Pre-natal Exercise Suggestions for Group vs Personalized Sessions

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 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 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. Directly, 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.

To find a certified pilates instructor the Pilates Method Alliance is good resource. 

I am instructing 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 in Denver through Herman & Wallace on March 7-8, 2015.  Please let any physical therapists that you know about this exciting course.

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