Eva Bondar's Pregnancy Workout has one major strength, one major flaw, and is generally just fine in betweeen.
The strength? Its kegels workout. First of all, it's one of the longest I've seen in any video. Eva uses her hands to help you visualise the muscular contractions, and it's helpful. What I particularly like about this kegels practice is that it also focuses as much on kegel muscle relaxation as on it's tension. I've always wondered about all these kegel exercises that are all about tensing the muscles, when what you're really preparing for is conscious relaxation of those muscles during labour. Now, I know that's easier to relax a strong muscle than a weak one, so these practices do make sense, but why not exercise the relaxation itself? The birth prep books have you relax every other muscle, and yet this is hands down (erg...) the most important one on the day of birth!
|Eva showing you how to conduct your kegels|
The weakness? Eva is frustratingly unspecific in her instructions. She will often start a movement and only later tell you verbally what the movement should be doing. She'll tell you to lift a leg or do something on a side without specifying which. (Which is actually not so bad.) She'll tell you to do something for one final rep, and then go on doing it for three or four more reps. If I'm face down in some awkward position, and heavily pregnant to boot, I don't want to have to crane my neck to look at the screen to figure out what I should be doing!
For the most part, Eva Bondar's Pregnancy Workout is a nice, very stretchy, quite gentle, pilates-based prenatal workout. There were a few moves I hadn't done on other videos, and generally lots of delicious-feeling side stretches. There is also a back segment, which is a very good idea for when you're starting to carry extra weight in the front. I can imagine doing it again, especially on days when my other pilates prenatal workouts seem too hard (this is by far the easiest), and perhaps the second time around I won't be so annoyed by the vague instructions!
Labels: pilates, prenatal, workout