Sample Pilates Exercises
This is a yoga inspired exercise with a Pilates focus. Start in an all-fours position. Make sure that your hands are directly under your shoulders, and your knees are under your hips. Knees and hips should be about hip-width apart. Keep spine and neck long, and press shoulders down your spine.
Slowly lower your elbows down to the floor and gently roll your weight forward, as you slide the knees back. Pull abdominal wall firmly in towards your spine as you breathe throughout the motion. Think of hugging or lifting the baby in towards you. Be careful not to let the lower back dip. Modify position if you feel discomfort.
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Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet resting on a folded towel. Knees and feet are hips-width apart. Make sure that your spine is long and your shoulders are lowered down your back. Contract the abdominal wall without holding your breath. Breathe out and gently lift one leg to a right angle. Breathe in and release foot back to towel.
The key to the exercise is not to increase the curve of your back or to shift your hips. Your abdominal wall is keeping the area secure. Imagine that the towel is like a bed of soft sand. Keep weight off your feet so you don't leave a depression in the sand. This shift in weight will accentuate the abdominal contraction.
* This position is recommended in the first trimester only because of the supine position.
Roll Down / Roll Up
Start by sitting on your sit bones. Have a long and strong spine. Stretch out arms in front of you. Keep chest lifted and eyes facing forward. Slide your shoulders down your back. Breathe in and lean back. Engage abdominal muscles and bring that baby in towards your spine. Your hands can hold on your thighs if the intensity is to strong with arms ahead. Breathe out and slowly return to the upright position.
Focus on keeping your abs and back strong throughout both movements.
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