Knee knobblers – Pilates for runners

Photo of Spine Curl exercise

Knee knobblers – Pilates for runners

The infamous Nelson Knee Knobbler beach and dune run in Sea Palling, Norfolk, is just weeks away. Set to take place on 1 October 2017 it’s not only a well organised, demanding and fun race to take part in, it’s great for spectators too! For the competitors though – don’t forget that whilst you run with your legs, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of a strong core for going the distance. And this is where Pilates comes in…


As quoted by Lynne Robinson, co-founder and director of Body Control Pilates Education:

“Controlling your alignment and breathing will help with your core stability. This is essential for a good running technique, you may think you’re just running using mainly your legs but you also engage your lower abdomen muscles. In terms of runners, sometimes a slight imbalance in the body will go on to create problems because it’s such a repetitive movement that you’re doing. Even a small adjustment in your posture or in your core stability can make a huge impact. ” (


So take the time to do these Pilates exercises before stepping out, and reap the benefits in terms of increased stamina and less injuries. And good luck to everyone taking part in the Norfolk’s Nelson Knee Knobbler Beach and Dune Run this year! #PilatesForLife


Photo of Spine Curl exercise

Spine Curls exercise by Julian Askham, Core Pilates Norfolk

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat. Take a breath in to prepare.
  • Breathe out as you curl your tailbone under, tilting your pelvis backwards and peeling your spine off the floor, one vertebra at a time. Roll up until just the tips of your shoulder blades are on the floor.
  • Breathe in and hold the position.
  • Breathe out as you roll your spine back down, each bone in turn.
  • Breathe in as you release the pelvis back to your neutral position again.
  • Repeat 10 times.



  • Lie on your side with your lower arm under your head and your top arm supporting you with your hand on the mat in front of your chest. Bend your knees so your heels are aligned with the back of your pelvis.
  • Breath out whilst you open out your top knee from the hip joint, making sure that your feet stay connected and that your pelvis remains stable.
  • Breathe in as you, with control, return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times on each side.



  • Lie on your front with your forehead resting on a thin cushion, rug or folded towel.
  • Bend one leg to 90-degrees with your foot pointing towards the ceiling. Maintaining the position and stability of your pelvis (you could put your fingertips underneath your hip bones to check this), breathe in and try to lift your knee up off the floor.
  • Breathe out as you lower your leg back down.
  • Repeat 10 times on each side.



  • Standing up straight, breathe in to prepare.
  • Lengthen through the spine as you bend your knees and hips at the same time to, in essence, hinge forwards from the hips.
  • Reach forward with both arms to balance. Check that your ankles, knees and hips line up.
  • Breathe out as you straighten your legs.
  • Repeat 10 times.



  • From the Pilates Squat start position, transfer your weight onto one leg.
  • Breathe in to prepare.
  • Keeping straight, not letting your pelvis drop to either side, bend at your knee to do a small squat.
  • Reach forward with both arms to balance. Keep your knee over the centre of your foot for good alignment.
  • Breathe out as you straighten your leg.
  • Repeat 8 times on each side.


For more like this, check out my Core Pilates Norfolk Classes in Norwich, Hickling, Sprowston, Martham, Acle and Stalham.