Some helpful hints:
All sessions should begin with a full body warm up, especially for the pregnant exerciser. During the second and third trimester the body responses have slowed and a good warm up is essential for preparing the body for further movement. It is an opportunity to calm down and focus.
A warm up should ideally include the following
• Breathing- to calm and focus the mind and to also begin activating and oxygenating the muscles.
• Gentle stretching- rhythmic rather than static stretching works better at the beginning of a session. The “rocking “motion of rhythmic movement helps to release a muscle.
• Spine mobilization and stabilization- gently opening up the space between the vertebra allows spinal fluid to pass between them. This helps healing and is also an energy boost.
• Spine rotation and extension – first warm up the spine in flexion and then add rotation, lateral flexion and extension. This helps prevent unnecessary strain to the spine.
Keep a rhythm and flow to the warm up as this helps send energy throughout the body
Essential exercises for pregnancy and postpartum will include
• Pelvic floor exercises
• Abdominal work to activate the TA and obliques and to maintain lumbar pelvic stability
• Hamstring strengthening and stretching to help stabilize the pelvis.
• Hip adduction/abduction
• Arm work to include external rotation and shoulder adduction
Additional important exercises
• Thoracic extension
• Lumbar flexion and articulation of the spine
• General stretching especially hip flexor and piriformis
The areas affected by pregnancy remain the same during the postpartum period. Those areas in pregnancy that have been overstretched and misaligned, need to be gently coaxed back into place and strengthened postpartum according to the individual client. Exercising with props to support the vulnerable postpartum body is helpful.
Learn much more in one of our 3 day Pre and Postnatal Pilates Specialist Certificate Courses