Pilates exercises bring benefits such as improving body awareness, strengthening muscles, and helping to prevent and combat urinary incontinence, which is common in late pregnancy. In addition, these exercises increase the amount of oxygen that reaches the baby and help to make him more calm and peaceful.
These exercises can start from the second trimester of gestation, however, care must be taken when performing the exercises because some may cause imbalance, favoring a fall or increasing intra-abdominal pressure. Those who are not in the habit of practicing Pilates should prefer Pilates Matwork because they are simpler and controlled exercises, performed on the ground with the aid of balls or rubber bands.
Find out when Pilates should not be practiced in pregnancy by clicking here .
1. Contraction of the perineum
Lying on your back, with arms around your body or gently positioned on your belly and legs flexed or on top of a Pilates ball, keep the position neutral, leaving room for a pea on the bottom of your back and shoulder blades well positioned on the floor, with the shoulders away from the ears and imagining that there are 2 headlights on your hips, which need to remain pointed upwards.
From that position you should inhale and when you release the air, contract the pelvic floor muscles, as if you want to suck a pea with your vagina. This contraction must be maintained while breathing in and out slowly. Do this contraction 10 times in a row, maintaining breathing and the correct position.
2. Straight leg elevation
Lying on your back, bend one leg and raise the other while stretched. Do 5 lifts with each leg while contracting your pelvic muscles, making slow, well-controlled movements, without lifting your hips off the floor at any time.
Lying on your back, lift your hips off the floor, as shown in the image. Do 5 lifts while contracting your pelvic muscles.
4. Creepy cat
In the position of four supports, try to rest your chin on your chest while bringing your hips forward and stretching your back, as shown in the image. Do 5 repetitions while contracting your pelvic muscles.
5. Sun salutation
Get on your knees and then sit on your heels, stretch your arms forward and tilt your body, as shown in the image, until you feel the stretch in your back muscles. Stay in this position for at least 20 seconds.
6. Leg stretching
Stay in the position that shows the image for at least 20 seconds. Do the same exercise with both legs.
Especially during pregnancy, Pilates exercises must be performed with maximum concentration, slowness and precision of movements. Contracting the pelvic floor muscles while performing the exercises is essential because they improve blood supply and improve tone, fighting urine loss.
Does Pilates help you lose weight?
Pilates in pregnancy does not have a high caloric expenditure and therefore the pregnant woman should not lose too much weight with it, but it can help to maintain good physical shape and prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Some examples of Pilates exercises that can be performed during pregnancy are:
Pilates exercises in pregnancy can be guided by a physical therapist or physical education professional as long as both are Pilates instructors.