The Pilates Methods in the 2nd Trimester of Pregnancy
According to the founder of the exercise program of Pilates, Joseph Pilates, carcass of the human body is the area of the abdomen, back and pelvis . In General, Pilates is the system of exercises that is aimed at strengthening this carcass and developing elasticity of the muscles.
During these exercises it is important to pay attention to proper breathing, muscle tension and relaxation which are the basic principles of pregnancy. The abdominal muscles stretch and weaken, and the pelvic floor is being pressed.
- Is it safe?
- Pros and cons
- Exercises in the second trimester of pregnancy
- Video tutorial
- What exercises should be avoided?
- How to train?
- Safety measures
As a result, pregnant women have pain in the abdomen, back, legs and other parts of the body. That’s why Pilates is a perfect solutions of these problems.
Is it safe?
Most modern women have active lifestyles, doing different kind of sports. But pregnancy imposes some restrictions.
Then the question arises: is it safe to do pilates during pregnancy second trimester? We all know about the positive effects of exercise on the human body, mood and health.
If the woman has no contraindications to physical activity, it is strongly recommended by the doctors to do exercises, especially with rhythmic deep breathing, even in the second and in the third trimester.
Effectiveness and safety of Pilates for pregnant is proved. There is no sense in worrying. Many women say that thanks to Pilates, they became prepared for the childbirth.
Also we have another interesting and useful article such as “Pilates in early pregnancy”, which describes the benefits of practicing pilates during the first days of pregnancy.
Pros and cons
Advantages of Pilates are:
- strengthens deep abdominal muscles;
- helps to maintain good posture (which provides additional space for fetal development), reduces pressure on the spine;
- trains muscles (especially the pelvic floor muscles);
- trains chest breathing, increases the flow of oxygen both to the mother and the baby;
- helps to relieve excessive tension on the legs and to prevent varicose;
- reduces the chance of damaging the joints;
- increases overall health and improves the immune system the future moms;
- improves digestion, blood circulation, which is important for a child.Pregnancy pilates in second trimester is a very gentle fitness technique, but it’s still worth considering that there are some contraindications that must be taken into consideration.
Women are advised to give up Pilates if they have:
- chronic diseases (of the circulatory and respiratory systems, influenza, SARS;
- too much weight gained during pregnancy or obesity;
- problems with the joints or the spine;
- passive lifestyle before pregnancy;
- threat of miscarriage;
- hypertension, hypotension;
- a multiple pregnancy.
In addition, every pregnant woman should remember that if during Pilates she suddenly feels bad she should immediately stop exercising and contact a gynecologist.
Exercises in the second trimester of pregnancy
Now, when you know the connection between Pilates and pregnancy 2nd trimester let’s move to the exercises that can be done during this period of time:
- Get on your knees, placing a pillow under them, knees hip-width. Straighten your back and lower your shoulders. Breathe through your nose, count to 5 and do the “scissors” hands behind your back. Start breathing through the mouth.
- Lean on your hands and knees, wrists strictly under the shoulders and knees under hips. Inhale and arch your back then exhale, making it round. Pull the abdominal muscles and squeeze the vaginal muscles. These exercises are mainly directed towards filling the lungs with oxygen.
- Sit on a fitball with your thigh out to the side as far as possible. Held for a few seconds until you feel a slight tension, and bring them together. The pelvis and perineum in abduction of the hips back should be relaxed but when you return to the starting position they should be clamped. It improves blood flow to the pelvic organs.
- Sit on a fitball. Legs apart to the width of the pelvis. Lay a scarf made of thin material in front of you. Iterate over the fabric with your toes, trying to walk from one end to the other. Do it for each leg (help to take the pressure off the feet).Also we have other interesting articles such as: “Pregnancy yoga or pilates?”, “Is pilates reformer safe during pregnancy?”.
This video lesson will help you to know more pilates exercises for second trimester that can be easily done at home:
What exercises should be avoided?
In the second trimester you must avoid:
- Exercises with a wide foot placement (e.g. side splits). This can overload the joint, the anterior part of the pelvis (pubic symphysis).
- Laying. This can reduce the blood flow to the baby. If this happens, you may feel dizzy. the possibility of oxygen starvation in the fetus resulting from pressure of the uterus on large vessels
- Belly twisting (may increase the risk of diastasis).
- Excessive stretching.
- Be careful with the balance exercises on unstable surfaces. During the second trimester the center of the body gravity shifts a little , and you can feel more unstable.
- Inverted postures (where the legs are above the heart level).
- Sharp percussive movements.
- Also squats should be avoided because of the adverse effect on the circulation in the legs.
Exercise during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy must exclude the complex tension of the spine, stretching the muscles and intense workouts. Such restriction prevents the appearance of stretch marks on the skin. Most of those pregnant pilates exercises, which were held before, are undesirable, as it’s becoming more difficult for a woman to carry a baby.
How to train?
Here is the detailed instruction on how to perform the pilates workout routine properly.
The complex starts with a small warm-up:
- On the inhale lift your shoulders up and lower on the exhale.
- Also on the inhale, pull your shoulders back and exhale forward;
- Make the circular movements with your shoulders ahead and then back;
- “Roll” the head on the shoulders, chest and back, alternating between both sides.
This exercise will help to prepare your body for workout.
Training time, intensity
The duration of lessons should not exceed initially 15 minutes at the beginning and later this time can be increased to 40 minutes a day. You have to do it regularly — 2 to 3 times a week. You can do it more often in case if you feel good and if before the pregnancy you had an active way of life. Exercise less than 1 time a week is always a stress for the body.Training should not be very intense, but rather slow and smooth. Constantly monitor your well-being.
Pay attention to the hitch which is given the majority of the time because it is very important for pregnant women to take the pressure off the lower back and relax. For example, slow walk and stretching. Hitch takes at least 5-10 minutes until the pulse returns to normal (as before training)
- Monitor your heart rate : it should not exceed 130 beats per minute. If you feel shortness of breath, nausea, headache or pain in the abdomen and lower back, immediately stop the exercising.
- Don’t to lie on your stomach – this breaks your circulation and can lead to the threat of miscarriage.
- Wear only comfortable sports underwear and comfortable sports clothing.
- All exercises should be performed smoothly without abrupt movements.Very important: despite the fact that the Pilates method is gentle, before you start you’d better consult an obstetrician-gynecologist.
The length of time from the fourth to the sixth month is the most safe and favorable for sport activities. The body has become accustomed to the new condition, constant nausea has left you, you has more strength and stabilized the hormonal imbalance. That’s why it is the best time for physical exercises to be prepared for childbirth.
The exercise program allows you not only to strengthen muscles and ligaments, but also to restore vitality and prepare mentally for a great emotional load during a future birth. In the absence of contraindications these exercises will bring only benefits. What is more important – Pilates improves mood, which is very important during the pregnancy.