Pilates for Pregnancy: 7 Poses You Can Do Throughout Your Pregnancy!
Pilates is the perfect workout for pregnant women. Pilates is a complete workout that concentrates mostly on the Powerhouse region from the base of the buttocks up to the shoulders. This area is where moms need to be the strongest in order to support a growing baby inside of them. Pilates targets the deepest layer of abdominal muscles, tones the pelvic floor muscles, strengthens the buttocks, thighs, back and shoulder girdle as well as helps with flexibility and agility in the limbs and spine. Women who do Pilates have much easier deliveries and also feel a real connection to their core and the amazing life that is inside. I’m still working my Pilates and especially pelvic floor muscles. Being pregnant with twins this time, I know I really need it!
When women practice Pilates during their pregnancy, they bounce back much quicker once they give birth. I know first hand how incredible Pilates has been in my own delivery and recovery. I practiced Pilates on my son’s due date and that evening I went in to labor at 2am. By 853am Timothy was born! When people ask me if they should take childbirth classes, I often say, “You certainly can; but I think yoga and Pilates will help you get through it the most!” The breathing is super helpful during delivery and pregnancy to stay connected to the present and work with the body not against it. Pilates is also what helps mom stay fit throughout the nine months. I lost the baby weight I gained with Timothy in no time at all and started back up with gentle yoga and Pilates pelvic floor work sessions two weeks after giving birth.
Even if you are brand new to Pilates or a pro, these moves will help you strengthen your body from head to toe in order to stay in the best physical and mental spirit for childbirth and all of the phases before and after.
Seated Hundreds—warms up the pelvic floor and abdominals, tones triceps, abs, obliques, back and inner thighs.
Modified Single leg Teaser—great way to strengthen abdominals for support of the child. Tones inner, outer thighs and pelvic floor.
Spine Stretch Forward—wonderful way to lift and tone the pelvic floor again as well as stretch the spine, lower back and shoulders.
Straddle Stretch—inner thigh stretch and hip opener very important for pregnant women.
Side lying leg circles—wonderful way to tone the legs and strengthen the entire body. It’s a great way to feel connection to waist muscles and to really sculpt and tone the buttocks and inner, outer thighs. We need strong legs to support our selves and our babies. Women who do Pilates have less back pain and more lift in their postures.
Side lying leg lifts—another way to tone the legs and feel like we are doing something great for our thighs, backs and buttocks. The side lying leg series is great for pregnant women because they can lie on their sides and not have any discomfort. It also makes us more balanced by working each leg one at a time.
Bird dog—wonderful way to strengthen the core muscles and back muscles. This is done on hands and knees since women can’t lie on their bellies as they get further in to their pregnancy this is a great way to work the back in a safe prone position. It also challenges our balance and builds strength in the buttocks, legs, arms and shoulders.
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Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!