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Chelsea at Crunch Gym

Forty Weeks of Fitness with Chelsea

Forty Weeks of Fitness | With Chelsea

Pilates during Pregnancy

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If You Were Inactive Before Pregnancy...

Pilates involves extremely precise movements. To safely perform the exercises, attend a few sessions offered by a certified Pilates instructor. Working one-on-one for several sessions will allow you to master the basics such as contracting your abdominals while continuing to breathe and holding your body in a plank position. You can expect to pay anywhere between $50 and $100 for one-on-one Pilates session with a certified instructor. If this is out of your budget or if you feel more comfortable in a group setting, try a Pilates class.
There are two styles of classes, one using the traditional mat series and the other using a machine called a reformer. Do some research by calling different gyms and Pilates studios to find a prenatal Pilates class. They may be hard to find, although they are increasingly being added to studio schedules.

If You Were Active for At Least Three Months Prior to Becoming Pregnant...

Prior to the 20th week you should feel comfortable working with an instructor one-on-one, participating in a mat or reformer class, or following one of the many Pilate's DVDs available. Remember to take deep breaths and focus on carrying oxygen to your baby. Listen for the instructor's cues when to inhale and exhale. Each phase of movement works with a specific breath flow that helps increase lung capacity. Should lying on your back become uncomfortable after the 20th week, seek out a prenatal Pilates class or DVD. Here are a couple of simple modifications you can make to any mat class:

  1. Choose a side-lying position. Is the class performing supine leg circles? Try stacking your hips (lying on your side), holding your alignment and performing the exercise while lying on your side. If you're familiar with Pilates moves, the setup for this movement is similar to the hip extension exercise.

  2. Choose elbows. Are you experiencing difficulty in a full plank position? When you have reached a level of fatigue and your form has slipped, try bringing your body down to an elbow plank. Continue your exercise for as long as it feels comfortable and take a break when you need it.

If You Have Always Been Active...

Thanks to your active lifestyle, your core muscles are strong and easy to control. During your pregnancy you may find it a little more difficult to hold your core for lengthy periods of time, but continuing to perform exercises that involve the plank will be beneficial. Benefits of a strong core include continued stability and balance, minimized risk of experiencing back pain, and the ability to continue most of the activities that you enjoy. Participate in classes or work one-on-one with a private instructor. Be sure to verbalize any discomfort and make modifications as needed, such as the two featured above. Breathe deep, stay in control and keep that body strong!

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