Pilates for Runners PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Pilates is an excellent cross training activity for runners.

  1. Pilates is Low Impact
    Running is a high impact activity.   Choosing a low impact activity on your cross training days will help your joints recover.
  2. Core Strengthening
    Strong core muscles keep your spine and pelvis stable.  The large hip and knee muscles important for speed and endurance in running attach to the spine and pelvis.  These leg muscles are able to pull more efficiently when the core is stable and strong, improving your speed and/or endurance.
  3. Flexibility
    Pilates improves flexibility in all the major muscle groups that are prone to tightness in runners:  hip flexors, piriformis, quadriceps, hamstrings, ITB, calf/achilles tendon
  4. Proper Running Form
    Pilates’ exercises are broken down into component parts to teach the proper movement pattern and then progressed by decreasing support, increasing resistance, changing body position and increasing the complexity of the movement.  Proper body position is incorporated into all Pilates’ exercises.  Even if a body part is not active during a particular exercise, it is resting in a specific position and alignment.  The vast repertoire of Pilates’ exercises that are performed in different positions and on various pieces of equipment help us as Pilates’ instructors identify movement faults and then correct them.
  5. Helps Prevent Overuse Injuries (that are not from over-training)
    Overuse injuries are often caused by muscle imbalances and improper running form.  Muscle imbalances occur when a muscle on one side of the joint is tight and/or the muscle on the other side of the joint is weak.  This can either cause an abnormal pull on the joint or it can cause a strain in the muscle that has to repeatedly work to pull against the tight muscle on the other side of the joint.  Pilates’ exercises help to improve this muscle balance.  Proper running form is addressed in #4 above.
  6. Posture and Breath
    Pilates’ exercises improve your awareness of your body position and the way you move your body.  There is also a focus on proper breathing.  As you fatigue with longer distance running, you will have a better awareness of where your form and posture has broken down and how to correct it.  Focus on breathing will also help.
10,000 Steps a Day PDF  | Print |  E-mail

How many steps do you walk each day?

If you don’t know the answer to that then this is the program for you. With so many of us living sedentary lifestyles and working sedentary jobs, it is now more important than ever to incorporate some form of physical activity. The surgeon general recommends walking 10,000 steps a day. This is an equivalent to the recommended daily amount of physical activity according to the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines and the American Heart Association.

This has been shown to be enough to reduce the risks of diseases such as a heart attack, help control weight, promote overall sense of wellness, enhance bone strength, help prevent osteoporosis and boost energy levels. Walking is one of the easiest, most enjoyable and most profitable forms of exercise.

All you need are some good shoes, a good attitude and a desire to start.

We here at Pyramid Plaza Physical Therapy are strapping on pedometers and tracking our steps, counting our miles and traveling across the globe with our walking for wellness program,


Our goal is to hit 25 million steps that will take us all the way to Beijing, China!

We have recruited our patients, family, friends and community groups such as The Cibolo Nature Center and South Texas Dermatopatholgy to join in on our journey. We have accrued more than 15 million steps!  Way to go everyone!

This program is about getting up and moving. When you move you take steps so for those of you that prefer to swim, dance, or even garden, this program is for you too. Other forms of physical activity are easily converted to steps depending on the intensity of the activity. 

So we challenge our participants to take the stairs, get up to change the channel and park the car a little further.  There are tons of opportunities to increase your steps! Every step counts.  So what are you waiting for?  Let’s get moving.

Fall Commitment to Exercise PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Fall is a great time to renew our commitment to exercise.

Our staff at Pyramid Plaza Physical Therapy and Pilates is busy preparing to run and walk in the San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon.

We found that setting a goal for ourselves like running or walking the half marathon helps to focus on our daily commitment to exercise.
Check out our two new blogs.

The first one “10,000 Steps A Day” from Cyndi is a useful and simple strategy for starting and staying fit.

Our second blog “Pilates for Runners” from Sharon talks about using Pilates to perfect your form and improve your running work out.

So join us in Building a Foundation for Health incorporating exercise and movement into your day!
Pilates for the Older Adult

As many of our baby boom generation begins retirement, they are realizing that their sedentary lifestyle and lack of attention to personal fitness has caught up with them.  However, it is not too late to start an exercise program and, not only maintain, but make gains in strength, flexibility, coordination and balance.  Going to a traditional gym may be intimidating and there may be concerns about irritating an arthritic joint or flaring an old low back problem.  Pilates at Pyramid Plaza Physical Therapy offers an excellent alternative.  The atmosphere is intimate and most clients have an area of physical limitation.  There are 3 certified Pilates instructors all with degrees in Physical Therapy and extensive knowledge in spine and extremity problems.

Why Pilates for the older adult?

  • Pilates is low impact, making it safer for arthritic joints.
  • We do not exercise through pain.  There is a discomfort associated with working a muscle that is fine.  But, pain, especially joint pain is addressed immediately.  First, we try to modify the exercise to eliminate the pain.  If that is not possible, we discontinue the exercise until a later date.
  • Pilates focuses on quality of movement rather than lots of repetitions.   Typical repetitions are 5 – 10 of each exercise, with a special focus on whole body form.  The core stabilizers are active in every exercise, mimicking the role they should play in all of our every day movements and activities.
  • Pilates’ exercises focus on core stabilization, so important for proper posture and strong and efficient movement of spine and arms/legs.  There are 2 main groups of muscles that are active in every exercise.  The 8 inch band around your waist and pelvic area including your abdominal muscles and back muscles stabilize your trunk and the muscles that attach your shoulder blade to your trunk and rib cage stabilize your shoulder girdle. 
  • Exercises start with only the range of motion that you can control with good form, and gradually increase.  Over time, flexibility is improved in spine and extremities.
  • Pilates’ exercises also focus on breathing.  Older adults often have a breathing restriction that is related to stiffness that has developed in their rib cage and mid- back.
  • Pilates’ exercises can be adapted for common conditions in the older adult such as osteoporosis, total joint replacements, rotator cuff problems, arthritis, degenerative joint disease, etc.  Pilates’ equipment is very versatile.  Springs can be used to assist a movement to make it easier or resist a movement to make it harder.  Exercises can begin in lying, with the body supported and gravity eliminated.  Positions are progressed to kneeling, sitting and/or standing.

Moving well improves our quality of life.

It is never too late and Pilates can help accomplish that goal.


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