Workout Routine Based on Pilates Reformer While Pregnant
Though the system of pilates exercises was developed more than 80 years ago by Joseph Pilates, it is well-known and widely popular today. Pilates method on the fitness reformer is a proven classic values in a new interesting shape.
Exercises on pilates reformer training simulator have much in common with the classical pilates techniques. This sport activity consists of exercises that train and strengthen the muscles running very smoothly, without creating stress on the joints and spine.
Reformer is the most all-purpose simulator and it is very comfortable to use. Most exercises are impossible to recreate on any other simulators so that they run with the same efficiency. As well as on the mat, you can work out all the muscles during one training lesson (from the shoulder joint to foot) – in this sense reformer is unique and comprehensive training simulator.
The difference between classical pilates exercises and reformer exercises is that reformer allows you to do more stretching exercises. Thus, there is not only power and shaping exercises on your muscles, but also their extension.
Because reformer is equipped with a mobile platform, springs and straps. Training lesson becomes more dynamic, and therefore the effect of the training is rather quickly noticeable.
Is pilates reformer safe during pregnancy? Though pilates-reformer is very effective and has strong health-improving effect, it safety is questionable.
It is worth mentioning, that pilates on reformer training simulator has a huge range of contraindications and restrictions during pregnancy, that are the same with general restrictions for practicing sports which will be elucidated below.
- respiratory diseases, diseases of cardiovascular system or thyroid gland;
- anemia and fetal hydrops;
- multiple pregnancy;
- strongly pronounced varicose veins;
- threatened miscarriage.
- hypertensia (high blood pressure);
- low insertion of placenta;
- abnormal cervical position;
- acute febrile conditions;
- womb hypersthenia, etc.
It is possible to conclude that pilates-reformer is safe for mothers-to-be in case there are no contraindications and risky medical conditions. Also, you should not overstrain yourself and have rest in order to avoid dangerous aftereffects.
Now let’s discuss features that you should know about pilates reformer while pregnant according to different trimesters.
Trimester-based pilates-reformer exercises
The first trimester is the most crucial time of pregnancy: the organs of future baby are beginning to form, as well as placenta, through which the fetus gets its blood supply. During the first trimester of pregnancy, you can continue your pilates reformer workout as usual.
But if you do not have pilates reformer you can do simple workout routine with the help of the article “Pilates during pregnancy first trimester”.
On your second trimester you should exclude the exercises, that can provoke overstrain in hips and thighs, as well as in inguinal region. Avoid exercises on the reformer that involve lying face down or lying on your back. Instead, build strength on a reformer with standing, kneeling and sitting exercises to limit major safety concerns.
During the second trimester you should slightly reduce the number of exercises connected with the supine stance. You should bear in mind, that during your third trimester you should significantly reduce the load (comparing with the first two trimesters), the exercises should be relaxing, should not contain jerks and snaps, turns and bents.
The article “Pilates during pregnancy second trimester” will help you to get more information about exercises that could be done during this period of time.
Exemplary training exercises on reformer during pregnancy
There are many variations of different exercises from reformer pilates when pregnant, but we will discuss the most popular ones.
To stretch sore feet and calves, begin with footwork on the balls of the feet on the foot bar spaced hip-width apart while you are lying down on the carriage face up. Slowly push back until the legs are straight without being locked out.
Drop the heels under the foot bar, feeling a stretch in the calves and feet. Lift up to the balls of the feet, bend the knees and return to the starting position. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions with two medium springs.
Bridging the Gap
The next very useful exercise from pregnancy pilates reformer is bridging the gap. Bridging during the first trimester helps strengthen the hamstrings and core muscles to better support the extra weight.
Lying face up on the carriage, place the heels of the feet on the foot bar hip-width apart, taking care to keep the feet straight and evenly spaced. Contract the glute muscles as you lift the hips up off the carriage.
Hold the bridge position, push the carriage back until the legs are almost straight and then bring the carriage back to the starting position. Perform two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions with two medium springs.
Add one light or medium spring to the reformer. Kneel on the carriage, facing the front with your feet in line with the shoulder blocks.
Hold the short loop in each hand. Brace with the abdominals as you bring the arms straight up to shoulder-height.
Circle out to the side, and then return the arms to starting position. Complete 10 to 15 repetitions. Next, flex at the elbow, bringing the palms towards the shoulders to work the biceps. Do 10 to 12 repetitions.
Some standing exercises on the reformer work well during all three trimesters. Add one light and one medium spring. Stand on the reformer with one foot on the spring cover and the other on the carriage, spaced about six inches apart.
Stand up tall, bracing with the abs and contracting the glutes as you push the carriage out a few inches. Pause and then slowly return to the start. Complete 10 to 15 abductions on each side.
This short video lesson demonstrates different exercises that can be easily made by pregnant women with pilates reformer:
There are numbers of exercises that should be avoided during the pregnancy concerning pilates-reformer:
- Avoid lying on your back. Avoid exercises from the supine position. Why? The answer is very easy – they can affect the baby with oxygen delivery. In addition, uterus can press on vena cava and make you light headed especially when working out (urgent for the 2nd and 3rd trimesters).
- Do not perform lots of rotating movements after first trimester. It can badly affect your baby, twisting its umbilical cord.
- We recommend you to avoiding exercises that force the abdominals to strongly contract against the pull of gravity, as they can cause your abs to spread further apart.
What exercises are healthy for mothers-to-be?
- Breathing exercises. It is the basic even on the reformer. It will help you during the delivery process itself.
- Exercises that can correct your body balance. As the baby grows, its added weight can pull the lumbopelvic region into an exaggerated curve, affecting center of gravity and balance.
- Adding ankle and foot exercises to the prenatal pilates workout will improve mobility and increase circulation throughout the pregnancy.
- Expectant moms need to think of their prenatal pilates exercises as “training” for delivering, carrying, breastfeeding and holding their new babies. So, work out your hands, arms and shoulders.
Reformer pilates for pregnancy is a perfect and unusual way to strengthen your body before delivery. This exercises are able to eliminate or reduce the number of problems connected with childbearing. But remember, that you should not overstrain yourself; you are to have pauses to relax. Do not forget to consult your doctor first!
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