The Mothership Wellness

Post Pregnancy Pilates with your Little

Bianca, owner and head instructor at Mint Pilates, has once again graced us with a few post pregnancy Pilates exercises for mom and baby. This is the final segment in our Pilates feature.  Our previous features included First Trimester, Second Trimester and Third Trimester Pilates at home.

 

Bianca was dressed by Maaji in their awesome new active wear range!

 

 

1 Ball Pose

Only appropriate to do once your baby is strong enough to lift his own head when in a prone position.

Set up:

Start seated, holding baby under his arms and slowly roll back until you’re flat on your back with baby in hand. Press your lower back into the mat and come into a double knee fold. You may or may not need to curl your chest forward and place your baby on your shins.

Action:

Keep your lower back pressed into the mat, curl your head and chest slightly off the mat moving towards your baby. Aim to hold his hands and count to 5 at first and progressing to a count of 10. Slowly lower your head keeping an eye on your baby. Repeat this ball pose 3-6 times.

Checkpoints:

Aim to round your spine from the bottom to the top and to draw your abdominals towards your spine. It is not advised to do “sit ups” up until you are 3 months post pregnancy and even then there are some ladies who should wait longer. Please check with a Biokineticist/Physio if it is safe for you. Where necessary stack cushions under your chest and head and encourage the curling of your pelvis away from the mat until you are strong enough to hold the weight of your chest.

2

 Rocking baby

Practice your Rocking Ball by yourself before doing it with baby.

 

Set up:

Start seated, with your knees apart and bent and ankles crossed. Sit your baby on your lap with his back snugly fitting between your thighs and hold him under his arms. Aim to hover your feet off the mat and lean back slightly.

Action:

Engage your abdominals, breathe in to roll back towards your bra-strap area and then return back to your start position with feet hovered. As your strength improves you will be able to rely less on momentum and have more control to move slowly maintaining good alignment. Repeat this 6-8 times.

Checkpoints:

Avoid rolling backward too quickly, maintain as much control as possible. Keep your chin tucked when returning back to your starting position.

Benefits include:

This exercise promotes abdominal and upper body strengthening as well as providing a good spinal stretch in flexion.

 

3

 Flying Baby Prep

This preparation will help condition you for the full version. The full version is quite strenuous so please spend enough time doing your preparation before attempting the full Flying Baby.

 

Set up:

Start seated, with your knees apart and bent and ankles crossed. Sit your baby on your lap with his back snugly fitting between your thighs and hold him under his arms. Aim to hover your feet off the mat and lean back slightly.

Action: 

Engage your abdominals and breathe in to roll back towards your bra-strap area and balance briefly. Maintain your balance and lift your thighs higher up creating more distance between your thighs and abdominals. Press your baby upward without fully extending your arms and aim to hold your balance for 3 counts and then to return roll back into your start position. As your strength improves you will be able to rely less on momentum and have more control. Repeat this 6-8 times.

Checkpoints:

Aim to keep your thighs slightly apart, securing your baby between your thighs while you support him under his arms.

Benefits include:

This exercise promotes abdominal and upper body strengthening as well as providing a good spinal stretch.

 

4

 Flying Baby

 

Set up:

Start seated, with your knees apart and bent and ankles crossed. Sit your baby on your lap with his back snugly fitting between your thighs and hold him under his arms. Aim to hover your feet off the mat and lean back slightly.

Action:

Engage your abdominals and breathe in to roll back towards your bra-strap area and balance briefly. Maintaining your balance, lift your thighs higher than usual just like you have practiced in your preparation. Once you have mastered this balance slightly longer and extend your arms above your chest reaching your baby upward and extending your legs. Return to your prep position before rolling back into your start position again to repeat this 3-4 times.

Checkpoints: 

Your pelvis and your baby are counter balancing each other so avoid lifting your pelvis too high resulting in more work for your abdominals.

5

 Safety Harness Posture

Set up:

Hold your baby across his chest with both of his arms over your forearm. Your opposite arm reaches across your baby’s torso and cup your hand under his pelvis. This posture should be practiced on both sides.

 

6

 Bouncing Baby

 

Set up:

Stand upright with your legs in turn out and wider than hip distance apart. Hold your baby facing outwards in a safety harness posture.

Action:

Connect your abdominals, breathe in and squat down. Initiate your movement by sending your pelvis back first followed by hinging your spine forwards from your hips. Avoid dipping your pelvis down lower than your knees. Maintain weight through your heels and stand up. To progress this exercise aim to lightly jump off the mat when returning out of your squat. Land back into your squat with control. Repeat 8-10 times

Checkpoints:

Pay attention to your movement pattern. Keep your spine lengthened and abdominals connected.

Benefits include:

Promotes lower and upper body strength. Promotes postural endurance and pelvic floor recruitment.  This exercise will be more cardiovascularly demanding.

 

 

7

 Deep Squat

 

Set up:

Stand upright with your legs in turn out and hip distance apart. Hold your baby facing you under his arms in front of your chest.

Action:

Connect your abdominals, breathe in and squat down. Initiate your movement by sending your pelvis back first followed by hinging your spine forwards from your hips. This time around try to lower pelvis below your knees. Remain in your Deep Squat and reach your baby overhead if possible. Upon your return maintain weight through your heels and slowly return baby back inline with your chest. Repeat 8-10 times

Checkpoints:

Be cautious when dipping your pelvis lower than your knees. This may not be possible for everyone in this case please stick to a range that works for your body! This exercise can be made easier without the overhead reach. Allow the heels to lift away from the mat if ankle range is limited towards the deeper hip range but again check in with your comfort levels.

Benefits include:

Promotes lower and upper body strength. Promotes postural endurance and pelvic floor recruitment.

 

8

 Spiderman Lunge

 

Set up: 

Stand upright with your legs parallel and slightly wider than your Bouncing Baby posture. Hold your baby facing outwards in a safety harness posture.

Action: 

Connect your abdominals, breathe in and bend your right knee. Sit your pelvis backward like in your Bouncing Baby Squat. Aim to keep weight through your heel and keep your spine lengthened. Return upright and repeat on the other side. Repeat a total of 8-10 repetitions on either side.

 

Checkpoints:

Be cautious dipping your pelvis lower than your knees. Avoid moving your knee past your toes and aim to keep your knee in line with your hip.

Benefits include:

Promotes lower and upper body strength. Promotes postural endurance, pelvic floor recruitment and inner thigh conditioning.

 

9-01

 Upside down monkey

Only appropriate to do once your baby is strong enough to lift his own head when in a prone position.

 

Set up:

Start seated, holding baby and slowly roll back until you’re flat on your back with baby in hand. Press your lower back into the mat and come into a double knee fold. You may or may not need to curl your chest forward and place your baby on your shins.  Hold him around his waist.

Action:

Slowly begin to straighten your legs (stopping just before your legs are completely extended) and add a slight pelvic lift if possible. By doing this your baby dips upside down briefly to return bend your legs again and return pelvis back to mat. Repeat this 6-8 times

Checkpoints:

Keep your abdominals engaged throughout the exercise. A nice variation is to stack a big continental pillow under your head and chest making the reach to your baby easier.

Benefits include: The Upside Monkey is a great way to rest your back and work your core, quadriceps and hamstrings and have fun with your little one!

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