ankle mobility and stability, knee stability, and hip stability Pilates Exercises for Runners

Pilates Exercises for Runners

class planning Oct 15, 2018

Runners, this one’s for you! The most important movement skills for running are ankle mobility and stability, knee stability, and hip stability. Additionally, it is recommended to work on hip dissociation and trunk stability.

The exercises in this list do just that. Practice them regularly to improve your running and prevent (overuse) injury. 


  • Square
  • Kneeling Hamstring Stretch
  • Kneeling Lunge
  • Prone Thigh Stretch
  • Supine Hamstring Stretch
  • Bridge Hip Lift: Improves glute strength
  • Single Leg Bridge: Improves glute strength, strengthens obliques
  • Standing Single Leg Calf Stretch: use your bodyweight to deepen your dorsiflexion
  • Pelvic symmetry with dowel: Corrects alignment of the two pelvic halves, strengthens abdominals, adductor and abductor muscles
  • Criss Cross: Improves oblique strength
  • One Leg Balancing on an unstable surface, such as a wobble board, a foam roller, functional footprints, rotator discs
  • Footwork Running: Improves ankle mobility
  • Single Leg Footwork with heavy springs for quad work
  • Jumping prep and jumping, Single-Leg patterns: Improves ankle mobility and strength as well as core strength
  • Feet in Straps: Single Leg Stretch with Opposite Strap: Improves knee tracking, Balances inner and outer leg strength, Corrects lower leg alignment (knee to ankle), Improves ankle mobility
  • Standing Hip Stretch: Improves hip range of motion in a running pattern
  • Scooter: Improves glute strength for pushing off the back leg, Improves lateral hip stability of the standing leg (if not or only lightly holding on to the foot bar)
  • Short Box Series: flat back, oblique flat back and side sit up variations: Strengthens abdominals, esp. Obliques with an emphasis on spinal length
Trapeze Table / Tower
  • Squats + Single Leg Squats: improve balanced strength between quadriceps and glutes and knee tracking, single leg variation improves balance
  • Standing Leg Springs: abduction and extension improve lateral hip stability and glute strength to push off back leg
  • Semi-Circle (Prep): improves hip extension by strengthen glutes and abdominals, improves hip dissociation
  • Short Spine (Prep): improves hip extension by strengthening glutes and abdominals, improves hip dissociation
  • Standing Leg Pump: Improves balances, eccentric glute strength, and quad strength
  • Standing Ankle Pump
  • Forward Lunges improve hip and ankle range of motion and distributes effort equally to quadriceps and gluteus.
  • Hip Hike: works to balance the muscle strength on the inside and outside of the hips and thighs
Spine Corrector
  • Standing Calf Stretch (drop heel into well): improves ankle dorsiflexion
  • Side Kicks: Strengthens abductors and therefore improves lateral hip stability
  • Criss Cross: Improves oblique strength
Ladder Barrel
  • Short Box Series: Flat Back, oblique flat back and side sit up variations: Strengthens abdominals
  • Supine StretchImproves eccentric core strength, crucial for keeping spine upright and counteracting loss of axial length in the spine when the runner is getting tired


You'll find video tutorials and detailed descriptions of each of these exercises inside the Pilates Encyclopedia membership.



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