Megan’s blog post about her experience with Pilates before, during and after both of her pregnancies was so inspiring! I had a similar experience with my first pregnancy in 2013. Pilates helped me get through an amazing time of change in my body and I was able to continue practicing Pilates until a few weeks before having my son.
I am now halfway into my second pregnancy and am so happy to be able to continue my Pilates practice.
Here are a few reasons why I LOVE Pilates during pregnancy:
- there are so many ways to SAFELY work and feel my abdominal muscles
- being able to use the equipment to do things I might not be able to do otherwise
- feeling strong and capable in my body during a time when I often feel out of control of the changes in my body
- the variety of exercises and modifications that can be done
Although there are many things I am not able to do anymore (and that number will continue to grow as the months progress!), there are still so many things I CAN do. I thought I would share a few of them with you!
This is not a “how to” video series, but more of a glimpse into what one could do during pregnancy. Always listen to your body when doing any exercise program, especially during pregnancy! If you have any questions about whether Pilates is right for you, please consult your trusted healthcare practitioner.
This first series of videos was taken when I was 17 weeks pregnant. At this point I was starting to “show”, had gained a bit of “preparing for baby” weight, but was able to still do much of my regular activity.
Click on the red links to view the videos and use the “back” button on your browser to return to the post.
The first exercise is a modification on The Hundreds. There are several ways to do this classical Pilates exercise on the mat and equipment.
The Single Leg Circle- Mat and Single Leg Circle- Leg Springs are variations on the classical mat exercise. The support from the springs is really helpful in releasing the hip flexors and allowing for more freedom of movement in the hips and spine.
Since I have stopped doing the upper ab curl, I now do the Ab Series on the Barrel. By having my hips on the small barrel I am able to work my deeper core muscles without straining the more superficial rectus abdominus (RA). The RA is the muscle that is prone to separation during pregnancy (called diastasis recti), therefore I am careful to avoid any exercises that might contribute to strain on this muscle and its fascia.
Spine Stretch and Saw are both exercises that feel GREAT anytime, but especially during pregnancy. I modified Spine Stretch to add some extension for the spine. I also modified Saw by limiting the amount of lower trunk rotation.
Hip strength is SO important anytime, but especially during pregnancy. The Side Kicks- Mat and Side Leg Springs are a great way to maintain and build hip strength.
An obvious limitation that can begin anytime in the second trimester is the inability to lie on your stomach! The timing of when this position starts to feel uncomfortable varies from person to person. Listen to your body and do what feels right for you! I was feeling fine being on my belly at 17 weeks, so I continued to do Swan- Mat and Push Thru Bar.
The final series is not from the classical Pilates method, but is often included and feels GREAT! Cat/Cow and Planks stretch the spine and build core strength.
See you again in a few weeks!