You might be surprised by how much difference a little movement makes! The following exercises are simple, but effective and require no special equipment. They are great to do both pre and postnatal. Why Pilates?
Get your postural muscles back in the game and open your breath. Great while pregnant for those days when you feel like the baby is like a bowling ball resting on your pelvic floor.
- Sit tall at the very front of your chair
- Tighten an imaginary belt at your low waist and imagine growing even taller (if pregnant, imagine that you are lifting the baby closer towards you)
- Float arms slightly in front of hips
- Vigorously pulse your arms (front to back) while the torso stays completely still. Inhale smoothly for 5 pulses, and exhale for 5 pulses
- Extra Challenge: Lift one leg slightly off the floor
Stretch the chest muscles and gently work your upper back muscles – particularly helpful for achy shoulders while breast feeding, or just when your baby won’t be put down.
- Sit with back flush against backrest
- Exhale deeply to pull bottom ribs into back of chair
- Tighten an imaginary belt at your low waist and imagine growing even taller
- Circle arms forward up, then out to the side and back down.
- Only keep circles as big as you can keep bottom ribs in contact with back of chair
- Complete five circles before reversing the direction.
tStrengthen the piriformis, a deep stabilizing muscle in the hip joint, to give more stability to your hips and lower back. During pregnancy the body releases the hormone relaxin, which softens the ligaments and can cause pain in the Sacro Iliac Joint in the lower back.
- Lie on your side with knees bent and heels in line with the seat.
- Imagine that you have a slight lift under the bottom side of your waist, and use pillows to support a pregnant belly if needed.
- Keep your hips and torso completely still and stable, squeeze your heels and rotate the top knee to the ceiling.
- Make sure you maintain the natural curvature of your spine, that is try not to tuck your tail under.
- Extra challenge: add 10 little pulses at the top of your last repetition.
- 10 repetitions