What is Pilates?
Pilates is an exercise with controlled movements. It involves a series of positions and movements. Relaxation and deep breathing are important aspects of it. If practiced well, it builds flexibility, strength, and endurance.
The movements in pilates focus on your tummy, back muscles, and pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are key to good posture and strength. Thus, strengthening these muscles is important. Pilates helps you do that through a series of controlled but increasingly challenging movements that don’t strain your body.
How can Pilates help me when I’m pregnant?
Pilates in pregnancy strengthen your tummy, back muscles, and pelvic floor muscles. Hence it’s a great exercise to do when you’re pregnant. Pilates targets and strengthens the exact muscles that can cause problems during pregnancy.
Doing pilates regularly will help you:
- Reduce back pain: You exercise your deepest tummy muscles which stabilize your pelvis and back.
- Strengthen tummy muscles: This lets you cope with your increasing weight.
- Strengthen your pelvic floor: This will support your womb, bladder and bowel as your baby keeps growing and moving down. It also may prevent you from leaking urine when you sneeze or cough.
- Achieve balance: In pregnancy, women often feel their balance isn’t as good as earlier. Pilates will strengthen your core and thus make you more stable.
- Relax: Pilates will help you relax through the deep breathing.
How to do Pilates?
You can follow the steps listed below. Remember to get a go-ahead from your doctor or Yoga practitioner.
- Get down on your hands and knees. Align your hands under shoulders, and your knees under hips. Keep your back flat.
- Breathe in. As you breathe out, squeeze your pelvic floor muscles and pull your belly button up and inside.
- Hold for 8-10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Tips for doing Pilates in pregnancy
- Before starting, make sure to locate your pelvic floor muscles. The more you can contract your pelvic floor, the better a pilates session will be.
- If you are looking to join a pilates class, go with an experienced instructor.
- If you feel pain or discomfort any time, stop doing the exercises. Inform your doctor at once.