Is Reformer Pilates Safe for Pregnant Women? | 8 Benefits and 4 Things to Avoid

 

Posted By: Pamela Toy
 

Can you do Reformer Pilates While Pregnant?
 
Training on a Pilates Reformer during pregnancy offers a safe and effective way to exercise. You can exercise safely because the Reformer provides support to the body while the exercise will strengthen your core, improve your flexibility and balance. Additionally, you can adjust the resistance level to fit your needs!
 

You need to consult your doctor before attempting to hop into any form of exercise including Reformer Pilates!
 

Your body is going through many different changes during pregnancy, but the exercises on a Reformer can be tailored to match your development. Just make sure you are working with an experienced instructor.

While there are many benefits to prenatal reformer training, there are a few things you should also be wary of.

In this post, we will discuss both the benefits and things to avoid while exercising on the Reformer.
 

8 Prenatal Reformer Benefits

 
Pilates Reformer Benefits for Pregnant Women
 
According to Mayo Clinic, exercising at a moderate intensity for a minimum of 30-minutes is recommended for pregnant women. Because the Reformer is low impact, it can be a really helpful form of exercise. (1)

Here are the core benefits of using the Reformer during pregnancy:

1. Strengthens Core Muscles
2. Consistent Training Can Make it Easier to Get out of Bed
3. Strengthening your Pelvic Floor Muscles
4. Improved Breathing
5. Helps Decrease Excessive Weight Gain
6. Can Reduce Stress
7. Reduced Back Pain
8. Improves Postural Awareness

 

1. Strengthens Core Muscles

 
During Pregnancy, your body releases hormones, including Relaxin, which is a hormone produced by the Ovary and Placenta. In preparation for childbirth, it relaxes the ligaments in the pelvis and widens and softens the cervix. (2)

This can stretch and relax your ligaments, which can make you more prone to lower back pain and pelvic pain. To combat this, you need to strengthen your core and abdominal muscles. Training on the Reformer can improve your core strength and stability a lot. (3)

 

2. Consistent Training Can Make it Easier to Get out of Bed

 

Getting out of bed can be a struggle for many women during pregnancy as weak abdominal and core muscles can make it much more difficult. However, consistent exercise on the Reformer can strengthen the muscles needed to get out of bed more easily.

 

3. Strengthening your Pelvic Floor Muscles

 
Reformer Pilates training can improve your pelvic floor muscles. This is important because the Pelvic Floor consists of layers of muscle that essentially stretch like a supportive hammock on from the pubic bone to the lower end of your backbone. Being pregnant and giving birth stretches the pelvic floor muscles, making them weaker. As a result, you are likely to wet yourself more often. (4)

 

4. Improved Breathing

 
According to Harvard Health, many women who are pregnant experience shortness of breath. (5)

Pilates training places a heavy emphasis on breathing properly. Deep breaths through your ribcage and stomach are really important concepts especially when training on the Reformer. As a result, consistent reformer exercises can improve your breathing.

 

5. Help Decrease Excessive Weight Gain

 
Some women are either already overweight before they become pregnant or become overweight during pregnancy. According to Medline Plus, it is not recommended to go on a diet. However, they do encourage eating healthy and staying active. (6)

Reformer Pilates training can help you to lose weight and it can be a great form of exercise to stay healthy during pregnancy.

 

6. Can Reduce Stress

 
Exercise during pregnancy can boost your mood and improve your overall energy levels. Additionally, it can help you to sleep better. (7)

Pregnancy can be very stressful, but having an outlet such as Reformer Pilates Training can be really helpful to blow off steam.

There are many mental health benefits of Pilates making it a great activity for pregnant women.

 

7. Reduced Back Pain

 
According to Web MD, back pain among pregnant women is fairly common. This can be caused by a number of things like weight gain, posture changes, and hormonal changes. (8)

Doing exercises on the Reformer can alleviate your back pain by helping to manage your weight gain (as mentioned previously), and strengthen and lengthen your back muscles. (9) Pilates also teaches proper alignment and stretches your back muscles.

 

8. Increased Postural Awareness

 
Maintaining a proper posture during pregnancy can be difficult, especially throughout the later stages. However, training on the Reformer can teach proper alignment and stretch your back muscles. Having an imbalance in either can lead to poor posture overall. (10)
 
 

What Should You Avoid on the Reformer During Pregnancy?

 

 
While training on the Reformer can be beneficial during pregnancy, there are a number of things you should avoid entirely.
 

This list is not exhaustive, so please speak to your doctor before proceeding.
 

Here are things you should absolutely avoid on the Reformer during Pregnancy:

1. Not Consulting Your Doctor Before Jumping on the Reformer
2. Avoid being flat on your back
3. Avoid Being Face Down
4. Don’t overstrain yourself and go beyond what you could before pregnancy

 

1. Not Consulting Your Doctor Before Jumping on the Reformer

 
This is easily the most important callout, but everyone’s condition is different so please consult your doctor before attempting to do Pilates while pregnant. It is always better to be cautious to avoid any complications!

 

2. Avoid being flat on your back

 
As a general rule of thumb, laying flat on your back should be avoided especially during the third trimester of your pregnancy. This is because it can place more stress on the heart. (11)

When exercising on the Reformer, any exercise that requires you to lay flat on your back should be avoided.

 

3. Avoid Being Face Down

 
Lying face down on your stomach can also cause some issues. Not only is it an uncomfortable position, but it can also reduce blood flow and add pressure to the fetus. (11)

Needless to say, any exercises that require you to lie on your stomach should be avoided on the Reformer.

 

4. Don’t overstrain yourself and go beyond what you could before pregnancy

 
Too much exercise without adequate recovery time can weaken your immune system, making it harder to fight off infections and illnesses. (12)

This goes without saying, but when doing your reformer exercises you shouldn’t try to go beyond what you could pre-pregnancy to avoid overstraining your body.

 

Final Verdict

 
Training on the Pilates Reformer is a fantastic way to stay active when pregnant, but you need to consult your doctor before jumping into any form of exercise. However, if you get the green light, the training can be very beneficial and give you a physical outlet to burn off some steam.
 
 

Related Posts