“A match made in heaven”– Anonymous
“The ultimate dream team”– Also Anonymous
“It’s alright, I guess”– Anonymous Pregnant Lady
These many famous things have been said about the relationship enjoyed by pregnancy and Pilates, and all of them are made up. They are very well suited, though, with Pilates helping to prevent and treat many of the complications that pregnancy can throw in the faces of the women going through it.
Some exercises are prohibited for safety reasons depending on where you are in your pregnancy journey, so it’s really important that you do get yourself checked out and advised before jumping willy- silly into a Pilates class.Lower Back Pain & Sciatica
So you’re having a baby. You’ve got a heck of an additional weight sat inside your stomach that your spine and lower back muscles are now needing to try and support, on top of all of their usual duties and responsibilities. Naturally then, it’s pretty common for women around the world to suffer from a bad back during this quite amazing time of anyone’s life.
Either you can try and strengthen your muscles to help support your back whilst it tries to tackle this new burden, or you can leave your muscles as they were, and ask them to cope with a tougher job that they’re trained for. Sounds like a no brainer really, doesn’t it?
As we’ve already discussed in our previous posts, Pilates is a great choice for those looking for a way to help stabilise and strengthen their bodies, and also for relieving back pain and stress. The same can be said for women suffering from back and/or leg pain after they’ve given birth. Ligaments become weaker, muscles switch off, and back pain is equally common after pregnancy as it is during. Luckily for you, Pilates is here to offer a helping hand in getting your body back to being fighting fit.
Pelvic Pain, Pelvic Floor Weakness & Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction
As above, having a mini human in your stomach does have its problems, unfortunately. Your bump pushes against the joints, muscles and ligaments of your pelvis, which can cause joint instability and muscle weakness, which can both then lead to pain.
Again, as discussed above, Pilates is a great way of tackling these problems, to either help prevent these complications from happening in the first place, or to help you feel better if you are already suffering from them.So what are the Best Exercises?
Weakness, instability and pain, are some of the more common pregnancy related problems that Pilates can help deal with. We’ve already covered our top 5 exercises for each of these, so pulling them all together and then picking a top 5 will be tricky, but we’ll give it a go. Before we do, it’s worth just repeating that if you are currently pregnant or have recently given birth, please do see a trained professional before taking part in Pilates. Read on.
- One Leg Stretch
Helping to tackle both pain and rotational instability, this exercise is a great choice for preventing and treating pregnancy-related problems. All Pilates exercises are easily adjustable to suit individual’s needs, so do let your instructor know if you’re ever in any discomfort, and we can change things around for you to help you feel more at ease.
As with the one leg stretch, the scissors exercise is great for helping to prevent and relieve pain, and it also helps to strengthen the connection between the muscles at the side of your stomach and on the inside of your opposite leg.
- Shoulder Bridge
A repeat offender on our “best of” lists, with the shoulder bridge’s usefulness with strengthening and stabilising the pelvic region, it was a no-brainer to include this on our list.
- Roll Up
Specifically speaking, this is a great choice for post- natal ladies wanting to re-strengthen their stomach muscles, which will then help to support your whole body with everyday tasks and activities.
- Side Kick
The side kick is a great choice for stabilising and strengthening your pelvic region, and specifically speaking, it’s a great choice for gluteal training during pregnancy.
One thing to not forget is that with all Pilates exercises, one of the biggest benefits is the overall sense of relaxation and well- being it brings. Despite pregnancy and childbirth being truly magical times in anyone’s lives, I think we’d all be lying if we said that there wasn’t a fair deal of stress and worry to accompany it, so anything which helps promote relaxation and peace of mind is really valuable during this hectic time.