If you’re looking to stay fit—and feeling good—throughout those nine months, look no further than Pilates
Pregnant? First of all, congratulations!!
Once you have had the all clear from your GP Prenatal Pilates is one of the best forms of exercise you can do—and you should start as early in your pregnancy as possible.
Not only is Pilates completely safe during pregnancy for most women, it’s an intelligent, whole-body approach to conditioning. Pilates is one of the only exercise methods out there that will give you the muscle strengthening, the stretching and the breath-work you need.
Need more reasons to do Prenatal Pilates?
1 - Pilates is just the things for you body as it changes and your baby grows!
As the body changes throughout pregnancy, there are certain things that become a little challenging, namely balance, endurance and coordination. In your Pilates practice, you’re working these elements in addition to whole-body strengthening and conditioning.
As your uterus expands and your pelvis starts to compensate by moving anteriorly [at the front of the body], the hamstrings and glutes lengthen and can weaken.
2. Pilates strengthens the body and the mind.
Pilates embodies the holistic approach to wellness, and prenatal clients need to be strong both physically and emotionally. That’s where the Pilates breathing—and a focus on connecting the movement to the breath—comes in. We know that there’s a connection between breath and our emotional state. The breath we teach in Pilates translates to daily life, to better coping with the emotional ups and downs, and the anxiety prenatal clients might experience.
The connection between the physical work of Pilates and breathing helps later on too with labor and delivery.
3. Prenatal Pilates teachers know their stuff.
Pilates teachers go through comprehensive training so they’re prepared to work with prenatal clients. In addition to the anatomy and understanding how the body moves, we know the why behind the exercises.
4. You can do Pilates throughout your *entire* pregnancy.
Pilates can support the prenatal client all the way through pregnancy—and not a lot of other exercise modalities can do that.
For example, if you’re experiencing fatigue in your first trimester, you can reduce your pace but still get the benefits of core strength and stability. Or maybe you’re in your second and are feeling super energetic, then the workout could be made more challenging while keeping safety at the forefront.
The Pilates approach is that we can modify for everyone. We can adapt the programming for how you’re feeling day today. If a client comes in and says, my back feels a little sore, we can make modifications for that. If they feel tight through the chest, we have a whole different approach!
5. The Pilates Reformer is perfect for the pregnant exerciser.
The spring tension used with Pilates equipment can support your body against gravity, and works the muscles [when the muscle is lengthening under load]. So it’s really supportive for the body.
6. You can do almost any Pilates exercise while pregnant.So what’s the difference between prenatal Pilates and “regular” Pilates? There is not much of one.
At ALIGN our approach is that our prenatal client isn’t delicate or injure -they’re very strong and capable.
In addition to taking care not to overexert or overheat the body (two big no-nos with prenatal exercise). Paying attention to your range during Pilates is key. We need to be mindful of range of motion and over stretching because Mum’s ligaments are a little more sensitive.
7. Pilates teaches you to listen to your body.
Of all the benefits that Pilates gives the prenatal exerciser, this might be the biggest.
Our number-one rule with pregnant clients is that they let go of the ego and listen to their body. This is the time to let that competitive attitude go, and learn to become connected to your body and listen to your intuition. If you feel nauseous lying on your back, then don’t do it. If you’re feeling fatigued, don’t push yourself.
Bottom line: Pilates empowers you to do what works for you. And that’s a beautiful thing.