It is always important to do exercise and eat healthy, especially when you are pregnant. My first pregnancy I didn’t work out and I could tell a HUGE difference in my pregnancy and my birth from my second baby where I worked out every week. Keeping your body moving is vital to your organs, your muscles, your strength and even your energy. I feel so much more energetic when I have worked out even when it’s the last thing I want to do. This goes when you are pregnant or not.
I do a normal pilates class not a special one to cater to pregnancy just because I have always taken this class. While pregnant if you regularly workout already there are little things you have to do to alter your workouts but they don’t have to be that much different. If you never workout and decide to workout while pregnant ask for guidance at the gym or your doctor. I love pilates because it isn’t high impact but you can feel it afterwards every time.
I like to do my pilates in full workout gear as I find t-shirts get restrictive and aren’t as comfortable. Here I am wearing an outfit from Matalan’s new Souluxe range. The top is longer than normal workout tops which I love to go over my bump and cover my bump. The leggings are super comfortable with a soft waistband to ensure comfort while working out and my forever growing bump sticking out. These shoes are my new favorite comfies. They are like socks, I promise you. You can shop their entire new activewear range here. Either way, make sure you are comfortable when you workout.
MY FAVORITE 5 PILATES MOVES WHILE PREGNANT
The first one is a rotating arm. Have one leg underneath your hip and the other leg stretched out. Your folded knee underneath you should be a little straighter under the hips but when pregnancy you do get those position sagging a bit. Start with your left arm and raise it above your head so you are spread armed and have your head follow your arm as it goes up. I do about 5-10 reps and then switch sides. It’s just an easy, controlled motion of raising that arm up and back down while keep your side plank in check. If you watch my video you can see you may shake a little bit.
My biggest thing when doing pilates while pregnant is that I forget to breathe. Make sure you are calming breathing in and out as you go through each movement. Movements are stronger if you have control of your breathing to help guide you. It also helps with balance too. Holding your breath can knock you off balance that is needed for this movement.
I love this one because you can feel the stretching, you can feel the muscle tightening at the top of the body and in your legs.
The second move is a lift. This gets slightly harder the more you get pregnant but that’s the beautiful challenge of it all. Make sure your hands are turned in towards your bottom not out. This is a common mistake and works your body differently. Breathing with your lift and down again, do 5-10 reps. Make sure when you are raising that belly you are squeezing your bottom and abs as tight as you can. You should be moving your arms or legs too much. It’s all about your core! Who doesn’t need to work that core while pregnant? Just think of the benefits after birth ladies!
I do my reps and have a rest and do them again. I like to do three sets of reps for every pilates movement if I am doing it at home. So that means on a good day, I might do 10-rest-10-rest-10 = 30 reps. Don’t rest too long in between or you are losing your movement benefits.
The third and fourth move go together. One is harder than the other. I start with the hardest one first because I want to get it over with and if my legs get tired I can alter to the next one with ease. Make sure you are tilted on one hip side with arm down beside you to balance. The other arm which you can see below is stretched straight out behind me to hold me on that tilt. I am only moving my legs here. First kick them straight out and then bring your knees up and crunch into your bump. Try keeping the rest of your body still and repeat. Legs in and legs out, together.
Imagine they are banded together. You can choose to point your toes or keep them flexed but you will feel the difference between the two so try both ways. This works out your side abs and less strain on your middle core and back.
Once you have done the hard version or if that gets too painful for you, move to this option. Bicycling kicks. Instead of moving both legs at the same time into your bump, moving them individually. One kicks out while you crunch with the other one. Then switch so it’s a smooth transition but you aren’t stopping in between the switch. Like riding a bike in the air!
This is the part of my workout where I forget to breath. The bigger my bump gets the harder my pilates moves become. I love feeling the workout and movement every time I do a pilates class or at home. If baby starts kicking while doing one of these just alternate to another move for a few reps and come back to it.
This fifth one is my all time favorite stretch and pilates move. I supposed I have done it in all my pilates and yoga classes so it’s universal here. But it’s a great one. I type on a computer all day for a living so my back, neck and shoulders get so, so tight. This move is the best to stretch it out and release all that build up.
For those with back problems you can just press your hands to your lower back and lean back as far as you can that’s comfortable without putting your hands down to your feet. Those that are more flexible, reach both hands around and grab your ankles. Look back to as far as you can go and feel the burn! Good burn, I might add.
I feel this even in my front thighs, arms, back, neck, legs, and shoulders. I count to ten and then using my hands I place them on my lower back and rise up to do it all again.
Those are some of my favorite pilates moves while pregnant. If I don’t time to go to my class I know I can always do these at home when I get a spare 30 minutes from working or even at night while watching tv. You don’t have to go to the gym to keep moving and keep fit while pregnant. It’s so important we take good care of our minds and bodies as best we can all the time, especially when growing a human.
Have you tried pilates before? What are your favorite pilates moves?
Don’t forget to stay hydrated and drink lots of water before and after working out. Water helps that skin glow and that baby grow! Most importantly KEEP MOVING!
*Collaboration with Matalan as apart of the #ValueofMovement.