Pregnancy Pilates classes can benefit expectant mums in many ways. Pilates is a fantastic choice because the workout is flexible enough to adapt with you throughout your pregnancy. Exercises are easily modified for you depending on which stage of your pregnancy you are in and how you feel on the day of your Pilates class.
Every pregnancy is unique and women experience many different and amazing feelings during this special time. before baby arrives and you enter the ‘fourth trimester’.
But no matter how you’re carrying, pregnancy Pilates classes may offer strength, or relief from those pesky pregnancy niggles!
Pregnancy Pilates targets the deep core muscles to:
- Support the spine and pelvis to keep them stable
- Maintain pelvic floor strength
- Reduce the risk of diastasis recti
- Help lower the incidence of back pain
Prenatal and pregnancy Pilates offer low impact exercises with an emphasis on posture and good quality movement.
Pilates exercises also strengthen other parts of the body to prepare you for labor and for keeping up with your newborn.
A well tailored, personal prenatal Pilates program will have you feeling more connected to your body, well balanced and energised.
Remember: It is important to carefully consider a Pilates program which is specific for you while you’re pregnant. Pilates will have you feeling amazing throughout your pregnancy and can improve your postnatal recovery.
Pregnancy Pilates: The Benefits
1. Pregnancy Pilates: Strengthens core and glutes
Relaxin is a hormone released during pregnancy which causes the ligaments to become more flexible and lax which makes you more prone to pelvic pain and lower back pain. Utilising Pilates to strengthen your deep abdominal muscles will help counter the laxity so you’re less likely to experience pain in your pelvis and lower back. Pilates is also great to strengthen your gluteus medius which helps minimise pain in your sacro-iliac joint and keep the pelvis stable.
2. Reduces back pain
By keeping the body moving, you are less likely to develop back pain or are able to manage it better. Pilates helps to give you better awareness of your posture, which changes as your baby grows.
As your body changes throughout pregnancy, so will your Pilates exercises. It is important that your personal Pilates program is focused on what you need at that time and on that given day.
3. Strengthens your pelvic floor
The weight of your baby plus the hormonal changes which take place can weaken your pelvic floor muscles. Pilates can help to strengthen your pelvic floor. Pilates can help to reduce the risk of incontinence that may develop during or after your pregnancy.
4. Improves balance
Due to changes in posture and your centre of gravity you may feel more and unstable when pregnant. Pilates helps your balance by increasing your core strength and other muscles in the body also responsible for balance and stability and gives you a better awareness of where your body is in space.
5. Awareness of breath
Breathing is an important principle in Pilates and is very useful for pregnant women to learn as good air exchange is important for blood flow for you and your baby. It can also assist to improve your mood due to the release of good endorphins. An awareness of breathing is also beneficial for labour. Lack of mobility in your upper and mid back which develops as your belly grows can start to feel tight and restricted. Pilates can help to create movement and space in this area. Breathing also helps to promote relaxation and improve energy.
6. Relaxation through Pregnancy Pilates
Taking some “you time” during your pregnancy is very important. Pilates gives you an opportunity to switch off from work and day-to-day stressors and helps to focus your mind on the present moment, to focus on your body, where it is in space and what it needs.
7. Speeds up recovery
Keeping healthy and moving throughout your pregnancy will help you to get back your pre-pregnancy body more easily!
Research shows that being inactive can do more harm than good such as contributing to excess weight gain, high blood pressure, additional aches and pains and a greater risk for gestational diabetes.
Belinda and her instructors at Art of Pilates in Neutral Bay always ensure you are guided though the exercises safely and effectively. If you’d like to try a class or have any questions, get in touch!