What is Prenatal Pilates?
Prenatal Pilates is a series of Pilates exercises specially designed for mums-to-be in their 2nd or 3rd trimester, and are beneficial in preparing the body for birth by strengthening the tummy, back and pelvic floor muscles without straining other joints. During pregnancy, your body undergoes many physical, postural and hormonal changes as your body prepares itself for labor – Pilates targets the exact muscles and functions that can be a problem during pregnancy and after birth, in a completely safe way. Here are some ways that Prenatal Pilates can benefit expecting mothers:
1. Strengthens Your Back, Abdominal and Pelvic Floor muscles
(Source: Backache During Pregnancy)
Having weak back muscles reduces the ability to support the extra weight from the baby. This may worsen your posture (such as rounding of the shoulders and the back in order to accommodate to the added weight) and lead to unnecessary loading onto the joints and back, resulting in joint problems and back pains.
As your baby grows bigger, your abdominal muscles are increasingly stretched – a lack of support due to weak abdominal muscles may cause your back and pelvis to be strained. Weakened pelvic floor muscles may become less supportive to your uterus, which may shift lower into your pelvis under your baby’s weight. Pilates helps to relieve this problem as the exercises focuses on core strengthening and muscular endurance, which relieves the strain off your back and pelvis. Many Pilates exercises are performed on your hands and knees, which is an ideal position for pregnancy. Pilates can also help to ensure a smoother delivery by getting your baby into the right position for birth.
2. Enhances Mood and Relieves Stress
Breathing techniques in Pilates is an important aspect in facilitating core engagement and mind-body focus. Proper and regular breathing techniques help to release the daily stress of motherhood, and can also be employed effectively during labor.
3. Decreases Risk of Injury
During pregnancy, your ligaments are likely to stretch more than usual due to hormonal changes, which make your ligaments more pliable. Overloading these ligaments will result in injury. Pilates can help to decrease the risk of injury by the following methods:
(1) Improves Balance & Posture
Changes in balance and posture during pregnancy will make your movements seem clumsier. Pilates helps to stabilize the body by improving body awareness and balance, helping you to walk without swaying from side to side so much as your bump grows.
(Source: Core Matrix)
(2) Experienced & Qualified Instructors
Our qualified instructors are trained to design a safe & effective routine for moms-to-be: exercises such as those that involve lying flat on your back are avoided, and instructors will ensure that participants do not over-stretch during the exercises. Be assured, you’re in safe and trusty hands!
(3) Muscle Strengthening & Endurance
Pilates exercises strengthens both the strong and weak muscles of the body through full-body core and endurance exercises. This prevents muscle imbalances, and improves control and flexibility of the muscles.
(4) Low-Impact Exercises on the Reformer Machine
The reformer machine maintains low-impact to the joints and allows a full but controlled range of motion while keeping the arms and legs grounded for a safe and effective workout.
(5) Speeds Up Post-natal Recovery & Weight Loss After Birth
Prenatal Pilates improves both physical and mental fitness, which helps mothers to have a faster recovery after childbirth, allowing them to get back in shape in a shorter amount of time.
In a nutshell…
Prenatal Pilates is a safe, effective and low-impact exercise that gives high-impact results that will benefit you in the long run. Look out for our Prenatal Pilates reformer classes launching in mid-October! Feel free to contact us or leave a comment below if you’d like to find out more! 🙂