If you’re currently pregnant and are wanting to undertake a safe but challenging form of exercise, our Pregnancy Mat Pilates Classes may suit you.
Run by Physiotherapists who have extra training in pre-natal Pilates, these classes are specifically designed for pregnant women in their first, second or third trimester. Classes focus on maintaining core control and postural alignment throughout pregnancy, as well as preparing your body for labour and the post-natal period.
These Pilates classes vary from week to week, and include a range of additional equipment including Chi balls, resistance bands, hand weights, exercise balls, and foam rollers.
In the 1920’s, Joseph Pilates developed a unique system of exercises designed to attain and maintain optimal physical fitness. Pilates was at the forefront of proposing that a stronger midsection or “core” would protect the spine and form a stable platform from which the limbs could move more efficiently. Research in the last 30 years supports this premise, but has refined the way we recruit these muscles, to achieve optimal support and function.
A deep muscular corset around the spine, assists in controlling movement and stabilising the pelvis and low back when we move. In this group of muscles, the deepest layer of abdominals (Transversus Abdominis), works together with Multifidis (deep muscle on your spine), the Diaphragm and the Pelvic Floor to regulate intra-abdominal pressure and spinal stability. These postural muscles generally work at varying low levels in the background of all movements. Correctly positioning and moving the shoulder blades also assists this stabilising mechanism.
In pregnancy, optimal function of the deep muscular corset is challenged. Hormonal changes in pregnancy, combined with changes in body shape and weight, cause significant changes in posture, muscle length and joint stability around the low back and pelvis. It is not surprising that up to 70% of pregnant women develop low back or pelvic pain. Thus, special attention needs to be paid to maintaining function in the Transversus Abdominis and Pelvic Floor muscles, as well as improving postural awareness during pregnancy.
Research has shown Pilates-based exercises to be beneficial for managing low back and pelvic girdle pain, and exercise in pregnancy helps prepare the body for labour and the challenges of the postpartum period.
Our Pre-natal mat classes blend traditional Pilates principles with floor, ball, hand weight and resistance tubing exercises specifically designed to meet the challenges of pregnancy. All classes are conducted by a physiotherapist with extensive training in the Pilates method, and exercises vary week to week, to keep things interesting and fun. There is a focus on maintaining “neutral” spinal posture and activating the core stabilising muscles appropriately with exercises. Classes also include gentle stretches to maintain flexibility and relieve aches and pains associated with pregnancy.
Pilates Mat Classes can be easily adapted for individual needs, so are suitable for those at beginner level or those with muscular or joint pains, in combination with treatment as required. A 1:1 session with our physiotherapists before you start will help determine your particular needs. Classes are run in a relaxed environment, and give you the chance to meet other pregnant women along the way.
Before starting classes, you will need to attend a 1:1 Assessment with one of our Physiotherapists so they can speak with you in more detail about your pregnancy, any issues you may be experiencing, your general health, and the basics of Pilates.
We also require a signed Medical Clearance from your GP, Midwife or Obstetrician before you commence classes. We happily provide a simple template for your Doctor to complete on your behalf, and we also accept a signed letter or general Pregnancy Consent Form instead.
To book an assessment, you can: