How can Pilates help with Strengthening?
These classes are provided for you so that you can get the healing benefits of Pilates with ease. There is no need for you to leave the house, no need for you to go to a class and interact with an instructor or other attendees if you are not ready to do so. The classes are free for you to use and can be done from the comfort and safety of your home.
They have been specifically designed with you and your experiences in mind. Modification is important in Pilates and all of the exercises have been developed with modifications that can make any Pilates workout safe, and at the same time challenging enough for you to get the benefits, no matter what level of experience and practice you are at. We at LOLA hope that they will aid your physical and emotional recovery after losing your baby, and after your experience of labour and delivery.
Warning: Always consult a health professional before starting any exercise and listen to your body. If you are under medical supervision, check in with your doctor before embarking on any exercise, including Pilates practice.
Pilates Warm-up Exerscises
Our Pilates practitioner, Ashley, has also prepared some gentle exercises to help reconnect to your pelvic floor, lower back and belly. You can follow this simple routine as a warm up for the Pilates classes, or do it when you have some time each day, to build yourself up slowly.
Pelvic floor exercises
The pelvic floor consists of layers of muscles that stretch like a supportive hammock from the pubic bone (in front) to the end of the backbone. If your pelvic floor muscles are weakened, you may find that you leak urine when you cough, sneeze or strain.
Gradually squeeze and increase the tension in your pelvic floor using the following techniques;
- Squeeze slowly and hold for pelvic floor connection for 5 to 10 seconds. Release slowly. Repeat 10 times.
- Perform quick, short and hard squeezes. Repeat 10 times.
- Aim for five or six sets each day
Exercises to strengthen the pelvis and lower back
Pelvic tilts gently move and stretch your back and exercise your tummy muscles. They can also help to ease back pain. You can do pelvic tilts lying down, sitting or while balancing on an exercise ball.
Here's how to do pelvic tilts while lying down:
- Lie on the floor or on your bed. Place a pillow under your head. Bend your knees by sliding your feet up towards your bottom.
- Tighten your pelvic floor and pull in your lower tummy muscles, before imprinting the lumbar spine (lower back) into the floor or bed. Hold this for a count to three and then arch your back away from the floor or bed. Repeat 10 times. Breathing fully with complete breaths.
Belly breathing exercises
Belly breathing simply involves allowing your stomach to expand and contract as much as possible while you actively inhale and exhale as deeply as possible. Anytime you feel anxious or upset, taking 6 large belly breaths – slowly in and out – will help to ease your anxiety and calm your mind.
Here, Ashley takes you through a Pilates class designed to help you reconnect by working on your breathing and pelvis placement, as well as mobilise and stabilise your post-natal body. Ashley’s sequence finishes with exercises to restore your core and a standing series to build strength and tone.
In this video, Kate takes you through movements which will help you to balance, stretch and co-ordinate, assisting in your recovery. The movements in this video are designed to build on and follow Kate’s introduction to Pilates. They are designed for you to practise initially with Kate. When you feel stronger, you may practise the movements in your own time, and at your own pace.