Today I’m 34 weeks pregnant and yesterday I had a great lesson with Alisa Wyatt at Vintage Pilates. It felt so wonderful to move and have a strong workout. My growing body has felt really good during pregnancy (except for that awful morning sickness) and I think staying active with Pilates has been a big part of that. I’ve been amazed to discover what my pregnant body is capable of and how much I can still do. It’s also been fun to ease off the intensity of my workouts and just enjoy moving and stretching. While I’ve still been challenging myself, I’ve also not been pushing myself too hard and have been enjoying 20-40 minute workouts two to three times a week, as well as a monthly private session with an instructor.
Everyone is different but I wanted to share what Alisa and I worked on yesterday to give you an idea of what a healthy pregnant woman can do. Now granted, this is what a healthy, pregnant Pilates instructor (with a long torso- i.e. more room for baby!) can do and some of this stuff I wouldn’t give to some of my pregnant clients because it wouldn’t benefit them but if someone is already doing a strong workout before pregnancy, then depending on how they feel, they can keep doing most of those things. Pregnancy isn’t a time to add in a bunch of new exercises but by utilizing modifications, and omitting exercises as they become too challenging (or just don’t feel right), one can continue to do a strong workout. Pregnancy should be a time to honor your body and how hard it is working even at rest, and therefore focus only on exercises that still feel beneficial. Of course, as I’ve said in my previous Pilates for pregnancy posts, be sure to listen to your body and your own doctor when it comes to exercise.
Footwork, 3 springs
Hundred, curled up, legs straight but lifted to the ceiling
- Again, everyone is different! Today I taught a pregnant client who is about 7.5 months and for her Hundred (on the mat not the reformer) we propped her chest up on a small barrel with her feet down on the mat and she pumped her arms. This version is just better for her body right now than the full Hundred would be.
Single Leg Elephant
Long Back Stretch
Stomach Massage, sitting a little further back
Short Box– small range of motion; while I did try the Tree, it felt pretty awkward and I’d leave it out of my workout now
Pumping– both legs, single leg
Roll Up– feet under strap, knees bent
* as with all exercises where you curl up off the mat, be sure to leave it out if your abs are not engaged and you see any coning. In this case, just do the Half Roll Down
One Leg Circle
Rolling like a Ball – holding behind my thighs
Spine Stretch Forward
Open Leg Rocker
Long Back Stretch with the bar
We finished with the arm weights series and the wall– you can check out this series in Brook Siler’s book The Pilates Body or by coming in for a lesson!