08 Oct Your new centre of gravity with pre-natal pilates
With Ana Rivera
Modelone modelling agency founder, model, actress and micro-blogger Ana Rivera has called Hong Kong home for many years. “I was a ballet dancer since the age of six. I’m not a crazy fitness person but I do love the shape of a dancer’s body and I miss dancing a lot, so I thought it would be a no brainer to do Pilates.”
However it took her some time to find a teacher with whom she really resonated. “A good friend introduced Flex to me and I felt at home right away there. It could not have been more perfect timing as I had just got pregnant and was looking for a place to exercise. It’s not always easy to find classes or teachers that know what you and your body are going through.”
On a trimester-by-trimester basis how much Pilates can you expect to be able to achieve?
During your first trimester you will find it is really easy to move around and to do a lot of the basic movements. For me it’s just not the best idea to do a lot of abs work. This is why I started my prenatal classes early as I wasn’t sure what I could and couldn’t do and I was so worried I would hurt the baby.
During your second trimester you find that this stage is when your body starts showing changes. I find myself giggling a lot in the classes at the things you might not have realized before will be difficult to do at this stage. My tummy has started getting in the way of some of the movements. What is great is that the teachers know there is more then one way to do the same movement, and which ways will be easier with a growing belly. The other thing you might notice is that you start getting short of breath.
Right now, I just hit my third trimester so I’m not sure how the next few months will work out. But the ladies in the classes I took seemed to be managing very well. They also seem to be staying in class till the closest date they can before giving birth.
Are there any moves in particular that are especially beneficial?
I find them all very useful so I don’t think I could pick out any one out. I do like the full body motion you get out of the workout.
What main benefits have you found so far?
Better body balance and building your core muscles. After giving birth strong core muscles are a must to get your baby body back in shape. Also body awareness is very valuable as women can get clumsy during pregnancy – as your body changes it also changes your center of gravity. My husband thinks it’s funny how clumsy I am. I was a little clumsy before but now it’s almost comical. I feel that Pilates helps you find your new center of gravity.
What kind of benefits do you expect to experience during and post-birth?
I will have to wait and see. I was surprised to find out that most of the teachers teaching Pilates are mothers – they look amazing, very fit and strong but not masculine. This is my biggest worry about working out as I don’t want to look square like a guy. However, looking more like a ballet dancer, lean and strong, is great.
Flex offers both pre- and post-natal Pilates, which both encompass mat work as well as Allegro exercises, instructors making modifications depending on your trimester. Strengthening the abdominals is beneficial whether you’re a new mother or a mother-to-be, helping support the spine, alleviate lower back pain, tone the pelvic floor muscles, improve posture and develop breathing awareness. We always suggest clients should consult their physician before starting a new exercise program during or post pregnancy.
Check out our classes here.