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5 Pilates Moves to Keep You Strong Throughout Pregnancy


Photo Credit: @babba

Prenatal pilates is an incredible way to stay connected to your body and maintain strength throughout all stages of pregnancy. It teaches you how to connect to your breath, how to activate your pelvic floor, and how to practice low impact strengthening movements that can benefit you throughout your pregnancy and into your postpartum period. Here are a few exercises and stretches that are safe to practice throughout your pregnancy that will continue to give your body the
support and movement that it needs.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

This simple yet important exercise will allow you to connect to your breath and your pelvic floor, which plays an important role during labor and delivery.

  • Take a seat on a soft pillow with legs crossed or a seat on a medium-sized medicine ball with your feet wide.
  • Place your hands wrapped around your ribcage and sit tall through your spine.
  • Take a large, slow inhale as you breath into your ribcage, expanding laterally and into your hands. Feel your pelvic floor and glutes drop down into the pillow or ball.
  • Exhale slowly and deeply, feeling your ribs draw in towards one another while lifting your pelvic floor up off the pillow or ball.
  • Repeat eight times through.

Mermaid Stretch

This stretch will allow length in your waist and relief for low back pain.

  • Take a seat with your right leg bent and placed in front of your body. Your left leg will be bent and wrapped behind you.
  • Place your right palm on the floor next to your hip or leg, and reach the left arm overhead to the right.
  • Gently lean to the right as you reach your arm up and over, breathing into the stretch.
  • Hold for five seconds, then release. Repeat three times on each side.

Clam Shells

Maintaining your glute strength during pregnancy will keep your hips stable and pelvis strong.

  • Lying on your side, bend your knees and bring your feet forward in line with your knees.
  • Glue your feet together, then lift your feet off of the mat.
  • Keeping your hips still, begin to open and close the top knee.
  • Repeat ten times then hold your knee at the top of your clam shell.
  • Pulse ten times then release. Repeat series five times through on each side.
  • Keep your movements slow, controlled, and compact to isolate the glute while maintaining your form.

Bird/Dog

This classic exercise on all fours will allow you to activate your core while practicing balance and control.

  • Come onto your hands and knees, with your hands shoulder width apart and your knees hips width apart.
  • Lengthen your right leg behind you and reach your left arm in front of you as you inhale.
  • Draw the knee and elbow in towards one another, trying to connect underneath your torso as you exhale. Focus on hugging your baby upwards towards your spine to make room for your elbow and knee to connect.
  • Repeat eight times on each side.

Bridges

Activating your hamstrings during pregnancy is key for overall pelvic and glute strength. As you enter the second and third trimester, lay your upper body on a
medicine ball instead of laying flat on the floor.

  • Bring feet parallel, hips width apart and flat on the floor with bent knees.
  • Place your arms down by your sides and press palms into the floor.
  • Take a gentle inhale through your nose, then exhale as you begin rolling your hips towards the ceiling. Keep your ribs closed and hovering over the mat to ensure you aren’t leaning into your upper back.
  • Inhale at the top of your bridge, then exhale as you slowly roll down through your spine. As you roll down, focus on articulating through your spine and placing one vertebrae down on the mat at a time.
  • Repeat ten times, then hold bridge. Pulse the hips ten times slowly, then release all the way down.
Remember to consult with your doctor prior to beginning any new exercises or movements to ensure they are safe for you and your pregnancy. Also, when transitioning into your second trimester and beyond, it is not recommended to lay flat on your back for long periods of time and while practicing exercise. Please lay on a medicine ball for bridges and modify exercises for safety.

Support your new fitness routine with targeted prenatal vitamins for each trimester of pregnancy and into motherhood. We want to hear how you're feeling in your pregnancy! Join the Perelel community on social to share.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Perelel.