Try These 5 Moves to start your Postpartum Pilates Program at Home!
Single-Leg Pick Up:
- Focus: Joint Stability and Balance
- Set-Up: Stand next to a counter or high table for balance assistance and place a tall water bottle 2 feet in front of you on the floor.
- Action: Stand on one leg, bringing your free leg up to 90 degrees. Reach down with your opposite hand to pick up the bottle as you sweep your free leg behind your body as a counterbalance. Use the table as needed!
- Repetitions: 2 Sets of 10-15 per side.
- Goal- All Repetitions without the table and holding balance.
- Focus: Core stability and Balance
- Set-Up: Quadruped or On all 4’s on a Mat or Carpet. The natural curve of the spine.
- Action: Extend your left leg out behind your body, keeping your hips squared to the ground, simultaneously extend your right arm out over your head. Keep your eyes looking at the ground and hold this balance.
- Repetitions: 2 Sets of 30 seconds balance and hold Per Side.
- Challenge Focus: Upon each exhale gently pull your abdominal wall in and up towards your spine gently activating the transverse abdominis and pelvic floor muscles.
Kneeling Side Plank with Leg Lifts:
- Focus: Hip Stability and Lateral Core Strength
- Set-Up: Lie on your side on the floor, bringing your bottom elbow beneath your shoulder and bending your bottom knee to 90 degrees, extending your top leg long, and allowing your top hand to find the floor in front of you.
- Action: Press down into the floor with your bottom arm and shin, lifting your hips up in line with your body. Hold your body long, squeezing your bottom hip forward slightly as you breathe and lift your top leg off the floor 8-10 inches, repeat.
- Repetitions: 2 sets of 8-12 Leg Lifts per side.
Pilates Push Up:
- Focus: Core Stability and Upper body strength
- Set-Up: Start in a kneeling plank position. Hands directly under your shoulders, hips in line from your knees to your shoulders are in a straight line.
- Action: Slowly bend at the elbow, drawing them down and in towards your ribs to 90 degrees, breathe out as you press the floor away back to your kneeling plank position.
- Repetitions: 2 sets of 8-12 push-ups
- Focus: Keep head to knees in a straight line, don’t sag or arch the body.
- Focus: Back body strength
- Set-Up: Lie flat on your back, feet flat on the floor, knees 90 degrees with a fist distance between them, arms reaching along the floor towards your hips.
- Action: Press your arms firmly into the floor, as you lift your hips into a straight line from shoulders to knees. Lead with the pelvis and don’t arch the back as you drive your feet equally and balanced into the floor. Lower back down slowly and controlled.
- Repetitions: 2 sets of 10-15 repetitions
- Bonus benefit: This exercise stretches the hip flexors which become short and tight throughout pregnancy!
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