Pilates is a set of exercises which can help in strength training, increasing flexibility and improving posture. Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates. These exercises are very basic and easy and can prove to be very helpful for an expecting pregnant mother. It is safe to do pilates, but only if your doctor approves it. Pilates may be simple but you must not overexert your body as it can cause injuries as well, because certain hormones make women's ligament become more flexible making it more prone. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Fitness and Pilates Expert Vesna Jacob to know about prenatal pilates.
Prenatal pilates importance
Prenatal pilates can be very helpful for a pregnant women. It strengthens the pelvic muscles and can help you get some relief from backache due to increasing weight of the baby. It can help you with weight management throughout your pregnancy. It also helps to treat sore legs and fluid retention in the body. Right exercises can also help you with positioning the baby in the right direction for normal deliveries. According to fitness and Pilates Expert Vesna, prenatal pilates is important as it can be beneficial for both mother and the baby.
Prenatal pilates exercises
Most of the exercises can be performed in all three trimesters but you must consult your doctor for the right exercises because everyone has a different body and different health complication. As per pilates expert Vesna, here are few pilates exercises that can be done during pregnancy:
1. Pelvic bridge
You need to lie on your back with bent knees and lift your back up and hold the position for a few seconds. This exercise focuses on strengthening your pelvic and glute muscles and improving your hip balance. It puts a lot of strain on pelvic muscle
2. Clam shell
You need to lie back on a mat on one side and with your knees bent in foetal position. Then, open your knees and hold for 5-10 seconds and bring it down. This exercise focuses on the muscles of thigh and love handles. It helps to strengthen your legs so that it can carry the increasing weight of the baby.
3. Seated hundred
In this exercise, you need to lie down and lift your legs and neck simultaneously and stretch your hands in the direction of your legs. You need to hold this position for a few seconds and then come back to rest. You must not over exert and lift the legs as much as you can easily. This exercise helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles that holds the baby and reduces back strain.
In this particular exercise, you need to sit with your back straight and both your knees pointing towards the same side. Then, raise your hands up and bend your body in the opposite direction as much as you can comfortably do and then interchange the sides. This exercise helps in improving flexibility and side abdominal muscles.
5. Cat and dog stretch
You need to stand on both your palms and knees, and then strech you spine outwards and then inwards. You should hold both the positions for a few seconds. Cat and dog strech can be ideal for those dealing with back pain. It dislocates the baby's weight from lower back for some time relieving the mother. It also helps in improving posture and flexibility.
Pilates can not only improve your physical health, but it also helps you in relieving stress. It helps to gain control over breathing if we do these exercises carefully as guided by the experts.
Pilates is completely safe until 16 weeks of pregnancy, after which you should be cautious and must not lay extra pressure on yourself. Exercises that ask you to lie down on your back can cause more strain than other exercises. Most movements in pilates are gentle but anything in excess is never good for you. The right exercises at the right time can definitely help you through your pregnancy.
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Main Image credits: Babycenter.ca