When you’re pregnant you are naturally more self-aware and careful about which activities you participate in. But did you know that with a few pregnancy Pilates modifications and tips you can keep practicing Pilates right until the end of the third trimester? Today we cover five pregnancy Pilates modifications and benefits you need to know before you get back to the mat.
- Make Your Pregnancy Easier – When practiced correctly on a regular basis, Pilates is one of the best exercises you can choose while waiting for your newest addition to arrive. Beyond boosting your mood and energy levels, the focus on lengthening and strengthening muscles can improve your posture, reduce back pain, and assist with labor and delivery.
- Breath Goes A Long Way – Pilates focuses on correct lateral breath, which helps you learn to breathe more effectively the more pregnant you become. As the baby grows and your uterus expands, your diaphragm (responsible for deep breaths) is slowly restricted.Pilates can help counter this restricted function of the diaphragm. To keep breathing properly, sit on a stability ball with your hands on your lower ribs, fingertips touching each other. Breath deeply into your lower back by using your lower belly. Your fingertips should separate on the inhale and reconnect on the exhale, activating your transverse abdominal muscles, helping you breathe correctly and safely throughout your pregnancy and Pilates sessions.
- Strengthen Your Body – As you approach your due date, your body needs to be in prime condition. Help build transverse abdominal strength and support your pelvic floor for delivery day. For the transverse abdominals, Pilates strengthens core muscles to prevent diastis recti, which happens when the upper abs begin to separate.Your pelvic floor also needs to be exceptionally strong to support your organs as your uterus grows. It can also assist with recovery and incontinence prevention.
- Watch Your Back – One of the most important pregnancy Pilates modifications is to avoid exercising on your back once you’ve crossed into your second trimester. The weight of your uterus can exert pressure on the vena cava, which is the main vein responsible for carrying blood from your lower body to your heart. If you compress that vein, you may interfere with your and your baby’s circulation.
- Exercises to Avoid – After being aware of the benefits and precautions involved with practicing Pilates while pregnant, there are a few exercises you’ll certainly want to avoid after the first trimester. This “to avoid” list includes exercises that require you to crunch or compress your abdominal cavity; instead, consider stabilizing the abdominal muscles.
- Pilates Roll-Up
- Pilates Plank
At Core Fusion, you’ll find that it is simple to make these pregnancy Pilates modifications to keep working out until your due date. Make sure you tell your instructor that you’re pregnant so we can modify any class or exercise to make it safe and effective for you. For more information on our prenatal exercises and other classes, visit our website today.