New mums, regain your shape and strength with these post-pregnancy pilates moves. By Estelle Low
Your body has been through so much after 40 odd weeks of pregnancy and trying hours of labour. Just think about what your core, back and hips have done for you – and baby!
To help you get back your pre-baby shape and strength, try these easy moves demonstrated by Focus Pilates instructor Saniya Karimova. You just need a mat.
The exercises can be done four weeks after a natural delivery, or six weeks following a C-section. Do these moves, in any order, three to five times a week for 15 minutes each time. Do consult your doctor before starting any workout programme.
As a new mum, it can get increasingly tiring to carry baby. Try these easy moves to up your strength:
1. Toe Taps
This simple move works your core and hips.
Lie on back and get into tabletop position: legs up and hips and knees bent at 90 degrees. Maintain neutral spine. Inhale to prepare. Exhale and lower left knee, tapping toes on floor. Inhale and bring leg to starting position. Repeat on other side. Do eight to 10 reps. If this feels easy, do the exercise on both legs simultaneously.
This simple move works your hips and shoulders.
Get on all fours, hands directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips. Inhale to prepare. Exhale and extend right leg backwards and left arm forward. Inhale to return to starting position. Keep core and hips steady throughout. Repeat on other side. Do six to eight reps.
Even if you’ve always dreamed of being a mum, the stresses of motherhood can be overwhelming. Try these easy moves to ease postnatal stress:
1. Cat and Camel Stretch
This simple move works your spine, and improves your posture too.
Get on all fours, hands directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips. Inhale and gaze forward, lifting chest and curving spine downwards. Exhale and gaze towards thighs, rounding spine towards ceiling and drawing abdominals in. Repeat six to eight times.
This easy move works your back.
Lie on belly with palms on floor beside shoulders, elbows pointing backwards. Lower elbows to hips and allow chest to peel off mat until lower ribs are lifted. There should be no tension in lower back. Reverse move: Lower ribs and then abdomen and chest. Engage abdominals throughout. Repeat five to 10 times.
For more exercises, sign up for the Postnatal Pilates package ($485) at Focus Pilates. It offers a 30-minute ultrasound session with a physiotherapist, two 60-minute private pilates sessions, plus five 60-minute group reformer pilates classes. Call 6733-8785 to find out more.