Pilates is a great low impact exercise that helps to improve your flexibility, strength, balance and allows you to relax all in one class. Prenatal Pilates is designed and taught so that exercises are carefully chosen to keep mum and baby safe while still receiving all the benefits of Pilates.
We have different precautions to think of in the first half and second half of pregnancy so you may find that you are doing slightly different exercises to your neighbour on the mat next to you, but both of you are working towards the same exercise goal. Due to this class tailoring, class numbers are kept low so that you get as much hands-on instruction as possible (At The Bodyworks Clinic, our maximum is 8 per class)
As well as keeping the hips loose for movement and childbirth, Prenatal Pilates helps keep posture muscles strong and maintains core strength. You benefit from increased arm and leg strength too – preparation for car seat carrying and baby bouncing for hours (I’ve been there too).
There are some differences to the structure of a prenatal class compared to a non-prenatal class:
- We have more breaks and transitional moves in class so that you don’t overheat or overwork
- We modify some of the moves to make them smaller as your pregnancy progresses
- We skip abdominal work in favour of core work
- We have a shorter class than normal (45mins instead of 1hr) to allow you to rest and relax at the end with the option of a drink with biscuits!
- We tend to stay away from moves lying on your back to avoid compression of blood vessels
- You will have your blood pressure checked at every class (It’s a great indicator of how you and baby are doing so I can see if you need modifications in class that day)
So, I know why you should do Prenatal Pilates, but do you? Let me run through some key benefits:
- As I said earlier, Pilates helps to keep us flexible. The joint mobilisation work we do in every class keeps the main joints moving well. This is especially helpful during pregnancy because the extra weight of bump can stiffen up some of them as they try to work under the growing weight of baby
- Pilates allows us to work our body in isolation and as a whole. Strengthening our little stabilising muscles (like in our back and around our hips) keeps us mobile, helps to fend off injury and prevents your body from caving under the weight of baby bump. Working the bigger, more powerful muscles makes moving around and labour easier to deal with
- Post- natal recovery is shorter than if you didn’t exercise and you will feel better because you have looked after yourself throughout pregnancy. It makes all the difference!
- Relaxation is always something that comes up in my Pilates classes. The participants love the gentle music in the background, the fluidity of the moves and the gentle pace while reaping the benefits above. They leave the class feeling destressed, relaxed and rebalanced
Plus, it isn’t just you who gets to benefit from all of this lovely Pilates….. baby enjoys it too!
Next block will be starting Friday 1st March at 12noon.
If you would like more information on our Prenatal Pilates classes or would like to book on to the next block, please call us in clinic on 0191 9082376
Written by Kirsty Ritzema