0



Chat to your practitioner about the finer details and any individual modifications needed, or visit our reformer pilates studio in Barwon Heads and let one of our instructors guide you through.





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