Post-Pregnancy Pilates with Karrie Adamany
I always recommend getting your physician’s approval (that all-important 6-week check up) before beginning any exercise program. And you’ve already been practicing your pelvic floor exercises, right? If so, your first postpartum Pilates routine can start with these four simple moves. Each one addresses a part of your body that needs special attention now:
- Roll Back (lower abdominal muscles): Sit upright on a mat with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Place your hands under your thighs with your elbows slightly bent out to the sides. Begin to draw your lower abdominal muscles in towards your spine to tilt your pelvis under and forward. Inhale, and engage your lower abs to roll back until your arms are straight (or to where you are comfortable). Then pull your abs in deeper to curl back to an upright position. Repeat this five to ten times and move slowly.
- Upper Ab Curl (upper abs): Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the mat. Place your hands at the base of your head (with elbows out to the sides). Using your hands/arms, gently lengthen your neck and inhale, begin to curl your upper body off the mat, using your upper abdominal muscles. Exhale, lower back down. At first you won’t get very far, but your goal is to be able to lift up to the tips of your shoulder blades. Repeat five to ten times.
- Hip Lift (arms, legs, glutes): Still on your back, with your arms extended by your sides, press your arms/hands down into the mat. Feel your arm and back muscles contract. Now press your feet into the floor and lift your hips up two to three inches off the ground. Hold, feeling your leg, glute and arm muscles work. As you lower your hips down, use your abdominal muscles to control the slow descent, trying to keep your hips even. Repeat five to ten times.
- The Hundred (core, arms): Begin with legs bent and in a tabletop position (your feet are off the floor). Reach your arms up to the ceiling directly in line with your shoulders. As you begin to bring your arms forward inhale, curl your upper body up so that your head and shoulders are off the mat and exhale. Stay in the position and start to pump your arms up and down. The inhale is through your nose, and the exhale is through your mouth- try to make your breathing longer. Repeat five times at the beginning and work up to ten reps.
Karrie Adamany was trained by world-renowned Romana Kryzanowska and has been teaching since 2001. She is the author of The Pilates Edge and Post-Pregnancy Pilates and lives in New York City with her son, whose birth was the inspiration to seek out Pilates in 1998. Today she enjoys helping new moms to feel good in their bodies.