Exercise Breakdown: Balance and Relaxin

 
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Have you ever heard us mention Relaxin during classes at FPC? Relaxin is a hormone that plays a big factor in designing all our FPC workouts. We format the class to give your body time to focus on stabilizing before moving onto bigger and more demanding movements.

During pregnancy, your body is circulating an increased amount of a hormone called Relaxin, with it peaking at around 30 weeks. This hormone is important because its job is to soften the ligaments of the pelvis to give the baby room to grow.  The problem is, it doesn't discriminate.  It also softens the ligaments in your hips, knees and ankles, making life a little more unstable than it used to be.  Not to mention, your center of gravity is now in a different location. Fun fact, Relaxin stays in your body for up to 4 months post lactation so it’s something all breastfeeding and pumping moms need to take into consideration as well!

This is why focusing on stabilizing exercises during pregnancy and postpartum is so important. We add “balance” into every FPC class to help you practice stabilization but if you can’t make it to class every day, here’s an easy one you can practice at home.

1) Begin by finding your balance on one leg. (Find a wall or chair if you feel you need a little extra support)

2) Inhale, relax all the muscles of your core and pelvic floor.

3) Exhale, activate your pelvic floor (kegel) and pull your baby (or abdominal wall) closer to your body (pump). Tilt your weight forward and fly your arms out to the side to test your balance.

4) Repeat 5-10x's on each leg.

Why is the exhale so important?

This exhale described above activates your TVA, diaphragm, and pelvic floor to give you greater stability as you move into a position that tests your balance.  FPC’s Pump & Kegel ™ ensures you are engaging all your core muscles from the bottom, sides and top.  Think of all these muscles working together to form a box.  Pulling those core muscles in towards the center of the your "box" will give you more strength, balance and support anytime your body is in a unstable position.

Questions about this exercise or others to increase your balance? Ask us in class!