I have had the pleasure of working with Kristen from almost the start of her pregnancy (7 weeks) to currently (37 weeks) and it’s been fun to watch her Pilates practice grow alongside her growing belly! Pilates is something anyone can do but it’s understandable how not everyone may enjoy Pilates as much as others. Luckily Kristen has enjoyed adding Pilates to her fitness routine and here you can learn more about her personal experience.
Why did you decide to start Pilates and why at the start of your pregnancy?
Pilates has been an interest of mine since I became a personal trainer because it is so different than every type of training I’ve ever done (college athlete, distance runner, triathlon, heavy strength training). I loved the idea of really having to connect my mind to the muscles being used to have full control of the movements my body was attempting to perform. I figured starting at the beginning of pregnancy would help me to learn how to slow down my breathing and movements during exercise. In the long run, the breath control during exercise would assist during labor.
Has Pilates helped your current exercise regime- lifting, running, cycling, or running?
I definitely notice a difference in my posture which has been huge as I’ve gained weight over the last 8.5 months and has helped me to stay loose as I have been very active through my pregnancy. Pilates has helped me to focus on smaller or weaker muscle groups that I haven’t been able to target in my other forms of training.
Have you struggled with any Pilates exercises while pregnant, if so, how did you overcome them?
There are a few chair exercises I’ve struggled with, but probably would have struggled with them regardless of being pregnant or not! Rachel has helped me to really slow down and focus on the movement I’m trying to perform which has then helped me to be able to improve upon those moves. Really though, I’ve been quite surprised by how my body has been able to handle Pilates as it grows.
Will you continue with Pilates post pregnancy and if so, what do you look forward to?
I definitely hope to continue with Pilates once I’m able to return to exercising. I’m especially looking forward to seeing how Pilates will help me regain strength and toning of my core muscles, as well as other major muscles groups as I’m able to start building my running mileage to prepare for the Boston Marathon in April of 2018.
What do you enjoy most about Pilates?
I have really enjoyed doing something different. It’s a nice change to really slow down and focus once a week in a different way. I also think it’s helped me cognitively. I come out of our session feeling less foggy and more energized.