Good posture in Pregnancy Pilates
Posture in pregnancy Pilates exercises
Posture is so important in pregnancy Pilates and during any pregnancy exercise! Read on for posture tips for pregnancy Pilates and any other workout
Moving and exercising with your body in good alignment is fundamental to pregnancy Pilates. It relates to how you position your body during movement and when you are still – when your body is not properly aligned it can place additional strain on your joints, ligaments and muscles and lead to pregnancy backache and pelvic girdle pain.
Good posture is so important during pregnancy!
As your baby develops and your breasts grow larger during pregnancy your centre of gravity shifts. The natural tendency is often to let the pelvis tilt forward, curving the spine and putting additional strain on the lower back and abdominal muscles.In addition, the release of the pregnancy hormonerelaxin softens your ligaments and can exacerbate the pain and discomfort in your joints.
Effectivepregnancy Pilates exerciseswill encourage you to stand tall and maintain a good posture when you're standing, sitting or walking every day or when you’re enjoying any other form of exercise during pregnancy.
Check your posture:
- Stand with your feet and legs directly under your hips, legs and feet parallel, knees and toes pointing forward
- Balance your weight by rocking gently backwards and forward on your feet until your weight is evenly balanced over the middle of your feet
- Distribute your weight evenly over both feet, lengthening your waist on both sides
- Lightly pull your core abdominal muscles inwards and upwards, engaging your pelvic floor muscles as well
- Try and keep your spine and pelvis neutral without either pulling your pelvis in too far or letting it fall forward so your lower back doesn't curve excessively
- Relax your chest, ensuring it's neither pulled in or thrust out, at the same time relaxing your shoulders
- Your head and neck should feel completely supported with your gaze straight ahead, your throat open, jaw muscles and face relaxed
Try not to stand still for more than a few minutes at a time – keep moving!
Sitting during pregnancy:
- Aim to keep your spine in a natural ‘S' curve – avoiding slumping into a ‘C' curve!
- Keep your feet firmly planted on the floor, hip-width apart for optimum stability, thighs parallel to the floor.
- Make sure your weight is evenly distributed between your sitting bones without leaning to one side
- If your chair is too high put something under your feet – too low and you're increasing the pressure on your lower back.
- Make sure there's a gap between the seat edge and the back of your knees to allow your blood to circulate freely – but don't perch on the edge of your chair
- Keep those thighs, shoulders and your neck relaxed
- If you're sitting at a desk adjust your screen so you don't have to tip your head up or back to see the screen and try and keep your forearms parallel to the desk so you don't have to lift your shoulders whilst using your keyboard
Careful lifting during pregnancy
- If you're carrying bags, make sure you divide the load so you carry an even amount in each hand
- If you have to pick something up (bear this one in mind if you have a toddler!), stand feet either side with one foot slightly in front of the other. Squat down with your back long and supported by your core and lift close to your body, ideally with one hand underneath and the other supporting the top (or your toddlers back!).
- Try not to lift and twist at the same time.
- If you have a really heavy load to carry – ask someone else to help!
A simple check to improve your posture
Standing with your back against a wall and your feet about 30cms in front, hip distance apart, can help you develop awareness of your posture during pregnancy. Does your spine curve forward leaving a gap between the wall and your waist? Do your shoulder blades rest gently against the wall or are they hunched forward? Is your head touching the wall or balancing freely on the top of your spine? For more exercises try these Pregnancy Pilates Standing exercises.