Once you have past the 6 week mark after birthing baby, you may want to start attempting a few exercise routines, not only to lose that baby fat but to strengthen your muscles. Have a look at our Postpartum Workout article for some basic moves to get you on your way. If you are 12 weeks plus past birth, then a little Postpartum Pilates would be a good idea. Pilates is excellent for strengthening up those core muscles (your abdominals).
Pilates includes a little bit of keggle exercises which tightens up your inner womb muscles as well. Always a good thing!
Pilates is extremely good for building up those loose muscles again of your pelvic floor as well as deep abdomen. Besides getting back that toned and honed look, you will appreciate the tighter and more controlled bladder you will have afterwards. Nothing like a leaky valve to reek havoc on your confidence.
The benefits of Pilates are detailed right here perfectly.
Postpartum Pilates in Action
Lets start you off with a simple but effective video.
So, you will see the movements are small to begin with and as you build up strength the Pilates pushes you further. Another cool video is this one from Alisa Wyatt.
You can even include baby in by either having her lay next to you for a little tummy time or using her for some added weight during a move. Again, the movements are small as well as controlled.
Breathing correctly is essential and will help stimulate the blood to those muscles you want to strengthen. Rule of thumb with breathing during strength exercise is to breath in before making the move and breath out on the exertion of the move.
Basic Pilates Moves
Here are some basic Pilate’s moves that should have your core strong and your muscles more flexible in no time.
- Lay on your back with your knees bent, feet together
- Breath in then lift one leg so its at a right angle to the floor
- Breath out
- Hold for 3 counts and lower
- Repeat with the other leg
- Continue alternating till you have repeated 10 times on each side
Good starter exercise to get the core strong!
- Lay on your back, knees bent, feet together
- Raise your arms above your head stretched out behind your head
- Lift your one leg, knee bent towards your head
- Lift your other leg and stretch it out as straight as you can
- Breath in
- With your arms kept in that position, alternate your leg positions
- Breath out and in as you change
A good core exercise and works nicely into the glutes as well!
TONING BALLS TWIST
- Sit with crossed legs, hold the toning balls (pilates weighted balls) (however, any weighted item will do like 500ml water bottles)
- Keeping your arms to the sides, slightly bent elbows, twist your body to the right, hold for 3 counts
- Then twist to the other side and hold again
- Repeat 10 times each way
Excellent for building a strong core (especially your obliques (side abs) and toned arms!
- Sitting on your glutes (get a comfy position) on a mat
- Lift your legs as best your can, lower your body back a little to engage your core
- Holding your arms straight on either side of your legs, breath in and hold this position for 3 counts
- Release breath and lower your legs
- Repeat 10 times
This will burn those lower abs nicely (muffin top gone)!
BRIDGE GLUTE LIFT
- Laying on your back, knees bent, feet together
- Breath in
- Lift your glutes off the floor till you have a nice straight lined body
- Breath out on the lift and hold for 3 counts
- Lower your glutes and repeat 10 times
- You can use baby as added weight for when you are stronger by placing him on your thighs
Nice firmer for the glutes and hamstrings as well as the core. So, take a deep breath in and begin your journey through Postpartum Pilates Power!