Pilates and Pregnancy: Safe Ab Exercises


Pilates is a wonderful form of exercise for pregnant women. Women who perform Pilates exercises can stay strong throughout their pregnancies. This is because Pilates involves a series of exercise that help pregnant women to stay connected with their changing body, reduced pregnancy aches and pain as well as improve posture. Prenatal exercise are every important for every pregnant woman.

However, Pilates prenatal exercise can only be effective if guided by a qualified instructor who understands the anatomical and physiological changes that occurs during pregnancy as well as the birth process. In addition to that, it is also very important that the Pilates instructor to have a clear understanding of how pregnancy affects abdominal.

During the course of pregnancy, the abdominal muscles will stretch by over 50% of their original length. It is therefore very important for pregnant women to strengthen their abdominal muscles to help support their growing uterus, reduce pelvic pressure as well as decrease lumber compression. Studies have shown that women who practice safe abdominal strengthening during pregnancy usually have better mobility, less pelvic pain, less lower back pain, easier deliveries and faster recoveries.

Pregnancy: A Real Ab Stretch

During the course of pregnancy, the abdominal muscles will stretch by over 50 percent of their original length. Strengthening the abdominal muscles is critical during pregnancy to help support the growing uterus, decrease lumbar compression and reduce pelvic pressure. Women who practice safe abdominal strengthening during pregnancy have less low back pain, less pelvic pain, better mobility, easier deliveries and faster recoveries.

During pregnancy, a hormone is present, called relaxin, which helps to increase laxity of all the muscles, joints, ligaments and joint capsules. The purpose of this hormone is to increase mobility of the tissues so that the body is able to accommodate the rapid fetal growth and prepare the body for delivery. The abdominal muscles are most directly affected by the growing fetus and have the ability to stretch significantly as the fetus grows.

Why Pilates abs are important during pregnancy

Abdominal exercises are very important during pregnancy. ab exercises usually incorporates exercises that helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles during pregnancy. What makes Pilates ab exercises crucial during pregnancy is because it not only focus on the abdomens but focuses on the core which includes the pelvic floor, back hip, gluts thus enabling pregnant women to have strong muscles which is critical during pregnancy. By strengthening the core, Pilates exercises helps to also strengthen other accessory muscles that affects the stability of the entire body

Safe ab exercises that should be included in every pregnant woman’s exercise program.

  1. Seated transverses contraction

This type of exercise is helpful when it comes to stabilizing pelvis and spine, immunizing diastasis and maintaining abdominal tone during pregnancy. Seated transverses is every easy to do; all that you need to do is to seat with your body centered over the pelvis and the shoulders over the pelvis. You then needs to pull your belly button near the spine without allowing the rib cage to shear forward.

  1. Quadruped

This is type of ab is very important to pregnant women because it helps to take take-off weight from the pelvic floor as well as help to increase perineum circulation.

Pilates and weight gain during pregnancy

Weight gain during pregnancy is inevitable. Just like any other weight gain, weight gained during pregnancy usually put stress on a woman’s joints especially the hips and the knees. Excess weight gain during pregnancy is very dangerous and can weaken the muscles of the pregnant mother. Pilates abs workout helps pregnant women to maintain their weight during pregnancy by ensuring that they burn more calories produced in the body.

Pilates also helps to strengthen muscles, support stressed joints as well as ensures that they have proper alignment which is crucial during pregnancy.Weight gain and changes in center of balance during pregnancy can also affect balance and coordination. Pilates exercises are designed to help pregnant women to adapt naturally to these changes. It ensures that every prenatal exercise conducted is done safely.

Pilates exercises to avoid during pregnancy

Pilates exercise are effective and beneficial to pregnant women, however, not all Pilates exercises are appropriate during pregnancy. Some of these exercises include:

  1. Supine exercises

The rectus abdominus also known as the six-pack tends to separate during pregnancy, it is crucial to prevent further damage to this part of their abdomen. You should avoid any form of Pilates exercises that contracts the rectus abdominus.

  1. Lying facing down

Some Pilates exercises will require you to lie down with your stomach. Such exercises should be avoided because lying on stomach during pregnancy is not an optimal position. This includes exercise which requires you to lie down on your stomach and extend your arms and legs.

  1. Deep stretching

Gentle stretching is recommend for pregnant women because its helps them to relax. However, deep stretching is not recommended because it may cause injuries. Deep stretching exercises such as Pilates hamstring stretch should be avoided at all cost.

In conclusion, a Pilates prenatal exerciseis a very important to pregnant women because it helps to strengthen their muscles, joints, as well as improve posture and flexibility. However some can be dangerous especially during the second and third trimester. You should therefore be very careful when incorporating these exercises.

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