When it comes to exercising during pregnancy and after birth, I’m a pretty big advocate for it, as you know.

Exercising during pregnancy provides not just you, but your unborn baby with many benefits.

And, one of the best things you can do as a new mum is workout safely after birth, because it not only makes you feel better about yourself, but it sets a great example for your newborn baby too, doesn’t it?

Today’s article is two-fold, as it’s aimed at:

  1. staying fit during pregnancy and,
  2. losing the baby weight after birth.

I’ve narrowed it down 5 top things you need to be doing to increase your fitness level and burn fat, so here goes:

1. INTERVAL TRAINING
One of the BEST forms of exercise to increase your fitness level and/or melt fat fast, is interval training.

I do interval training in ALL of my prenatal exercise classes, Pilates and Mummies and Buggies classes.

I even run a hot and sweaty, ‘next-step after baby’, higher intensity level class here.

If you’re wanting to NOT have to clutch your chest every time you walk up the stairs because you’re getting out of breathe, maybe a bout of interval training is what your system needs, huh?

Interval training is bursts of higher intensity, followed by lower intensity exercise, training the heart, lungs, arms, legs and core.

Think of it as a full-body workout which is over and done with quickly.

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Had your baby recently?

Unsure what exercise is safe to do for your abdominals post-birth?

Want to do some Pilates to tone up your tummy, safely and effectively?

Here’s a short video listing 3 x Pilates-based exercises every new mum should add to her repertoire.

This will help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, tone up the mummy tummy and help fix any abdominal separation present.

Want an hour of targeted exercise for your postnatal body, where you can bring baby with you?

Join a mum and baby fitness class – Get fit, have fun, make new mummy friends and bring baby with you!

If you don’t do something NOW to get back into shape after birth, it may be even longer before you’re your old self again. 

Even when you’re at your worst, I’m certain with a bit of willpower and a change in mindset, you can find 10 minutes in your day to exercise with these tips.

Want to learn more about postnatal exercise?

Check out my Postnatal Pilates Worksheets, Your Pelvic Matters Exercise Class if your pelvic floor isn’t as strong as it was pre-pregnancy, and/or my indoor buggy workout Mummies and Buggies fitness classes.

 

Are you expecting a baby?

Pregnancy can really play havoc with your back, huh?

If you have a birthing/swiss ball at home collecting dust, and you’d like to perform some simple, safe and effective stretches on it, watch this short video.

If you’re looking for a pregnancy exercise or antenatal Pilates class in Nottingham, and want to meet other mums-to-be, then you’ve come to the right place!

Bump to Babe Fitness and Pregnancy Pilates classes are every busy pregnant woman’s answer to staying fit, active and healthy throughout their pregnancy.

You can come along and exercise at any stage of your pregnancy, right up to full term, and the best bit is – you’ll be giving your unborn baby the BEST start in life.

Abdominal SeparationI once met a client who came to my postnatal Pilates classes who had all 3 of these things:

1) Abdominal separation (3 finger width gap above and below the navel)
2) Pelvic floor weakness (she was wetting herself on impact), and
3) An umbilical hernia (diagnosed by her GP)

I’ve rehabilitated and lessened the symptoms all of these 3 issues in a lot of women (and men) over the past few years.

They’re all linked.

How?

Let me explain a little further:

TOO MUCH PRESSURE

The human body has 3 cavities:

1) thoracic (chest and ribcage area)
2) abdomen
3) pelvic

If you have too much pressure building up in one of those cavities, there are 3 ways of that pressure is going places once it’s reached the pressure cooker stage:

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photo_pregnancy_exercise_2[1]This is the third and final part of a series of 3 articles on how alignment affects you and your baby.

 

If you missed the previous articles, click here to read them:

 

Part 1 – How Alignment Affects Your Ability to Give Birth Naturally

Part 2 – How Alignment Affects YOUR Baby’s Development and Gait Patterns

 

Today, I’m talking about How Alignment Affects Your Baby’s Ability to Move From a Breech to an Engaged Position.

 

It’s an interesting topic and one that’s not covered in much detail at antenatal education classes.

 

If you’re close to term and need to move baby from a breech to engaged position – you’ll want to keep reading….!

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For those of who have done Pilates, or are attending my Pilates classes now, I know how difficult the concept of breathing can be for you, so I thought I’d write a little post for you detailing when to breathe in, and when to breathe out.

In fact: “When should I breathe in and out?” is one of the most frequently asked questions from my Pilates clients, so hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll be a little more clued up on the whole breathing situation.

I mention in class that the breathing in Pilates is certainly connected to core activation, so it’s not something you want to disregard altogether, and some clients who’ve been practising Pilates for years still struggle with the timing.

The main thing to remember is to breathe. Try NOT to hold your breath when performing Pilates. Let your breath guide the movement, regardless of whether it’s in or out.

If you’d really like to fine-tune your breathing technique though, here are my top tips for remembering when to breathe in and out.

Generally speaking, the out breath occurs:

  1. When you feel the muscle working,
  2. When you take your body away from the neutral position, and/or
  3. On the first phase of the movement.

To clarify that further, let’s use a calf raise as an example exercise.  A calf raise is where you’re in standing, and yCalf raiseou lift both heels off the floor.  The breathing pattern would be as follows:

  1. Out breath to work the calf – that’s when the calf muscle activates/works,
  2. Out breath to move away from the neutral/starting position,
  3. Out breath in the first phase of movement – when you lift the heels off the floor.

The in breath occurs:

  1. During the non-work muscle phase,
  2. When you return your body back to neutral, and/or
  3. On the second phase of the movement.

I hope that’s clarified things for you regarding when to breathe in and out in Pilates.

If you want to have a go at practising some of the breathing techniques in the comfort of your own home, click here to download a set of Worksheets to help you.

To quote Joseph Pilates himself:

“In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference and in 30 you’ll have a whole new body!”.

Any further questions, do get in touch.

See you in class again soon!

If you’re a desk-bound worker, a new mum or someone who does repetitive movements day in day out, it’s no wonder you get tension in your neck, shoulders and back, is it?

 

All that over-use of the same muscles, lifting, moving, twisting, feeding/caring for your baby if you’re a new mum etc, it’s no wonder your posture gets affected by it.

 

Today, I’m giving you my top 5 tips on things you can do to improve your posture right NOW, and to help you with those niggling aches and pains in your neck, shoulders and back.personaltraining

 

I hope it makes good reading.  The question is: are you ready to make some changes?  Ok.  Let’s do this.

 

 

GET UP AND MOVE

The number one reason clients (that’s EVERYONE, by the way) suffer with back pain is because our current lifestyle requires us to sit down.  A lot.  At work we’re sitting.  At rest we’re sitting.  Our spine isn’t really designed for this positioning. Well, not continuously, anyway.  So, point number one is: if you’ve been seated for more than 30 minutes (regardless of whether you’ve shifted position or not), get up and move.  NOW!

 

STRETCH YOUR CHEST, NECK AND SHOULDERS

Regular stretching of your chest, neck and shoulders, like those I mentioned in a recent article to you, is paramount to: getting blood flow into those aching muscles, relieving tension and easing the symptoms.

 

BE AWARE OF YOUR SHOULDERS

Those of you who attend my Pilates classes will hear me say constantly: “Slide your shoulders back and down”, or “Drop your shoulders away from your ears”, or even “For the love of God, stop wearing your shoulders as earrings!”.  Tee hee.  But, on a serious note, for optimum shoulder placement (and to stop that niggling neck/shoulder ache), sit or stand tall, and slide your shoulders back and down your rib cage behind you.  Feels much better, doesn’t it?  Now, make a concerted effort, throughout the rest of the day to become more aware of your shoulder positioning.

 

STRETCH YOUR BACKSONY DSC

Stretching your back in a safe and effective manner, is a really nice way of releasing tension on those over-used back extensors.  Your lumbar spine only has 5 vertebrae, but, let me tell you, those 5 bones can cause some individuals a lot of discomfort.  Take a look at the picture opposite of a Cat Curl stretch.  It’s much safe to stretch your back in this position than it is by bending backwards in standing or

 

DO PILATES

Doctor’s recommend it, Osteopaths, Chiropractors and Physiotherapists all condone it as a safe and effective form of exercise to combat back pain.  Pilates works your deep abdominal muscles or “core”, which in turn help support your back.  The more your strengthen your “core”, the stronger your back will become from the support of your abdominals at the front.  Check out my YouTube channel for workouts you can do which are suitable for everyone to perform.  Let me know how you get on.

 

And there you have it!  My top 5 tips for improving your posture right NOW!  I bet you feel better already.

With so many of your suffering with back ache and pelvic pain in class at the moment, I thought I’d send you out a quick article regarding what exercise is safe to perform during pregnancy.

If you aren’t sure what Pelvic Girdle Pain is, take a look at my blog ‘What is Pelvic Girdle Pain?‘, so you’re a little more informed about what the condition is, what it affects, and why you feel pain in certain areas.

As many as 20% of women can suffer with pelvic and/or back pain during pregnancy, but I’m here to ease your mind and inform you that exercise, under the right instruction can make your symptoms better.

If you’ve ever been sat down/driving for several hours and then gone to stand up/get out of your car and felt like you were 80 years old, you’ll understand that pain at times, can be debilitating.  Have you noticed though, that when you have more of an active day where you’re moving around more, or when you’ve been along to one of my pregnancy fitness or pregnancy Pilates classes, you find that you:

a) sleep better afterwards, and

b) have less pain as a result?

Well, that’s generally because, when you’re in my class anyway, I choose Pilates-based movements which focus on your pelvic floor and/or core muscles which help stabilise your pelvis and back.

In more cases than not, the stronger your abdominals, the stronger your back.  By doing Pilates-based exercise which focuses on your pelvic floor and transverses abdominus (deep core) muscles, this enables you to manage and in some cases, eradicate any discomfort felt.

If you’re experiencing any pain in the front of your pelvic eg near your pubic bone, or to one side of your lower back, then you may indeed have the early stages of SPD/PGP.

A Specialist will then advise you to work your pelvic floor muscles effectively, get some strength into your core muscles, and give you a series of, guess what – Pilates-based exercises to do at home to keep things in check.

So, all in all, Pilates really is one of the safest and most beneficial forms of exercise for expectant women to be doing at any stage of their pregnancy.  I truly believe that if more mums-to-be did Pregnancy-specific Pilates to keep their pelvic floor/core/pelvic stabilising muscles strong, then fewer women would suffer with back pain.

What are your experiences of Pilates during pregnancy?  Have you found it’s helped you?  I’d love to hear your thoughts, so drop me a line.

My pregnancy fitness or pregnancy Pilates classes use Pilates-based movement which focus on your pelvic floor and/or core muscles to help stablise your pelvis and back.


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