Bundles of Joy: Pre and Post Natal Pilates Interview

Posted July 7th, 2014 | Basic Post, Bundles of Joy Share
Jasmine Sharp

Find out more about Jasmine, her studio, and tons of at home pilates workouts for every trimester.

Tell me about yourself 

Jasmine Micaela Sharp, visionary and creator of The Sharp Method, the jasmine style reformer machine//Project X, formu+La pilates + juice and LAB 5 Fitness.

I was introduced to Pilates 8.5 years ago by an equally minded fitness enthusiast and friend. I tried my first class in Palm Springs and knew immediately I could see Pilates in my long term future. Pilates combined all my past techniques to include: ballet, gymnastics, athletics and the mind connection to keep me stimulated intrigued.

In short after 1 month of attending fitness inspired Pilates I was asked if I wanted to become an instructor at the studio. Little did I know this teaching Pilates 4 times a week would turn into so much more.

Wanting to maximize my Pilates education I went through a couple certifications to really acclimate myself into both the classical/traditional element of Pilates and the evolved power fitness-inspired Pilates. I went through both SPX over 8 years ago and classical over 7 years ago today being year 2014. I appreciated and valued the core principles from both extremely diverse techniques but felt if I were to teach a specific repertoire, Id rather teach my own because it simple spoke more to ME and MY body. This lead me down a path to create my own machine and certification, that involves a crazy full body workout surrounding the core, the community and compassion. A little history is that i was born with Gift and A Curse. The Curse commencing as a child battling the dreaded fat gene, America’s epidemic…and being an athlete and dancer now rehabilitating bulging discs and interior tears surrounding the Spine. ‘The Gift,’ involves having the education, experience, determination and being able to relate to YOU. I have personally experienced the struggles of overcoming both. So with that I created my own technique/repertoire/certification if you will that speaks more to the MASSES verses one particular type of client, a FIT healthy one. The Sharp Method speaks to the masses by offering pre/post natal modifications, adjustments for pre/post rehab clients, it speaks to the overweight, the underweight, the teens looking for an athletic college scholarship, to professional athletes, and of course men and women alike wanting some mental motivation and inspiration. So in short The Sharp Method was born. The Sharp Method is currently being taught at LAB 5 Fitness in Seattle, WA that we launched in April 2011 and formula pilates + juice in Manhattan Beach, CA that we launched in December of 2012. To date there are currently 4 studios and 3 private homes utilizing the jasmine reformer machine aka Project X designed with manufacturer Balanced Body in Sacramento, CA.

Tell me about the studio  

I am currently full time in Manhattan Beach working at formula pilates + juice and when time permits furthering advancements with The Sharp Method. Formula was created simply by getting tired of answering the same question: “how do I lose weight and keep it off?”  You can keep providing an amazing workout but without proper nutrition you are like a hamster on a hamster wheel, going no where FAST! So that’s where Pilates AND Juice came to mind, and you need a successful FORMULA for anything to be successful. Formula offers both high intensity Pilates classes, classical Pilates classes called FLOW SLS (strengthen, lengthen, stretch), as well as a Reformer Jumpboard Pilates class and a class called Svelte, ballet inspired cardio classes. The synergy between the two just made sense. Well then I found VEGA, a plant-based Protein comprising of hemp seed, pea and savi seed.  My friend Brendan Brazier is the formulator so again, taking the most nutrient dense, high net gain foods and fueling the body correctly to achieve optimal energy and longevity.  In short, Pilates + Juice + VEGA, deal sealer.

Why did you decide to also include fresh organic juices? 

At formula we try to plant the seed of “health.” Clean up eating habits so the foods they eat will be used as a source of energy and recovery rather eating and crashing from that feeling of fatigue and exhaustion.

Providing juices was a gateway to health. If we replace negative sugars with some energy source sugars (dates, apples, goji berries, beets, carrots, coconut water) we are at least on the right to healing track rather than destroying the body with (high fructose corn syrup, white sugar, gluten, preservatives, etc..) We do inform them natural sugar can also result in a downside on the body if abused, of course. So we provide them with juice suggestions based on pre / post workout, hydration factor, detox, cleansing, etc.

We are doing our best to educate the community of healthy alternatives for both themselves and their families.

How do you come up with the ingredients in the juices? 

I was born and raised in Central California, farmland for days! If you wanted a piece of fruit or vegetables, you had to go and pick it off a tree or pull it from the ground. It was a luxury if you ask me, organic since birth, YES PLEASE !! So, second nature really !!! The protein shake recipes came from being an athlete, as soon as you start sports as a kid they are forcing the stuff down your throat, if was just up to my parents and I to be creative enough to disguise the taste, thanks to VEGA we don’t have to cover anything up anymore !!

Why are fresh, cold pressed juices so good for us? 

Your bloodstream and the organic goodness going right into it. Fastest way into your cells, your body, straight shot! Your body has the ability to absorb the nutrients at a faster rate.

Why do you think it is important to exercise during pregnancy?

  • Prevents excess weight gain, and it will be easier to lose it once baby comes out because of the “routine” you’ve created for yourselves, keeps your mood UP by the endorphins flushing body circulating. And then of course there’s the good ol’  “Kegel” tweezing, squeezing and lifting up of the pelvic floor for once again, a faster recovery.  More benefits include:
  • Improved Circulation
  • Enhanced Balance
  • Reduced Swelling
  • Improved Digestion and Reduced Constipation
  • Fewer Leg Cramps
  • Faster Postpartum Recovery
  • Fewer problems such as Varicose Veins, Hemorrhoids, Backaches and muscle/joint soreness
  • Increased Endurance
  • Possible Shorter labor time
  • Fewer caesarean sections
  • Enhanced strength in the muscles most adversely affected by pregnancy-pelvic floor, abdominal and lower back
  • Improved Body Image, Mood and Sense of Well Being
  • Increased Metabolism, Better Weight Gain Control
  • Increased Strength and Suppleness
  • Improved Co-ordination

For someone trying Pilates at home, is there anything they should avoid while pregnant?

Consulting their doctor is ALWAYS advised instead of us providing brief to do’s and to don’ts please order a book as a great place to start, we like: Pilates for Pregnancy: The Ultimate Exercise Guide to See You Through Pregnancy and Beyond ”

Please consult your physician before attempting any aggressive from the named book above, exercises:

First Trimester-

  • Forearm Control Front
  • Mermaid Side Bends
  • After the first trimester exercises in a supine position (lying flat on your back) should be avoided.

Some examples of exercises you should not do during your first trimester are:
-All inversions (Short Spine, Jackknife, Tower, Roll Over)
-Extreme balances (Side Splits on the Reformer)
-Too much spinal flexion (Bending forward over your legs)
-Too much of certain abdominal exercises (Stomach Series)

Second Trimester-

  • Hovering knees
  • Kneeling hundreds
  • Stop doing exercised while lying on your backàpossibility of obstructing blood supply to the baby
  • Eliminate sharp percussive movements from routine
    • From week 20 to 26 the biggest changes occur in the stability of the pelvis, so it is important to focus on stability in neutral.
    • Avoid any exercise that works the rectus abdominis and external oblique’s.
    • Avoid stretching exercises if increased lumbar curve.
    • The center of gravity is changed at this stage, so the stability is essential. Beware drill and no prolonged standing work, can be very annoying.
    • Change positions frequently, avoid spending more than two minutes in the same position. Find the most comfortable position.
    • Doing long levers or open kinetic chain.
    • Watch the hands on four supports, can be troublesome for the wrists.
    • Focus on the pelvic floor and abdominal support as a girdle.
    • Working scapular stability is compromised by breast augmentation.
    • Keep mobile ankles to help the circulation in your legs.
    • Use normal breathing patterns, without making changes. They should be more like those of childbirth preparation classes.
    • No work on one leg, can cause stress on the sacroiliac joint.

Third Trimester-

  • Pelvic Tilts
  • Clamming
  • The supine position should be avoided for long periods of time

1. Don’t lie on your back – Most people find this uncomfortable and in general try to avoid doing exercises where you are flat on your back. Create a ramp of pillows or mats to lift you up to a 45 degree angle.
2. Don’t put your feet up over your head unless they are propped up by pillows.
3. Avoid all crunch type motions.
4. Move slowly and controlled through all exercises. Even though side kick series can be done a bit faster, you want to slow down and focus on keep your hips/belly stable.
5. Key areas to focus on: Arms and Mid-back to keep you strong and standing tall! Hips/Outer Thighs to help with the delivery.
6. Areas to Avoid Focusing on: Inner Thighs, Abs…These 2 areas are overstretched and prone to over-stretching, so be careful.
7. Give yourself a few weeks of little to no exercise before your due date. You can still go for walks…and do gentle movement, but now’s the time to go inward, find ways to relax, calm your nerves, and prepare emotionally/mentally for your those first crazy months of your baby’s life.

Some examples of exercises you should not do during your first trimester are:

  • Don’t lie on your back – Most people find this uncomfortable and in general try to avoid doing exercises where you are flat on your back.  Create a ramp of pillows or mats to lift you up to a 45 degree angle.
  • Don’t put your feet up over your head unless they are propped up by pillows.
  • Avoid all crunch type motions.
  • Move slowly and controlled through all exercises.  Even though side kick series can be done a bit faster, you want to slow down and focus on keep your hips/belly stable.
  • Key areas to focus on:  Arms and Mid-back to keep you strong and standing tall!  Hips/Outer Thighs to help with the delivery.
  • Areas to Avoid Focusing on:  Inner Thighs, Abs…These 2 areas are overstretched and prone to over-stretching, so be careful.
  • Give yourself a few weeks of little to no exercise before your due date.  You can still go for walks…and do gentle movement, but now’s the time to go inward, find ways to relax, calm your nerves, and prepare emotionally/mentally for your those first crazy months of your baby’s life.

Pregnant Pilates Facts:

Ab training- deeper than rectus, focus on training of internal oblique’s and transverses abdominus. Training TVA supports uterus, helps keep rectus halves closer together and prevent diastasis from opening excessively.

Prenatal Mat Workout

  • Seated or Quadruped Transverses Contraction
  • Saw
  • Spine Twist
  • Modified Roll-Up/Roll Down
  • Mermaid
  • Rowing 3,4,5,6
  • Spine Stretch Forward
  • Chest Expansion
  • Legs against the wall
  • Modified Hundred- kneeling or supine with one leg at a time in table top
  • Neck Roll-seated
  • Swimming- hands and knees
  • Shoulder Bridge

Are there any props (don’t know if this is the right word) you recommend someone to buy for doing Pilates at home?

When purchasing a Pilates for Pregnancy Book to do at home you will most likely need: pillows, for “pillowing up,” thera bands (stretchy bands), light weights, perhaps a “ring” for chest squeezes and light inner and outer thighs, a wedge is nice as well.

Maya’s Abdominal Separation: Maya is our prenatal mommy from the pilates videos

Diastasis recti (also known as abdominal separation) is a disorder defined as a separation of the rectus abdominis muscle into right and left halves.[1] Normally, the two sides of the muscle are joined at the linea alba at the body midline.  The distance between the right and left rectus abdominis muscles is created by the stretching of the linea alba which connects the two regions.[3]

Diastasis of this muscle occurs principally in two populations: newborns and pregnant women.

  • In pregnant or postpartum women, the condition is caused by the stretching of the rectus abdominis by the growing uterus. It is more common in multiparous women due to repeated episodes of stretching. When the defect occurs during pregnancy, the uterus can sometimes be seen bulging through the abdominal wall beneath the skin.
  • Women are more susceptible to develop diastasis recti when over the age of 35, high birth weight of child, multiple birth pregnancy, and multiple pregnancies. Additional causes can be attributed to excessive abdominal exercises during the first trimester of pregnancy.

How soon after delivery do you recommend woman come back to your class? 

Again, Consulting their doctor is ALWAYS advised. And it depends if the mother had a natural birth or a C-section. Natural usually after 6 weeks and C-Section after many months. Avoiding additional scar tissue and safety should be top priority for a new mother.

 

Follow Jasmine Sharp here for nutritional tips, health, wellness, juice, protein shake recipes + loads of fitness advice:

www.theformulalife.com

www.thesharpmethod.com (coming summer 2014)

www.facebook.com/jasminesharp1

www.instagram.com/thesharpmethod

www.twitter.com/thesharpmethod

 

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