It goes without saying that the ideal exercise in pregnancy will keep you active and get your heart pumping without causing any physical stress.
Pilates is not only highly modifiable, but also offers a targeted approach to exercise, which makes it one of the best methods for keeping fit while pregnant. Not only does it offer a safe and effective method for building strength and reduce the physical effects of pregnancy, but it enable a swift return to your best self after giving birth.
Try these four gentle Pilates exercises to keep in shape throughout every trimester.
1. Calf raises
Your calf muscles are often forgotten, especially when you have back pain. Strengthening your calves can prevent and aid lower back pain, which is common during pregnancy.
Start standing up, with your feet hip-width apart and your shoulders squared. Rest your fingertips on a chair or barre for balance.
Stand on your tip toes and lower back down on to your heels slowly. Repeat 20 times.
Rest your left ankle against your right knee and repeat the calf raises on a single leg before changing sides.
2. Horse kicks
Strengthening your glutes and hamstrings will help your maintain your posture and balance during pregnancy and reduce back pain. Horse kicks are also a great stability exercise.
Start in a four point kneeling position, with your spine flat and your shoulders squared. Keep a tiny bend in your elbows, as this will give your arms a workout too.
Flex through your left foot, and extend your right leg behind you until your thigh is level with your hips. Draw the leg back in to the start position and keep your hips level.
Repeat 15 times. On your last rep, hold the leg out for ten pulses up and down. Then repeat on your other leg.
3. Hinge with magic circle arms
Stretching your hip flexors can prevent lower back pain during pregnancy, whereas strengthening your arms, chest and upper back will help reduce upper back pain.
Start in an elevated kneeling position and hold a circle object with the palms of your hands. Extend your arms forward, making sure they stay completely straight.
Exhale and hinge backwards from your hips, until you feel a stretch in your hip flexors and your quads working. Pulse the circle in and out for 12 reps, keeping your arms straight and your shoulders squared. Then return to the start position and rest. Repeat three times.