5 Prenatal Pilates Exercises to Add to Your Routine

By Advanced Stott Pilates teacher

@PhoebePilates

Kneel on all fours with your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your knees directly underneath your hips, in a neutral spine position. Keep your elbows soft and your toes relaxed behind you.

Exhale and start sending your tailbone between your legs, slowly rolling your spine up towards the ceiling, from tail to head. Let your head drop down until you are in a deep curve, looking towards your thighs. Take a big inhale, pressing the floor away from you with your hands and knees to deepen the stretch in your spine.

Now exhale, sending your tailbone up to the ceiling, gradually rippling your spine back to your flat, neutral spine position. Inhale to reset and relax before the next repetition.

 

Try 5 repetitions

Kneel on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips, in a neutral spine position with relaxed feet.

Extend your right arm straight out infront of you so that it is in line with your body, pause for a second, then slowly lower it back down. The whole time keep your core tight and your arms active so that the rest of your body does not move or twist. Repeat with your other arm then try doing the same movement with one leg at a time. For a challenge, pause when your leg is in line with your body and don’t allow your hips to move or twist.

When you feel confident, try lifting the opposite arm and leg at the same time, keeping the movement slow and controlled and not allowing your body to wobble.

For a final challenge, try balancing with your opposite arm and leg
extended for ten seconds. Don’t forget to do the other side!

 

On each side, try 5 arm extensions, 5 leg extensions, 5 arm & leg extensions

Lie on your side with your underneath knee bent to stop you rocking forwards. Make sure your head and tummy are well supported (use a cushion if you need) and then extend your top leg so that it is on the floor, in line with your body with your toes pointed (..oh hello ballet feet!).

Slowly lift your top leg up to hip height. Now flex your toes towards your shin and pulse your heel one inch higher three times, then slowly lower to the ground. Point your toes and repeat ten times!

On your final repetition, hold your leg up at the top - or a little higher if you can - press your heel away from you to make sure your leg is stright - and hold it up high for 10 seconds. Slowly lower and repeat on the other side.

 

Try 10 on each side

Lie on your side with your hips flexed and knees bent so your feet are in line with your seat. Make sure your head and tummy are well supported. Connect your heels together, flex your ankles and open your feet to a V shape, keep them hovering them a few inches off the mat.

Use your top hand to keep your hips still as you smoothly open the top knee
as wide as you can, whilst squeezing your heels together. Try to control the movement and don’t swing your leg open with momentum.

Take two tiny pulses wider with your knee, then slowly lower it back down to the bottom.

 

Try 8 on each side

Sit down (crossed legs or on a chair) with long neutral spine, holding onto a 1kg weight in each hand. If you don’t have weights you can use a couple of cans or bottles of water!

With your arms straight and weights facing upwards, slowly lift your arms out to the side of your body to shoulder height. Now turn your weights to face forwards as you keep your arms at shoulder height sweeping them forwards so they are in front of your body. Turn your weights downwards then slowly lower your hands down to your hips. Keep the movement slow and steady and now try the exercise in the opposite direction.

 

Try 5 in each direction

 

 

Follow @PhoebePilates on Instagram for more great tips and pilates content!

 

 

 

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