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Two Pre-Natal Pilates Exercises to Release Tension and Discomfort in the Lumbopelvic Region

More than half of pre-natal women will experience lumbopelvic pain at some point during their pregnancy, but the onset and severity of the condition differs from person to person.

It can be debilitating for some, affecting sleep, stress, work capacity, physical activity and quality of life, according to a peer-reviewed study published in BMJ Open.

In that study, Lumbopelvic pain, anxiety, physical activity and mode of conception: a prospective cohort study of pregnant women, researchers found that the more severe the lumbopelvic pain, the greater the pregnant woman’s activity limitations and physical inactivity.

What is lumbopelvic pain?

Lumbopelvic pain is felt in both the low back and the pelvis, and generally encompasses:

Low back pain: Pain localized below the ribs and above the gluteal folds, with or without radiation down the legs.

Pelvic girdle pain: Pain experienced between the posterior iliac crest and the gluteal fold, in the vicinity of the sacroiliac joints. The pain may radiate in the posterior thigh and may also occur in conjunction with/or separate from the symphysis.


How important is exercise during pregnancy?

It’s recommended that pregnant women accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week.

Research shows that exercise can benefit pregnant women by reducing the risk of:

  • Gestational diabetes
  • Excessive maternal weight gain
  • Preeclampsia
  • Hypertensive disorders
  • Incontinence
  • Depression/anxiety

Designing a Pilates exercise program for pre-natal clients

In this video, Merrithew® Lead Instructor Bianca Bolissian talks about some of the physical changes that occur during pregnancy, and how these changes affect the pre-natal client’s lumbopelvic region, posture, alignment and center of gravity.

As the baby grows, its added weight pulls the lumbar spine into an exaggerated curve, affecting the center of gravity and balance, and stressing the surrounding muscles and joints.

Bianca demonstrates two exercises that bring awareness to the client’s changing body posture and alignment. These simple mobility exercises help release tension and discomfort through the lumbopelvic region.

If you’re interested in learning more about working with and designing safe and effective programming for pre- and post-natal clients, check out our continuing education workshops in STOTT PILATES® and Total Barre®.

Remember to ensure your client consults and is cleared by their health care practitioner before beginning any new exercise program.

Find more pre-natal workouts on Merrithew Connect. Join now and get 14 days free >

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