Pilates for Post Partum Wellness
Like most mamas out there, we're always on the hunt for the next best thing in the fitness world. With that said, right now, we can't get enough of Pilates. It's not only helped us (and our other mama friends!) get into serious shape after baby, but it's also great for staying long, lean, and toned. We reached out to Heather Dorak, owner of LA-based studio, Pilates Platinum for some of her favorite tips on getting back into shape post-partum. Read on, and get to work!
Having a new baby in the house, is another layer added to a lot of new experiences you have encountered over the past nine months. The past nine months have been spent growing a beautiful baby with your stomach expanding to the point that you question whether or not you have feet anymore. To it then, what seems so sudden compared to the nine months of growth, to kind of turning into a squishy deflated - for lack of better words - mess. Yeah, the after baby stomach isn’t something any woman likes or really is that comfortable with and I am here to help.
During pregnancy the body develops some postures that aren’t all that great for the body in the long run. Your pelvis, back and shoulders have been pretty stressed for the last nine months and Pilates is the answer. Doing Pilates can greatly help you get back into top form while encouraging you to keep your pelvis, back and shoulders in proper alignment. This will alleviate back pain, making it easier to carry your baby, and whatever other superhero mom duties you need to haul, without hurting yourself.
We have many women at Pilates Platinum that do swear by Pilates during their pregnancy and immediately jump right back in as soon as the doctor gives them the go ahead. But let’s face it, not everyone can get into the studio as quickly as their doctor allows them to. However, you can still do beneficial exercises at home, even while entertaining your little one - using that power of multi-tasking!
One of our die hard clients, Staci Pearlman - beauty and fashion writer, wife and new mom to Delilah Mia, through her busy schedule took some time to demonstrate some exercises that are very beneficial to getting your pre-pregnancy body back! At the very least, it will give you a great sense of mental happiness knowing you did something for yourself, but didn’t take any time away from bonding with you and your new baby.
The best type of push-ups, are ones that come with baby smiles.
1. In a push-up position, whether it is on your knees or toes, place your baby under your chest. Make sure your back, booty and shoulders are all in a straight line, your hands are directly below your shoulders, and your abs pulling up into your spin.
2. Bend your elbows, hugging them into your body and lower your chest down towards your baby. Lower down far enough to give your baby a kiss on the forehead.
3. Through the palm of your hands, press through the ground until you are in the starting position, making sure to keep that straight back alignment.
4. Perform as many as possible. For added difficult, lower down and hold - hovered over your baby before pushing back up into starting position.
Since your chest is feeling fatigued we are going to capitalize on that with this next move.
1. Laying on your back, your baby is lifted above your chest (slight bend in the elbows) and your legs are lifted to a 90 degree angle with your body. The goal is to lower your legs towards the ground as low as possible. You will know how low you should lower your legs, by gauging when your back starting to lift off of the ground.
2. Right before your back starts to lift is when you stop lowering your legs. Making sure your abs are pulling into your spine, hold for a moment.
3. At this point you can add in a challenge by lowering your baby to you, give baby a kiss, press your baby back up and then lift your legs back to starting position.
4. Repeat until your abs are on fire, then do one more!
1. Laying on your side with your baby next to you, lay comfortably with your knees slightly bent, stacked on top of one another. To perform this exercise correctly, you are going to keep your feet together but lift your top knee open as high as you can. You will know if you are not doing it right, if it seems easy.
2. The lifting of the knee needs to come from the booty. The booty is going to do the work. Make sure you are not allowing your body to roll back with your knee as it lift.
3. Hold your body still and give attention to your baby.
4. Hold your knee open at the top, pulse a couple times and then lower it back down to the resting knee.
5. Perform as many times as you can, then roll to the other side to perform with the other knee.
1. Roll over on to your back, with your baby on your hips.
2. Bend your knees so that your feet are firmly on the ground with your feet directly below your knees.
3. Pressing through your heels, lift your hips up as high as you can while squeezing your booty.
4. Hold and slowly lower back down.
5. As your baby gains weight, that will also make this exercise more challenging.
6. Perform as many as possible. For an advanced move, hover one leg straight out from your hips as you press through the foot still on the ground to perform the move.
1. Sitting on the ground with both legs straight out or one tucked in.
2. Sit up nice and tall, with your chest lifted, shoulder back, and abs pulled in tight.
3. Take one arm straight up towards the ceiling and bend towards the opposite leg.
4. Keep the beginning posture and stretch as far as you can to the side.
5. Hold for 20 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
6. Feel free to continue back to the beginning side and stretch both sides a few more times.
Consistently doing these exercises 3-4 times a week you will see stretch and posture improvements in just a matter of a few weeks. You got this mama!