Prenatal Pilates: Dos + Don’ts with Expert Robin Long
In today’s video, we’re discussing prenatal Pilates safety tips with my friend, The Balanced Life founder Robin Long, an expert in pre/postnatal Pilates.
Pregnancy can be a scary time — especially when it’s your first child, and you don’t know what to expect.
It certainly was for me during my first and early second trimester. I wanted to keep up my usual activity level, but on top of feeling less than spectacular at times, I was also very hesitant about exercise.
One website I read would say an activity was safe, and another would contradict it. One pilates instructor would have me lie flat on my back doing “hundreds” in the second trimester, and another would say I should avoid anything that even slightly worked my core. Studio workouts felt like the Wild West — there were no consistent rules.
Since I was so confused, I wavered between being overly cautious and doing activities that made me a little nervous. After weeks of unsatisfactory workouts, I decided to get to the bottom of it all.
I dug into the research and hit up my fitness expert pals to get the scoop on what’s really safe for prenatal exercise. Over the next couple of months, I’ll be rolling out workout videos, exercise tips, and myth-busting articles on everything from diastasis recti to proper weight training during pregnancy.
To kick things off, we’re starting with a series of prenatal Pilates videos featuring my friend and pre/postnatal Pilates expert, Robin Long of The Balanced Life.
Robin is a mommy of two with two more buns in the oven (yup, she’s currently pregnant twins) and she is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to safe Pilates practice during pregnancy.
Today, she’s sharing her prenatal Pilates dos and don’ts. We’re talking about which Pilates exercises are OK during pregnancy, and which to avoid during the first, second, and third trimester. We’re also discussing common questions like, “Are crunches OK during pregnancy?”
Got a class in 15 minutes and need to know which Pilates exercises to avoid right away? Here are the CliffsNotes:
- During the first trimester, you can continue with your Pilates routine as usual.
- After the first trimester, avoid exercises that cause extreme flexion of the rectus abdominus such as crunches and sit-ups.
- You can still do some abdominal work, depending on your core strength. Decrease your range of motion during leg lifts to modify.
- After the first trimester, avoid exercises like short spine and long spine.
- If you’re feeling uncomfortable on your back, likely around 20 weeks, use a pilates ball or wedge to modify exercises.
- Trust your body!
Stay tuned for the second video in this series where Robin will show us five Pilates exercises to avoid during pregnancy and their modifications, and the third video where she’ll walk us through a 10-minute Pilates workout that is good for all stages of pregnancy.
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For more prenatal workouts and advice, check out these posts! >>
I also have a free, 3-part postpartum mommy + me workout series! >>
- 5 Healthy Activities + Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
- DHA Supplementation During Pregnancy
- 5 Healthy Pregnancy Diet Tips
- Weight Gain During Pregnancy
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Weigh-in: Do you have more questions about prenatal Pilates? What exercises were/are you unsure of during pregnancy?