Hot Pilates While Pregnant | The Spoiled Mama

ic:Pilates While Pregnant

As a mom, you may be struggling to find a way to include your Pilates routine with that beautiful bump of yours. We know having the motivation—or willpower—to exercise can be extremely difficult while preggo. We are going to discuss all things pregnancy and pilates. So, is Pilates good for pregnancy? Strap in, put on your grippy socks, and roll out that mat, because we are about to find out!


ic:Pregnant mom doing reformer Pilates

Safety Precautions

Starting pilates while pregnant may be a little overwhelming, so, we made sure to let you Mama's know about the safety precautions in Pilates! Make sure to consult with your doctor first. After the go-ahead, get in contact with your/an instructor to see if you are required to take an introductory/private class.

  • Make sure you are using the equipment for its intended use
  • Work only with a qualified instructor
  • Keep your body, clothing, and hair free from moving parts and springs
  • Always ensure spring and carabiners are properly placed and secured (notify the instructor if you are unsure- they are there to help you and to ensure you have a great class!)

Disclaimer: Stop exercising immediately if you are experiencing any chest pain, extreme discomfort, difficulty breathing, or if you feel faint.

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Pilates Exercises to Avoid While Pregnant

Using a Pilates reformer while pregnant may be a little intimidating at first. Understanding everything that comes with Pilates and the potential risks is crucial. Here is a breakdown of what type of Pilates exercise to avoid during each trimester.

First Trimester: You may be feeling morning sickness or serious fatigue. Luckily, your normal pilates routine is safe for Mama and baby. Avoid extreme intensity and go at your own pace. Reduce the amount/intensity of abdominal exercise and go slow. 

Second Trimester: This is where things may start getting tricky. Avoid strengthening the Rectus Abdominus (between ribs and front of the pelvis). As your glowing bump gets bigger, we don’t want to tighten that muscle, which could cause rectus diastasis (when your large abdominal muscles separate). OUCH… Labor pain is already enough as it is, Mama.

Avoid inner thigh workouts, lying on your stomach (duh), & lying on your back.

Third Trimester: It’s the final stretch, and your posture changes drastically. The second-trimester guidelines still apply, okay? But now you’re avoiding ALL abdominal exercises (Personally… I don’t even think I could get up on that reformer anyway). Make sure you listen to your body and do what feels comfortable.

Fourth Trimester: Baby is out, what's next for my Pilates regime? As always consult with your midwife/doc. Some deliveries require a 6-week period before starting up again, or 12-week period for c-sections. You must avoid abdominal exercises, and those first/second trimester workouts.

Hot Pilates While Pregnant

Here is where it gets a little tricky, Mama. Hot pilates may be done while pregnant, but consult your doctor first. If your body temperature is too hot and you’re spicing it up on the reformer, things can get messy. It is crucial you do not purposefully raise your body temperature! High temp is not good for the baby. So turn down that thermostat! Moderation and speaking with your doctor first is key!

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Pilates in Each Trimester

Now you're probably thinking, is Pilates good for pregnancy? What the heck can I actually do then? Thankfully it is! Since Pilates is slow, controlled, and requires functional focus, it perfectly compliments a prenatal workout regime. Unless you are at high-risk pregnancy, you may have to wait postpartum, Mama.

First Trimester: Good news! In your first trimester, you can continue any routine you had going previously. (But remember, decrease that intensity!) No more kegals! Pelvic floor muscle activation is highly encouraged/recommended. Here are some other examples you can do: Bent Knee Fallout, Leg Lifts, Half Plank, and Hip Roll. Hungry for more? Chat with your Pilates instructor for more guidance and recs.

Second Trimester: During your second trimester, continue your prenatal exercises. If comfortable, by all means, continue your first-trimester regime. If you want to add more, you can include some of these exercises in your routine: Modified Swim Prep, Spine Twist, Squatting Side Bends, Side Plank, and Double Leg Lifts.

Third Trimester: It's the final stretch! Your legs may be swollen, you're prepping for birth, and you really just need a massage. As mentioned above, in this trimester, you're avoiding all abdominal exercises, inner thigh workouts, and supine lying positions. But, you can do those killer arm exercises while sitting on the reformer, and stretching. And as always, consult with your doc.

Fourth Trimester: So, baby is out. You're overjoyed, and you are finally in your fourth trimester! Check with your midwife/doctor before resuming any activity. It is recommended that you can start your regime again 6-weeks post delivery and 12-weeks post c-section. In this trimester, this is one of the best forms of self-care you can do. Not only does Pilates in this trimester promote better posture, and promotes better body alignment, it also enhances your mind-body awareness. Some examples of the best Pilates workouts for this trimester are: Arm Circles, Wall Squats, Glute Bridge, Leg Circles, and Pendulum Swinging Legs.

For more details on other postpartum exercises, check out our blog here.

Will you continue or start your Pilates regimen during or post-pregnancy? What will you focus on during your pre-natal pilates?

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