What is Prenatal Pilates?
What is Prenatal Pilates? How is it different and when do you need to make the transition?
By Ali Handley
I have recently moved home to Sydney after nearly 9 years in NYC and have found a new home for BodyLove Pilates at the gorgeous Bondi Beach Wellness studio - The Well. You'll find me here on Monday's and Tuesday's teaching Prenatal Reformer. I get asked lots of questions about the when, how and what to do when you discover your pregnant. How does your regular workout schedule have top change? How is Prenatal Pilates different? Can you start Prenatal Pilates if you've never done pilates before. Here are some answers to help you make a smooth and educated transition.
The big news is this - you’re pregnant! Now what? As exciting as this period of time is, it can also be quite confusing. Lots of questions about - should’s and shouldn’ts. How to exercise and stay fit when you’re pregnant is one of the main concerns. Pilates is a great decision no matter what stage of life you are in but Prenatal Pilates has many wonderful benefits and a great way to prepare your body for each stage of pregnancy, labour and a speedy postnatal recovery.
What is Prenatal Pilates?
Prenatal Pilates is not so different to your regular classes - the workouts combine the stabilizing, strengthening and toning principles of Pilates, and in each class you will work on globally strengthening the body as well as activating the crucial small stabilizing muscles. The moves will be familiar from your regular Reformer classes, combining beginner, intermediate and advanced Pilates exercises but in Prenatal Pilates we will use props to modify and transform these exercises for the specific physical needs of pregnancy. Prenatal Pilates classes are safe and suitable for women at all stages of pregnancy and can be attended all the way to your due date. Your trainers are educated and experienced practitioners in this specific field so workouts are tailored to the needs of a pregnant mama and they are available to answer exercise or pregnancy related questions and concerns.
Find out more about the BodyLove Pilates Prenatal Method.
How is it different?
Prenatal Pilates classes are designed to specifically strengthen and prepare a pregnant client for a healthy, pain free pregnancy and labour.
- There is particular focus on consistent, safe abdominal training and deep core activation
- The workouts strengthen and tone your body to address the physical changes you will go through during pregnancy
- We work on preparing the body for the challenges of childbirth
- Emphasis is placed on stability before mobility
We believe you should 100% be challenged by exercise throughout your pregnancy and by no means will it feel likes an easy workout. You will work hard toward finding a mind-body connection to your movement, gain muscle endurance and physical stamina.
When should you transition from regular Pilates to Prenatal Pilates?
There is no specific need to begin Prenatal Pilates during the first trimester and you may continue to attend your regular open Pilates classes, but be sure to inform your instructor before the start of class. However we would like to encourage you to begin the transition by adding Prenatal classes to your regular workout schedule as soon as you find out. As you enter week 13 and your second trimester it is no longer recommended for you to take regular Pilates classes as these classes may include incorrect abdominal exercises for pregnancy and exercises performed on your stomach which is a no-no from the 2nd trimester onwards.
If you're in Sydney and looking for challenging and fun Prenatal Reformer classes find me at The Well Bondi Beach - available for Private Pilates also!