Pilates is one of the preferred systems and in fact prenatal pilates also exist which is extremely beneficial. However, postnatal pilates is an absolute must because it targets all the right parts of the body particularly for the new mothers including deep abdominal muscles and pelvic core. It helps in regaining the control and tone of the muscles as they were before pregnancy. It is also recommended for splitting of the abdominal wall which is highly common during pregnancy. Thus, postnatal pilates is very beneficial.
We start with breathing exercises and gaining control over abdominal muscles which includes scooping, bracing and zipping.
- Lie down on the back and imagine that you are scooping your lower body.
- Try to create a hollow space in your lower abdomen.
- Your hips are higher than the stomach.
This is best done either you can stay in the round your back, lift the bottom a little bit off the ground, if you are unable to do it without. If you are using the gravitational force to help you really zip that stomach in.
You are trying to narrow everything in the area. This is like wearing a corset that is holding your tightly in.
- Imagine that you are trying to put on a jeans that is tight on you. In short, you scoop and then brace yourself and then zip yourself to tighten everything.
- Do this 3-5 repetitions of each.
These three exercises are done statically. This is the preparation for the entire postnatal pilates workout.
- Come on all four with your hands and feet touching the ground.
- You let your abdomen loose and completely down.
- Now you try to pull it in as much as you can to suck it in without rounding or doing too much of the movement.
- You start in very light cat stretch and then you are allowing your stomach to go down.
- Then, you try with the strength of the muscles to get your stomach in.
- Hold in this position for 5 second and then relax.
- Repeat this 10-20 times.
This exercise helps in regaining the original elasticity after the birth.
- Get into the high plank position.
- Put your hands on the floor and feet are back.
- While holding the plank, tuck the tailbone in and try to do the same movement.
- Allow the stomach to come in and then try to do reverse zipping.
- If once the strength is not back, this exercise should be done with the hands on the elevated surface like a chair or a block.
Beetle on the back
- Lie down on the back and hold your neutral spine.
- Now do zipping and then you hold the arms and legs up to the ceiling.
- Keep your legs parallel to each other with head supported.
- Move your hands slightly back and forth while zipping the stomach.
- Lie down on the side of the body.
- One leg is bent and top leg is stretched with your forearm.
- Lift your hands up and down.
This is excellent for gaining back the strength as it works on lower abs, upper abs as well as the side.
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