Pregnancy Pilates

  • Pregnancy Pilates tips

    Safe pregnancy Pilates exercises

    Tips for enjoying pregnancy Pilates safely! Practicing Pilates at home or at a class is a great addition to your pregnancy exercise plans but keep these tips in mind!

    Pregnancy Pilates standing pose

    If you haven’t tried Pilates before there’s no reason not to start –  although if you’re new to pregnancy Pilates you may prefer to wait until your second trimester.  If you already practice Pilates regularly you can continue throughout your pregnancy – there are so  many benefits!

    Check these Pregnancy Pilates do’s and don’ts

    • DO join a pregnancy Pilates class: it will help ensure you perform the exercise correctly and it’s a good way to meet other Mammas-to-be too

    Pregnancy Pilates ball exercises

    • If you want to continue your pregnancy Pilates exercise sessions at home DO make sure you have a non-slip mat, a folded towel or small pillow.  A fitball and flexi stretch band would both  be useful too!
    • DON’T exercise if you are feeling unwell  or in pain –  if you’re simply feeling tired, exercise can make you feel more energetic but listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard
    • DO stay hydrated!  Keep a water bottle handy during your pregnancy Pilates session
    • DON’T lie on your back after 12 weeks.  The increased weight of your baby and your uterus may compress the inferior vena cava which affects the flow of blood to your heart
    • DON’T lie on your stomach after the first trimester – or earlier if you feel uncomfortable or sensitive
    • DO remember adaptations can always be made to every exercise, so speak to your Pilates instructor for advice
    • DO wear comfortable supportive clothing for your pregnancy Pilates class – we recommend the FittaMamma Pregnancy Workout Top teamed with FittaMamma leggings (the three-quarter Capris, full  length maternity leggings or supportive Maternity Yoga Pants
    • DON’T continue to exercise if you have a headache, feel dizzy, are struggling for breath or if you experience any severe pains in your legs, lower back or abdomen. And stop if you experience bleeding or leaking a amniotic fluid.  DO check the FittaMamma information about safe exercise in pregnancy
    • If you don’t attend a dedicated pregnancy Pilates class,  DO tell your Pilates instructor that you’re a Mamma-to-be  and ensure they have a pregnancy Pilates qualification
    • DON’T exercise on an empty stomach – DO have a light snack before you exercise (not a heavy meal!) Take something to eat after your pregnancy Pilates class – a banana, granola bar, nuts or FittaMamma energy balls
    • DO try and use your pregnancy Pilates sessions as a time for mindfulness and relaxation
    • DO discuss your intention to enjoy pregnancy Pilates with your midwife or doctor, especially if you have any concerns about your pregnancy

     

     

    Pregnancy Pilates: what to wear

    Rock your class in specialist maternity exercise clothes designed for pregnancy Pilates 👌

  • Pelvic floor exercise pregnancy

    Posture in pregnancy Pilates exercises

    Posture is so important in pregnancy Pilates and during any pregnancy exercise! Read on for posture tips for pregnancy Pilates and any other workout

    pregnancy pilates posture

    Good posture is so important during pregnancy!

    As your baby develops and your breasts grow larger during pregnancy your centre of gravity shifts. The natural tendency is often to let the pelvis tilt forward, curving the spine and putting additional strain on the lower back and abdominal muscles.In addition, the release of the pregnancy hormonerelaxin softens your ligaments and can exacerbate the pain and discomfort in your joints.

    Effective pregnancy Pilates exercises will encourage you to stand tall and maintain a good posture when you’re standing, sitting or walking every day or when you’re enjoying any other form of exercise during pregnancy.

    Check your posture:

    1. Stand with your feet and legs directly under your hips, legs and feet parallel, knees and toes pointing forward
    2. Balance your weight by rocking gently backwards and forward on your feet until your weight is evenly balanced over the middle of your feet
    3. Distribute your weight evenly over both feet, lengthening your waist on both sides
    4. Lightly pull your core abdominal muscles inwards and upwards, engaging your pelvic floor muscles as well
    5. Try and keep your spine and pelvis neutral without either pulling your pelvis in too far or letting it fall forward so your lower back doesn’t curve excessively
    6. Relax your chest, ensuring it’s neither pulled in or thrust out, at the same time relaxing your shoulders
    7. Your head and neck should feel completely supported with your gaze straight ahead, your throat open, jaw muscles and face relaxed

    Try not to stand still for more than a few minutes at a time – keep moving!

    Sitting during pregnancy:

    • Aim to keep your spine in a natural ‘S’ curve – avoiding slumping into a ‘C’ curve!
    • Keep your feet firmly planted on the floor, hip-width apart for optimum stability, thighs parallel to the floor.
    • Make sure your weight is evenly distributed between your sitting bones without leaning to one side
    • If your chair is too high put something under your feet – too low and you’re increasing the pressure on your lower back.
    • Make sure there’s a gap between the seat edge and the back of your knees to allow your blood to circulate freely – but don’t perch on the edge of your chair
    • Keep those thighs, shoulders and your neck relaxed
    • If you’re sitting at a desk adjust your screen so you don’t have to tip your head up or back to see the screen and try and keep your forearms parallel to the desk so you don’t have to lift your shoulders whilst using your keyboard

    Careful lifting during pregnancy

    • If you’re carrying bags, make sure you divide the load so you carry an even amount in each hand
    • If you have to pick something up (bear this one in mind if you have a toddler!), stand feet either side with one foot slightly in front of the other. Squat down with your back long and supported by your core and lift close to your body, ideally with one hand underneath and the other supporting the top (or your toddlers back!).
    • Try not to lift and twist at the same time.
    • If you have a really heavy load to carry – ask someone else to help!

    A simple check to improve your posture 

    Standing with your back against a wall and your feet about 30cms in front, hip distance apart, can help you develop awareness of your posture during pregnancy.  Does your spine curve forward leaving a gap between the wall and your waist?  Do your shoulder blades rest gently against the wall or are they hunched forward?  Is your head touching the wall or balancing freely on the top of your spine? For more exercises try these Pregnancy Pilates Standing exercises.

    Pregnancy Pilates: what to wear

    Rock your class in specialist maternity exercise clothes designed for pregnancy Pilates 👌

  • Core exercises in pregnancy

    Pilates for a fit pregnancy

    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.

    Pregnancy Pilates for a fit pregnancy

    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.

    Pregnancy Pilates: what to wear

    Rock your class in specialist maternity exercise clothes designed for pregnancy Pilates 👌

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