Pilates is a great pregnancy workout targeting your core strength, pelvic floor muscles and flexibility!
Pregnancy Pilates is a safe, effective low impact exercise that can be enjoyed throughout your pregnancy. It assists with breathing, body alignment, concentration, relaxation, stamina and co-ordination, without placing undue strain on your joints. Regular pregnancy Pilates sessions are likely to lead to a more comfortable pregnancy, an easier delivery and help promote a speedier recovery after the birth.
Improving your strength and fitness during pregnancy is good for you and good for your baby.
Enjoy the many benefits of pregnancy Pilates
- Pilates helps your balance and posture as your body changes during pregnancy, especially rounded shoulders as your breasts grow heavier and excessive lower back arching as the weight of your baby increases
- Pregnancy Pilates will improve your core strength, especially the muscles around your pelvis and spine, helping you to manage any niggling pregnancy backache and joint pain
- Strengthening your transversus abdominus (your deep abs) makes it easier to cope with the weight of your baby as it grows, reducing the effects of diastasis rectis (muscle separation). Improved core strength will also help during the birth of your baby and promote a speedier recovery after the birth
- Research has shown that the correct activation of your pelvic floor muscles, as taught in your Pilates class, will keep these muscles strong and supple for the birthing process and help avoid stress incontinence
- Many Pilates exercises are performed on your hands and knees, taking the strain off your back and pelvis – in later stages this can encourage your baby into the right position
- Circulation is improved with the whole body movements of pregnancy Pilates,alleviating swollen ankles and other circulation issues in pregnancy
- The hormone relaxin, released during pregnancy loosens the ligaments and can cause pelvic girdle and hip pain. The stretching and toning exercises of Pilates will improve the flexibility of your whole spine, within a safe range of motion as well as strengthening the muscles to support the lumbar spine and pelvic area
- Lateral breathing is key to Pilates fitness, improving the mobility of your rib cage and making breathing easier, especially in the third trimester when movement of your diaphragm is restricted as your baby gets bigger.
- Learning breathing and relaxation techniques will also benefit you during the birth of your baby
There is no reason not to continue modified pregnancy Pilates in a specialist class right up until baby arrives but choose a certified Pregnancy Pilates instructor and make sure he or she is aware of your due date and the stage of your pregnancy. Mat work and machine work are both suitable during pregnancy, as long as modifications are made – remember, each pregnancy is individual!
Remember: Discuss any concerns you may have about your health, fitness and safe exercise during pregnancy with your midwife or doctor.