Prenatal Pilates | Amber’s Tips on Staying Fit & Healthy

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One of the biggest questions we get when our clients become pregnant is Can I workout? & What can’t I do? It’s amazing & crazy the changes that a women experiences during this time and the good news is YES you can still workout. Prenatal exercise can actually make you more comfortable during this time. Although every single woman is different.

I’ve been extremely active my whole life but during my pregnancy I physically did not have the stamina to workout. I always tell my clients the most important thing is listen to your body. At HIP Studio we have had several women workout their whole entire pregnancies. Women who put me to shame with their consistent dedication to fitness. The rule of thumb is that if you are active when you get pregnant, there is no reason you can’t continue to be active.

Prenatal Pilates is one of the best ways to prepare your body for the birthing process. It is important to condition the abdominals and pelvic floor muscles, helping to maintain strength and endurance needed during labor. Awareness of breath and the mind-body connection as a means of relaxation and focus are huge benefits during labor. When those contraction are intensely repeating one right after the next, and you want to kill your husband, my years of practicing Pilates gave me an immense sense of relief. Even if it was just for a brief moment!! Some of my biggest advice for women who are thinking of getting pregnant is prep your body. I physically conditioned my body before pregnancy and I believe this strength and endurance of years of working out and HIP classes gave me what I needed for a successful labor.

If you have been working out with us you can pretty much do everything you were doing before you got pregnant, if you are cleared by your doctor. Experts say that once you reach the mid-point of your pregnancy (20 weeks), you need to start making modifications. Exercises in supine positions for an extended period of time should be avoided, traditional abdominal exercises like forward flexion should be modified and we advice our clients to not take any jumpboard clases.

All of the instructors at HIP Studio are certified in Prenatal Pilates, and can assist clients in the modifications necessary throughout their pregnancies. For our group classes it is important to let your instructor know you are pregnant and how far along you are. A few private prenatal pilates sessions can be extremely beneficial during this time because we can focus on your specific needs and modification you can use during your group classes. Every body is different, and every pregnancy is different.  The most important thing is to listen to your body and take care of the vessel that is carrying this most precious cargo.

HIP Pilates Principles – #2 Breath

HIP Pilates

Written by: Kayte Corrigan

HIP Pilates principles #2 – The only wrong breath is no breath. If you wanted to get specific, each Pilates exercise has it’s own breath pattern to ensure enough oxygen is flowing to your working muscles. Typically trainers cue an inhale through the nose with an exhale through pursed lips, like blowing through a straw. This breath pattern helps engage the deep abdominal muscles, the transverses, to stabilize the torso.

Practicing proper breath can relieve unnecessary tension to promote relaxation and focus during each movement. Most exercises will exhale on the exertion. Some focus more on spinal placement, inhaling during extension and exhaling in flexion.
It’s important to imagine the lungs filling up into your sides, often described as and east/west breath. This deep breathing promotes a greater exchange of gasses into the lower lobes of the lungs.
Outside of class you can use Pilates breath patterns to relax. In stressful situations, the east/west breath can help slow down a rapid, nervous heart rate.    When lifting or reaching in your every day life you can use this breath to help engage your core.
Breath equals life. Keep breathing, keep moving.