Pilates helps you build your core strength, making them a preference among many women during and after pregnancy. Pilates helps tone your back, abdominals, and pelvic floor, preparing you for a comfortable and safe delivery. These qualities make them ideal pregnancy exercises, and especially for new moms who want to get back their shape after childbirth.
A Word of Caution When Doing Pilates During Pregnancy
Although Pilates is low-impact and beneficial throughout the pregnancy journey, it’s essential to take certain precautions for safe exercising. Before trying Pilates, talk to your doctor to determine whether the exercise is safe for you. When exercising, you should avoid stretching too much and over-exerting your body. Control your movements to match your tolerance levels. You can perform any form of Pilates during the initial stages of your pregnancy. However, as you reach the 16th week, avoid any exercise that requires lying on your back.
5 Pilates Pregnancy Exercises
Below are combinations of moves that will help you feel great throughout your pregnancy journey and during labor. They’ll also help you bounce back into shape after pregnancy.
Deep Tummy Strengthening
This exercise helps increase your back support. To perform it, breathe in and out while lying on one side. While in this position, try pulling your tummy towards your spine, while squeezing your pelvic muscles. Remain in this position for about 10 minutes. Relax your belly and repeat the process at least 10 times
Pelvic Floor Muscle
Exercising the pelvic muscle during pregnancy strengthens your pelvic floor and reduces complications during childbirth. To do these exercises, put your legs together and sit on your knees with your butt on your heels. Alternatively, you can lie with your head elevated and bend your knees. Squeeze your muscles as if you’re controlling the urge to urinate. Hold the muscles in that position for 1 minute. Release and repeat 10 times.
This exercise helps strengthen your lower back, abdominal muscles, hips, and buttocks. To perform this exercise, pull your abs while kneeling on a mat with your knees hip-width apart. Lean back with your arms parallel to the floor and breath in while squeezing your butt. Lower your arms as you breathe out. Repeat the process as much as you can.
Upper Back Stretch
This exercise helps improve your posture during pregnancy. Follow these steps to perform the exercise. In an upright position, sit with your legs crossed and hands behind your head. Breathe in slowly. Draw in your tummy when breathing out and extend your back while looking up. Breathe in again and squeeze your shoulders. Restart the process and repeat 5 to 10 times.
This exercise helps improve your balance during pregnancy, strengthen your arms, abs, back, and hips. To perform this exercise, place both hands on the floor while kneeling on the right knee and the left leg stretched. Pull in your abs and ensure your hips are facing upwards. Breathe in while drawing your left hand upwards and face upwards to look at it. Breathe out while lowering the hand and go back to the initial position. Switch to the left side and repeat the process.