PreNatal Pilates

PreNatal Matwork is to develop functionally strong abdominal muscles, a flexible and powerful pelvic floor, as well as a supportive back. Achieving ideal alignment and coordinating movement with breath will ensure your pregnancy is a comfortable, rewarding and wonderful experience.

Try these Pilates moves here after checking with your doctor before beginning any kind of exercise during your pregnancy. Throughout these exercises, you should remain comfortable and pain-free at all times.

1) Deep Abdominal Contraction

(done in first trimester while still fighting nausea and exhaustion but appropriate during this stage to still lie flat on your back; this exercise strengthens your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles)

– Lie on your back with your knees bent (if in the second trimester, kneel on your hands and knees)

– Check that your back is almost flat (don’t tilt your pelvis forward and don’t arch your back)

– Inhale to begin

– On the exhale, contract your pelvic floor, and gently draw your belly button down towards your spine (while lying on your back) or lift your belly button up towards your spine (if kneeling on your hands and knees)

– Do not suck in your stomach

– The contraction should be gentle (approx 40% of maximum effort)

– Try to hold this pelvic floor and abdominal contraction for 10 seconds while breathing slowly and normally

– Gently relax after 10 seconds

– Repeat this exercise for 8 times

2) Spine Stretch

(second trimester exercise that stretches and strengthens the upper back and the core muscles thus decreasing back pain while correcting the pregnancy posture)

– Sitting up tall on the floor with your legs shoulder width apart, place hands directly in front of you at chest height

– Inhale to prepare

– As you exhale, draw in your abdominal muscles, contract the pelvic floor and move the pelvis forward while creating a C-curve of the spine

– Inhale to reach forward, extending the spine, arms straight by the ears, pulling the shoulder blades down towards the hips

– On the next inhale, reverse the motion going through the C-curve back to starting position

– Exhale to relax

– Repeat this exercise 8 times

3) Standing Cat Back

(third trimester exercise when bellies are bigger; this exercise keeps the spine supple, tones your legs and buttocks while strengthening the abdominal walls)

– Begin standing with the feet hip-width apart with your hands on your thighs to support your lower back

– Inhale to prepare

– Exhale as you lower into a comfortable squat

– Gently inhale to round your spine, pulling your tailbone and the crown of your head forward and toward each other as your spine arches

– Exhale to reverse, rounding your spine with tailbone and crown of the head arching backwards towards each other

– Repeat this exercise for 5 to 8 times

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