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Studio Pilates Helps Pregnant Women Stay Active

Studio Pilates Helps Pregnant Women Stay Active

The Pilates franchise with locations in Brooklyn, North Carolina and Kentucky offers classes designed for pregnant women and new mothers 

Staying active before, during and after pregnancy is essential for a mother’s and baby’s wellbeing. Studio Pilates, an Australia-based fitness franchise with locations in Brooklyn, Wilmington, North Carolina, and Lousiville, Kentucky, has introduced Prenatal and Postnatal Pilates classes to support women through their journey of motherhood.

“Pilates is one of the best methods for exercising while pregnant,” Marisa Fuller, owner of Studio Pilates franchises in the U.S., told Athletech News. “The highly targeted, modifiable exercises can effectively accommodate the needs of the pregnant women.” 

Some of the benefits of Pilates for pre- and post-natal mothers include a stronger pelvic floor, diastasis recti (abdominal separation) prevention, better posture and strengthened core muscles. Other benefits include managing injuries and improving post-pregnancy recovery.  The new Studio Pilates classes are designed by physiotherapists to help women stay strong and safe during and after pregnancy.

“It was only natural to create a prenatal/postnatal reformer Pilates class as the majority of our clients are women,” Fuller said. “We wanted our clients to keep moving their bodies safely during their pregnancies rather than have them stop during this time.”

Marisa Fuller (credit: Studio Pilates)

Inside the Classes

The pre- and post-natal classes at Studio Pilates differ from the brand’s Reformer workouts, as they don’t include abdominal exercises, except for the obliques, nor adductor exercises (feet in straps). Fuller explained the physiology behind excluding abdominal and adductor exercises:

“As the stomach gets bigger, the risk of a pronounced Rectus Diastasis (abdominal separation) with a tighter Rectus Abdominis grows,” she said of the ab-exercise exclusion. “A smaller RD will generally provide a much faster recovery time, but also a faster return to sports. A decreased diastasis will also help with the management of lower back pain, especially if there is already a pre-existing lumbar issue.”

Many pregnant women experience groin pain as the pubic bone starts to separate, Fuller noted, so working the adductor muscles in the thighs, which attach to the pubic symphysis, can be harmful.

“Working the inner thighs when the pubic symphysis is already unstable can cause the pubic bone to separate even more, leading to more pain and discomfort,” Fuller explained. “Sometimes groin pain can become so bad that it can limit a woman’s ability to walk or move independently.” 

In class, the use of innovative audio-visual technology (known at Studio Pilates as SPTV) allows instructors to provide tailored attention, modifications and enhancements.

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“All the exercises we perform at our studios have the ability to be intensified to challenge our clients, as well as scale them down to work with clients who are healing from an injury, returning from having a baby, or just starting their fitness journey,” Fuller said. “Everything we do at Studio Pilates starts with the person. We learn about any injuries, surgeries, goals, etc. that they have, and the reason ‘why’ they are starting their Pilates journey with us, and tailor their workouts to them.”  

credit: Studio Pilates

Changing the Narrative

Pilates can help combat some of the major physiological changes from pregnancy. However, there remain many misconceptions about fitness and pregnancy. One of the most prevalent is that exercise during pregnancy can harm the baby or that only low-impact, gentle workouts are allowed.

Fuller and Studio Pilates are on a mission to reduce misconceptions about working out while pregnant and empower women to continue practicing fitness throughout the pregnancy journey. 

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