Pilates can be an ideal exercise during pregnancy because it increases strength which will help during childbirth and will aid with the recovery once the child is born. Limiting your session to particular exercises and work at an intensity you are comfortable with is necessary to prevent injury and complications. Still, there are particular exercises suitable for pregnant women, which can help keep you fit and healthy as well as help prepare for childbirth later on.
Pilates is an exercise method that consists of low-impact flexibility and muscular strength as well as endurance movements. It emphasizes on using the abdominals, lower back, hips and thighs. This exercise was developed in the early 1900s by Joseph Pilates.
Strengthening Abdominal and Pelvic Floor Muscles
Pregnant women would find Pilates to be beneficial as it is designed to strengthen the deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. Strengthening these areas is referred to as ‘core stability’. Pilates-based exercises can be performed in positions that are safe for women at all stages of pregnancy, such as on hands and knees. These exercise techniques may take the stress off the back and pelvic floor, and help with the positioning of the baby for delivery. Pelvic floor exercises can decrease urine leakage in women with urinary incontinence.
Benefits of Reformer Pilates for Pregnant Women
Performing Pilates regularly is an excellent way to stay fit and healthy before you give birth to your baby. Continuing Pilates after giving birth will help tone your body and lose weight. It can provide full body workout that is gentle and efficient that most pregnant women still take classes right up to their day of delivery.
Reformer Pilates offers sheer diversity of exercises compared to Pilates on mat. This means that the exercise techniques are not limited in terms of variety while keeping the intensity on a comfortable level.
The Reformer has a gliding carriage that allows movement through a full but carefully controlled range of motion while keeping the arms and legs grounded for a safe and effective workout.
Reformer Pilates promotes posture and stability in pregnant women. It restores the natural curves of the spine. It strengthens the thoracic extensors and lengthens the chest muscles to correct the increased curves in the upper part of the back. Once posture is established, Reformer Pilates will effectively strengthen and support your body throughout your pregnancy.
Reformer Pilates for Pregnant Women
Before starting performing Pilates, it is recommended to warm up by doing 5-10 minutes of knee lifts, low back stretches and shoulder rolls. Depending on what trimester you are in, do specific exercises 3-4 times a week.
On your first trimester, perform exercises that focus on core strength, stamina and muscle memory. These will strengthen your entire core to support your internal corset, which will provide strength and resilience to your body as your belly enlarges.
On your second trimester, perform exercises that will focus on your posture, core stability and balance to keep your spine properly aligned. This is to protect your back and neck while your belly and breasts enlarge.
On your third trimester, perform exercises that focus on flexibility, joint mobility and labor preparation. These exercises will strengthen your pelvic floor muscles as you move your pelvis, spine and hips. It will also help relieve discomfort and prepares you for labor.
When you are pregnant, it does not mean giving up your fitness routine. Lifestyle Boom offers classes for pregnant mums to keep you healthy and in shape. Once your body is established with the help of Pilates, reformer exercises will effectively strengthen and support your body through all phases of pregnancy.