March 7, 2022
Your Guide on why Reformer Pilates is the Ultimate workout for Prenatal/Postnatal Health.
First and Foremost always consult with your doctor before starting anything new when Pregnant or after Delivery.
Pilates elongates your muscles while you coordinate your breathing to your body's movements. "Pilates is safe given you don't overstretch or, if you're using a Reformer (specialized Pilates equipment), that you don't increase the level of resistance beyond what you could comfortably do before you were pregnant."
IDEA Health and Fitness Association cites that there are three benefits to using a pilates reformer, saying it "increases postural awareness while strengthening the periphery." That means it can strengthen the muscles that affect your center of gravity. The association goes on to say a reformer offers closed-kinetic chain exercises, which contribute to a safe workout while still offering a full, controlled range of motion. Lastly, a reformer is a way to do pilates pregnant, but comfortably, with its variety of positional options.
Two of the key foundations implemented by Joseph Pilates are concentration and breath. By focusing on breath-work and body awareness you will achieve more than just strengthening and stretching. The deep breath work will help calm the nervous system and keep oxygen flowing to every muscle, which is essential in labor and delivery. Reformer Pilates offers a wide range of diversity compared to Pilates on mat. The exercise techniques are not as limited and have more variety while maintaining the intensity on a comfortable level.
Having optimal mind-body connection and muscle awareness is crucial during delivery--- allowing the mother to be fully present during this monumental time. Not only will the exercises of Pilates help us physically it will help with preparation, recovery AND almost more importantly our mental health during such a challenging part of our lives.
“The important thing is to move in a way that makes you feel good when you are pregnant, not to keep up with what you did before.”
Unlike many other workouts, Reformer Pilates is the perfect fit for both the Mother and baby because it is not performed at a high intensity or high heart rate. Which will help make sure you do not over exert your body during the workout. We want you to leave feeling stronger, refreshed, revived and not too tired. According to a clinical study , Pilates exercise during pregnancy is a safe method to reduce the length of the active phase and second stage of labor, reduce labor pain, and increase maternal satisfaction with the childbirth process.
During Pregnancy your body and mind will shift in many ways. Your pelvis will tilt anteriorly to support the baby, the hip flexors will tighten, your sense of balance will decline as your center of gravity is changing. During pregnancy your body will also release more of the hormone called Relaxin. This hormone is essential in pregnancy to help our bodies relax and stretch to accommodate for the baby. However, it can provide us with a false sense of flexibility which could lead to injury. Thankfully, our instructors will guide you thoughtfully the entire way focusing on your own strength and flexibility.
As the baby grows in the uterus, the abdominals—transverse, obliques, and rectus—have to stretch to make room for the baby. As they do so, they can lose the necessary strength and support needed for proper posture and spinal position. Because of this stretched state, abdominal contraction exercises may create complications of the rectus abdominis (known as Diastis Recti).
This is where Reformer Pilates will make a huge difference in your Prenatal and Postnatal Care. By continuously focusing on building strength and awareness in both the deep and superficial abdominal muscles as well as our pelvic floor we greatly decrease our chances of such complications. The Reformer has a gliding carriage which allows movement through a full but controlled range of motion while keeping the legs and arms grounded for an effective and safe full body workout.
Just like Prenatal care sets the stage for an easier pregnancy and delivery it also aids in the Postnatal recovery. As soon as you are cleared to resume working out after delivery Reformer Pilates will continue to provide you with the steps necessary for you and your new beautiful body that just created life! It is what we would like to call The Ultimate self-care for moms.
As we touched on Diastis Recti, Postnatal Pilates gives us the ability to pull those muscles back together with the intention of making them even stronger than before your pregnancy. Let's toss the term "getting your body back". You didn't lose your body, you created a new one. Your body will never be what it was pre-pregnancy, but that isn't something to fear and most certainly does not mean less than. Mama-- you are a powerhouse worth celebrating! Pilates will shape your body and mind into something even more marvelous than it was before.
We will be focusing on getting your body back into alignment, creating better posture and creating even more self awareness! The most beautiful part is that you don't need to be a new mom to benefit from Postnatal Pilates. We will utilize the arm series of The Reformer to build strength in the rotator cuffs, pecs in the chest and the scapular muscles. All of these will help because you've never known tired arms quite like those of a mother carrying their children (for years on end).
"The intentional deep breathing during Pilates oxygenates both the muscles and the brain, which translates to increased mental clarity and patience. The boost in circulation you’ll get from engaging in Pilates movement will energize your body from head to toe, something that proves especially helpful for sleep-deprived parents." By increasing your blood flow you will speed up your recovery and promote quicker muscle repair. Above all, it’s crucial to regain your understanding of how to engage the transverse abdominis, i.e., the muscle group that allows you to “corset” your midsection. When you engage this deep layer of abdominals, you’re able to support your torso and back, which will lead to safer, more efficient movement. Examples of effective Postnatal Reformer exercises include: Footwork; Arm work; exercises with your legs in the straps like Frogs; Pulling Straps while seated on the Long Box; Rowing; Mini Swan; Chest Expansion; and Side-Lying work.
Finally, for a birth-weakened and overstretched pelvic floor—an important muscle for supporting the lower organs of the body—gentle postnatal Pilates exercises like teaser variations and micro leg lifts can connect to, engage, and strengthen it.
We hope you'll join us and reward yourself with the best gift possible, building a better YOU!
Reserve your spot at our studio in Brentwood, TN.