Pilates is a low-impact exercise created by Joseph Pilates during the First World War. It aims to improve posture while strengthening and toning muscles without using weights by combining force and flexibility with breathing and relaxation.
This type of exercise can be done on special machines or on the floor. It consists of doing few repetitions and concentrating on the movement of abdomen and pelvic muscles which are known in pilates as your “center.”
Pilates during pregnancy
During pregnancy the abdomen and pelvic muscles stretch and may weaken. This increases a woman’s risk of suffering from urinary incontinence. Pilates exercises are very useful because they focus on working the abdominal and pelvic muscles.
In addition, most of the exercises are done lying down or on your hands and legs. These positions are ideal for alleviating back pains. At the same time, you are working your legs which can help improve circulation and reduce leg pains.
Before starting your routine
It's important to follow these tips before starting, in order to do your Pilates routine properly:
- Visit your doctor and have him or her examine you and your baby.
- If you experience any type of pain, stop exercising and contact your doctor immediately.
- Before starting your Pilates routine, make sure you can contract your pelvis and hold it for at least 10 seconds (lie on the floor, raise your hips and contract your abdomen and pelvic muscles).
- Place your knees and hands on the floor keeping your back straight. Take a deep breath and when you exhale bring your belly button in and hold this contraction for 10 seconds. Inhale and relax your muscles. If you can easily do this exercise ten times in a row, then you are working your abdominal and pelvic muscles correctly.
- Make sure your trainer knows you're pregnant. He or she will be able to tell you which exercises you can do during pregnancy and if there are any Pilates classes available that are designed specifically for pregnant women.
Keep in mind that it's very important to stay healthy during your pregnancy, and Pilates is an easy way to exercise and feel good without overexerting yourself.
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