PI­LATES: EX­ER­CISES FOR PREG­NANCY

PART 2

Great Health Guide - - FRONT PAGE - De­sign Olha Blagodir Words By Vanessa Bartlett

Here’s my pick of safe ex­er­cises for you to do through­out your preg­nancy. These are suit­able for first and sec­ond trimester and into the third if you are feel­ing up to it.

Ex­er­cises for first trimester.

1. Bridge – Lie flat on the floor on your back with the hands by your side and your knees bent, with feet at hip dis­tance apart. Take a breath in and out, gen­tly lift­ing pelvic floor mus­cles. Push­ing mainly with your heels, lift hips off the floor while keep­ing your back straight. Lengthen spine as you lift hips, squeez­ing the butt mus­cles and backs of thighs. Keep knees at hip dis­tance and main­tain firm press down through your arms. Slowly go back to the start­ing po­si­tion as you breathe in. Re­peat 2 x10

2. Tri­an­gle Leg Raise – Lay­ing on your side, bring both legs in front of you at about a 45-de­gree an­gle, other hand sup­port­ing your head. Keep a long spine, flex bot­tom leg (toes up, knee straight.) Keep­ing hips steady and stacked, lift top leg up with con­trol and re­sist as you lower it down in front of the other leg, tap­ping the floor. Lift back up to the tri­an­gle point and then tap leg be­hind the other one, with­out shift­ing your hips or fall­ing for­ward. A great core sta­biliser. Re­peat 10 x each side.

3. War­rior Stretch – Turn your right foot out, other foot for­ward. Your left heel should line up with the cen­tre of your right foot. Take the legs wide, so when you bend the right knee, your knees are over your heels, not your toes. Take arms out to sides. If you have low blood pres­sure keep hands on hips, shoul­der blades down and back. In­hale, bend your knee and hold, ex­hale slowly and stretch the knee straight again, lift­ing your knees up by tight­en­ing your thighs. Bend and stretch five times then hold for five breaths. Re­peat other side. Great for ground­ing and bal­anc­ing en­ergy and build­ing leg strength.

Ex­er­cises for the sec­ond trimester.

1. Pushup – Great for up­per body strength and tone. You can con­tinue to do these on your knees or toes dur­ing first trimester, but mod­ify to knees or lean­ing against a wall or bench for mid trimester to third trimester. Take hands slightly wider than shoul­ders apart, keep your spine long and shoul­ders back. In­hale to lower, ex­hale to push up. Re­peat 10 to 20 x 2 to 3 sets.

2. Squat – Great for lower body strength for glutes and legs. Take knees a bit wider than hips, legs slightly turned out. Main­tain a long spine and chest lifted. In­hale, lower your hips as though you are sit­ting on a chair (you can ac­tu­ally sit on a chair dur­ing preg­nancy for these), ex­hale and squeeze your butt as you come up. Arms out in front, with hands on hips. If un­steady – hold onto a chair or wall. Re­peat 15 x 3 sets.

3. Pointer – Great for core sta­bil­ity and deeper tummy strength and bal­ance. Hands un­der shoul­ders, knees un­der hips. Gen­tly draw up through your pelvic floor. Lift the back of your neck. In­hale to pre­pare, ex­hale, stretch out your op­po­site arm and leg, hold for a cou­ple of breaths and re­turn to start with­out mov­ing hips. Your goal is the keep pelvis sta­ble. Re­peat 10 x 2 sets.

4. Side Leg Raise – Great for glute strength and thigh tone, plus a nice stretch for the side of your body. If you are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing low blood pres­sure and into third trimester place your hand on hip rather than over­head. Kneel­ing up, place one

leg straight out to the side. Place op­po­site hand di­rectly un­der your shoul­der, keep­ing chest open. Draw shoul­der blades down and in, gen­tly draw up through pelvic floor. Reach arm over­head (or hand on hip). Keep­ing leg slightly for­ward of the body, heel down, leg straight, slowly lift the leg up then down feel­ing like you are re­sist­ing against wa­ter. In­hale to lift, ex­hale to lower. Re­peat 10 x 2 sets each side.

For your car­dio work, I rec­om­mend walk­ing and light aer­o­bic work, main­tain­ing your heart rate be­low 140bpm.

For more help with preg­nancy work­outs head to www.vaness­ab­health.com ‘YouTube’ chan­nel.

Vanessa Bartlett has 14 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in the fit­ness in­dus­try and has ap­peared as a pre­sen­ter for TVSN, The Morn­ing Show and co-hosted a com­mu­nity TV Life­style show. In 2013, she was part of a group award for ‘In­no­va­tion in Health­care’ and is on a mis­sion to em­power peo­ple to be­come ed­u­cated in holis­tic health prac­tices, pow­ered by Pi­lates. See Vanessa’s web­site for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion.

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