Exercises that include stomach and back might cause injuries or discomfort to your body when you would be looking for prenatal Pilates. Pregnancy Pilates that are not appropriate include:

  • Supine exercises that might affect pregnancy like lying on the back or double leg stretch
  • Exercises that involve face down plank positions or lying on the tummy.
  • Deep stretches like hamstring stretch that is done by lying on the back and getting one leg perpendicular to the body

You could do other exercises but only with the doctor’s approval. Be careful not to hurt yourself when you are doing Pilates.

Precautions to take for an effective Pilates workout

Pilates is considered a safe exercise during pregnancy but if you take a few precautions, it could help you avoid injuries and gain maximum benefits from the workout.Pick an experienced instructor who could assist you with exercise. Get the posture, pelvic floor and abdominal strength assessed to find the right Pilates workout for you

  • Monitor energy levels and do not over-exercise
  • Wear non-restrictive and comfortable clothing
  • Avoid crunches, abdominal curls and overstretching the joints
  • Mind the balance with a growing belly. Avoid getting off the floor quickly.
  • Avoid lying flat or with feet raised over the head during the second half of pregnancy. It could pressurise the blood vessels which could lead to the reduced blood supply to the heart
  • Give attention to gentle contractions, posture and pelvic floor muscles in the later stages of pregnancy
  • Remain hydrated and avoid exercising in humid conditions
  • If you feel any tiredness or discomfort, stop exercising immediately.
  • Do not exercise on an empty stomach or immediately after eating. Exercise for at least one or two hours following your meal

Take a look at some of the areas you could work on with easy and effective Pilates moves.

Abs and Core: Pilates can help pregnant women in building abdominal strength and develop pelvic floor muscles that help in reducing back pain. This could also help in easy delivery and speeds up postpartum.

Arms and Upper body: Upper body workouts are usually safe and it prepares the mothers to be for future carrying and breastfeeding with good posture. Upper body exercises like a salute, arm circles, expansions, bicep curls, rowing, single arm-twist and others are the exercises that help strengthen the arm and shoulder muscles including biceps, deltoids, triceps and rotator cuffs.

Legs and lower body: To strengthen the legs, one could do footwork by lying down supine during the first trimester in particular. The second and third-trimester pregnant women could sit and do footwork with proper support given behind her back with a short box or Swiss ball. The mat exercises could help.in strengthening the leg muscles like quads, hamstrings, internal and external rotators, calf muscles and ankle stabilisers. The workouts could be good for increasing blood circulation which helps in water retention in legs, swellings and soreness.

Glutes and Butts: Lunges aid in strengthening quads, hamstrings and glute muscles apart from working on the abdominals.