This post was written by H&W instructor Martina Hauptmann. Martina will be presenting her new Pilates for the Pelvic Floor course in Denver in 2015!
It is commonly known that exercise while pregnant is important. In every city there are numerous pre-natal group exercise classes. These classes offer an excellent way to maintain fitness and also create a support group for these clients. Unfortunately, medical research studies conducted by physical therapists do not show that group exercise for pre-natal clients decreases the prevalence of low back pain in pregnancy (Eggen et al, Physical Therapy: June 2012.)
If the focus is on decreasing the prevalence of low back pain in pregnancy, the European Guideline for Physical Therapists recommend individualized exercise sessions. With individualized exercise sessions, the client’s posture, quality of movement and sequencing of muscle recruitment can be monitored and altered as necessary for the client.
Pilates is excellent for the development of personalized pre-natal exercise programs. Pilates is a philosophy of exercise where the focus of exercise is on precision, quality of movement and with a strong focus on the client’s postural control. Because of this, every Pilates exercise has direct and indirect effects.
For example, if a simple exercise such as biceps curls is done, the client will increase biceps strength. If the client is cued to maintain an opened chest posture with her scapulas set away from her ears. The client will indirectly develop improved postural control and scapular stabilization. Finally, to increase muscular action, the client would also be instructed in using her breath to increase deep core activation.
An introductory Pilates course with a focus on women’s health issues (including Pilates exercise for the pre and post natal client) for physical therapists will be offered in Denver through Herman & Wallace on March 7-8, 2015.
Eggen M, Stuge B, Mowinckel P, Jensen K, Hagen K. Can Supervised Group Exercises Including Ergonomic Advice Reduce the Prevalence and Severity of Low Back Pain and Pelvic Girdle Pain in Pregnancy? A Randomized Controlled Trial. Physical Therapy. 2012;92:781-790.