Pilates is an exercise that focuses on breathing and controlled body movements. It promotes relaxation and strengthens your transverses abdominous muscle (the deepest muscle of the abdomen). This is not a strenuous form of exercise and can be done easily at home. You might need to hire an instructor if you are not familiar with its techniques.
Benefits of Pilates in Pregnancy
Pilates can help a woman all through pregnancy and after childbirth. This movement therapy is easy to perform and has no health risks. It can help you to recover your body shape after birth and includes assistive breathing and body alignment. Some of the benefits are discussed below:
1. Strengthening the abdominal and pelvic cavity
As it has been established that Pilates strengthen abdominal muscles, it balances the weakness that develops due to lax ligaments. During pregnancy, a hormone is released called ‘relaxin’ which causes relaxation of various ligaments in the body rendering the abdominal and pelvic cavity weak. Pilates can help you fill this gap.
2. Avoiding backache
Pain in the back is a very common complaint of pregnant women. This is due to weight gain and increase in the size of the abdomen that shifts body’s center of gravity. Strengthening abdominal and vertebral muscles can help with this problem. This also helps in quick and safe delivery. Furthermore, Pilates makes the muscles of your pelvic cavity stronger which helps against incontinence (inability to control urination) during and after pregnancy.
What sorts of exercises does Pilates include?
Pilates is basically a stretching exercise that increases the tone and strength of your muscles. It can be done by people of all ages. It is safe in pregnancy as it does not put undue stress on the body. It increases your stamina and prepares you for childbirth. Pilates has its special apparatuses but simple items like cushions, etc. can also be used. Pregnant women can perform these exercises either sitting straight or lying down on either side. For pregnant mothers, these are simple leg raising and pushing exercises. It is important that you hire a certified Pilates instructor who specializes in training of pregnant women if you know nothing about Pilates.