Entrepreneur Poorna Patel recently shared on Instagram her experience of performing Pilates during pregnancy. Training at Yasmin Karachiwala’s workout studio, Poorna, who is 25 weeks pregnant with twins, said that pregnancy shouldn’t hold back one from exercising.
“I haven’t felt this better because I have been doing workout all through pregnancy. All those myths about losing your centre of gravity, diet and fatigue, I have worked on all those with 60 minutes of Pilates everyday,” said the daughter of Rajya Sabha MP Praful Patel.
In the video, there are glimpses of Poorna doing light stretching and gentle contractions with the help of Karachiwala.
Why is Pilates good in pregnancy
As a series of controlled movements, mostly on an exercise mat, Pilates involves moves that are very easy to modify during pregnancy.
1. Provided the doctor has given you a go-ahead, as a low-impact pregnancy workout, Pilates boosts flexibility and balance and prevents back pain by strengthening your pelvic floor and core muscles (your abs), which support your spine. This equips your body better to cope with the strains caused by the weight of your growing baby.
2. It strengthens the core which lends more stability to the mother as the bump grows.
3. It also helps reduce back pain, by exercising the tummy muscles that stabilise your back and pelvis. Strengthening these muscles can help to reduce back or pelvic pain.
4. Pilates pregnancy helps relax and control the breathing, which is important for pregnancy and labour.
What to do
1. Consult your gynacologist first
2. If you are planning to take up Pilates regimen during pregnancy, find an experienced trainer who has worked with pregnant women before.
3. Follow the precautions and do not overdo.
4. Get your posture, abdominal and pelvic floor strength assessed to find the right Pilates workout for you.
5. Mind your balance with a growing belly. So, avoid getting off the floor quickly.
6. Stop exercising if you feel any discomfort.
What not to do
Avoid abdominal curls and crunches, and overstretching your joints. Supine exercises that contract the rectus abdominis, such as lying on the back or double leg stretch, or lying on the tummy or any form of face-down plank positions and deep stretches such as hamstring stretch, which is done by lying on the back and getting one leg perpendicular to the body, should be avoided.
How is it different from prenatal yoga?
While Pilates in pregnancy is more about working on the muscles used for childbirth, yoga focuses on a broad spectrum of the body system. Such Pilates assures balance, coordination, and strength of the muscles which is different from prenatal yoga that focuses on well-being by targetting issues such as aches, fatigue, cramps, emotional wellness and vitality.
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