How to Feel Amazing During and After Pregnancy
The GYROTONIC® Method can help you to handle the physical changes your body goes through during pregnancy, strengthen your body more quickly afterwards, and provide much-needed, gentle movement throughout each trimester.
Below are some suggestions for maximizing Gyrotonic exercises and principles during this time. Always consult with your physician for specific exercise guidelines for your pregnancy.
1. Keep Moving, Gently!
Among the many benefits of moving during pregnancy include decreased back pain and constipation and possibly a lower risk of gestational diabetes. The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists suggests 150 minutes weekly of moderate aerobic activity, which could include Gyrotonic sessions.
It’s also important to avoid any sudden increase in intensity during pregnancy, such as the number of times per week you exercise, as well as the level of the exercise, speed, number of repetitions, and weight provided either for support or resistance.
2. Plan your trimesters wisely Trimester #1
Core: Until you start to show, there are no specific constraints to movement, so this is a great time to focus on comfortable abdominal and spine-strengthening exercises as it will be more challenging to strengthen these muscles later on.
Breathing: This is also a good opportunity to start working on diaphragmatic breathing, specifically by expanding the rib cage postereiorly and sideways during inhalation and feeling the transverse abs connect on exhalation.
Pelvic Floor: The concept of “narrowing” and training the pelvic floor to be elastic are also key and easier to feel during this time.
Flexibility: Relaxin secretion peaks for the first time during the 1st trimester, so it is particularly important to watch out for overstretching. New clients may want to work in a comfortable range, while existing clients may want to be mindful of their pre-pregnancy ranges. Continue being mindful of ranges throughout the trimesters.
Modifying Movements: You may want to start modifying ranges of motions and movements. Avoid prone and supine positions. Use yoga mats, pillows, cushions, to help adjust your position. Try to limit supine hamstrings to 15 minutes or less or before you feel discomfort.
Special Points: When doing the supine hamstring series, allow the legs to turn out as needed and try to keep the legs from going too low or too high as these may strain the back. Also, remember to avoid overstretching through all three semesters of pregnancy.
Adjust Exercises and Length: The goal is to keep moving as much as comfortably possible
and continue to work on breathing, which will help with labor. It may be helpful to do shorter, more frequent sessions, i.e. thirty minutes four times per week instead of hour-long sessions.
3. Listen to Your Body
Every women experiences pregnancy and the post-partum period differently. It’s important to respect your unique challenges and enjoy the times when you do feel well. If an exercise doesn’t feel comfortable, you probably shouldn’t do it.
.4. Work Back Slowly
It takes about 40 weeks to grow and deliver a human being, so expect the road back to pre-pregnancy strength to take at least equally long.
While it might be tempting to jump right into intense activity to lose “baby weight,” it is also important to regain core and pelvic floor strength. For example, the idea of “pulling up the vagina” rather than “trying to not to pee” can be a more effective cue to engage the pelvic floor.
If you listen to your body and work with your physician to determine the appropriate exercise intensity/contraindications, Gyrotonic exercises can be a great way to stay more mobile and stronger during and after pregnancy.
If you'd like to find out more about Gyrotonic exercise in pregnancy please get in touch. We'd be happy to answer any of your questions.