If you're pregnant and taking Pilates classes, then this video is for you. Pilates instructor Katrina Ward and Elixr member Anika demonstrate the top five go-to reformer exercises for pregnant women.
Remember to read our Pregnancy for Pilates Part 1 article to get the do's and dont's when your pregnant and doing pilates in general.
1. Down Stretch
As you progress through your pregnancy, you won't be able to hold a plank position for a long period of time as it may increase blood pressure. Down Stretch is your best option on one spring, moving in and out.
This is great for your postural muscles. While the weight of the baby tends to pull your shoulders forward, rowing works the mid and upper back. All seated arm work is fantastic during pregnancy – you'll need strong arms to hold your baby.
3. Squats and Standing Horizontal Abduction
Squats are great for the legs and standing side splits work the glutes. You want to keep your legs strong for pregnancy and post-pregnancy, when you're carrying extra weight. One full spring for both exercises.
4. Mermaid Stretch
On one full spring, sit cross-legged, and mobilise your spine from side to side. If sitting cross-legged becomes uncomfortable, just sit as comfortably as you can and move your spine from side to side
5. Cat Stretch and Thread the Needle
Keeping your spine mobile during pregnancy is really important. Ensure you do your Cat Stretches and Thread the Needle during class. A seated spine twist is also a good option. Spinal mobility exercises are great to go-to if you need a rest from resistance work.
Remember to always listen to your body during pregnancy. If an exercise doesn't feel right or you experience pain, ease off or stop altogether. Importantly, enjoy this time in your life – keep exercising, but keep yourself and your baby safe.
If you are a Pilates Instructor, Elixr Education offers a fascinating workshop that will equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to teach women who are pregnant or have recently had a baby. Find out more here.