Pilates for New Moms
Once cleared by your physician, Pilates is excellent for post-natal mommies to get back into core strength, battle shoulder tightness, and lower back ache from holding your little bundle. In order to take care of your family, don’t forget to care for yourself! Here’s how Pilates helps Mommies:
Developing your Core: This is what Pilates is widely known for! Pilates moves help to flatten the belly because the primary focus for core connection is to draw the abdominals inward not out (the baby pooch), by targeting the Transverse abdominals.
Through the approach of the Pilates Method and its principles, you must focus on keeping your core engaged in order to get the greatest benefit of every single exercise – working from your center, even when you are extending through arms or legs, and most importantly while working the back muscles as well.
Simultaneous Stretching and Strengthening. Did you know that flexibility is a key part of strength? Pilates movements are dynamic and many of the individual exercises ask your body to both stretch while you’re tasking your muscle load.
Pelvic floor. The pelvic floor stretches tremendously during pregnancy and afterward it feels like things are rather disconnected down there. Working the pelvic floor muscles is extremely important whether you underwent natural or C-section delivery. Pilates requires engaging the pelvic floor muscles, which helps to realign the pelvis, and support healing.
Diastasis Recti. Pilates can be a great compliment to any fitness postnatal program, especially if you struggle with core strength or have Diastasis Recti (a separation of the abdominal wall, which can happen during pregnancy, and compromises the core) . Pilates exercises work the deepest layer of abdominals, referred to as the Transverse Abdominals. These muscles form like a corset, hugging your midsection and are typically forgotten when doing “traditional” ab exercises. Traditional ab exercises can actually worsen Diastasis Recti.
Step away from the Stress. One of the Pilates principles is Concentration. The mindfulness that a Pilates Practice asks (and your Instructor will demand) of you means that you bring your attention and consciousness fully to the quality of your breath and movement. Are you holding unnecessary tension in your shoulders while you’re moving your legs? Are you working equally and evenly? Are you changing your posture after you pass the first 2 reps?
Being present is key and when the workout is over, you’ll feel refreshed and reinvigorated, de-stressed. That quality “me” time to focus on yourself will be a pay off – as they say, “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”