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Pre-Natal Pilates

Learn how to do exercises that will help you have a fit pregnancy.

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-If you wanna stay in shape during your pregnancy, pre-natal Pilates could be the perfect workout for you. I'm Julie O'Claire with Parents TV at the Center for Movement in New York City where co-owner Elle Jardim is gonna take us through a Pilates workout designed specifically for pregnant women. But remember, you should always talk with your doctor before starting any exercise program. -Hi. I'm Elle Jardim with Center for Movement and we're a Pilates studio in New York City. And I'm here today with Christina Paige who's seven months pregnant and this is her second time being pregnant. And today, we're going to do some pre-natal Pilates exercises that you can do at home. And all you need is floor space and a pillow, and we're also going to use a ball for resistance. It should feel comfortable and know your limitations. So if something does feel uncomfortable, you just stop and rest. So are you ready to begin? -I am. -Great. And you're going to bend your knees, place your hand behind your thighs. And let's take the ball, place it between the knees. And you wanna give it a nice, gentle squeeze so you work your inner thighs and your seat. Keeping the shoulder nice and relaxed, this exercise is called the modified rollback. Holding here, we inhale and round back-- good-- dropping your shoulders and exhale through the abdominal and round up. Very nice. Inhale round back, pressing in to your lower back, stretching through the lower back, relaxing the shoulders and exhale and come in back up. So this exercise is great. We're working the core. Inhale round back and your pelvic core muscles as well, which is very important for delivering the baby. One more. Inhale round back, dropping your shoulders a little further and exhale and come up. Good breathing. Very nice. So, Christina, the next exercise is called single leg circles and we're lying down on our back. And so keeping this position, roll all the way down on to your back, keeping the shoulders relaxed and lie all the way down on to the pillow. So I'm going to take the ball away and bending the knees, feet are flat. Let's go ahead and take the right knee into the chest and hold behind your thigh. So we stretch the leg up and bend the knee, and stretch the leg up. And this is a really great stretch for your hamstrings. Bend the knee and stretch the leg up, and hold here, flexing your foot, and we got a good stretch on the calf. Still okay? -Great. Yeah. -And point, and flex the foot, and point. Good. And one more flex and point. Great. So let's just take the arms down and to continue working our legs, our inner and outer thighs, we circle the leg and lift. Good. And be sure to keep those hips still. Be thinking of controlling the movement with your core and one more, and reverse. Good. I'm gonna let go of you-- that's it-- and hold. Very nice. Good. And what I need you to do is roll on to your side, whichever side is comfortable, and you're going to come all the way up on your hands and knees. So we're on all fours and we're going to take this ball again and place it between the inner thighs. So you wanna really feel the inner thighs engaging, and really working on strengthening those core muscles and pelvic core muscles which are so important for delivery. So let's take an inhale and exhale round up through your spine. Drop your shoulders and drop your head. Good stretching for your lower back. And now, we arch and look up and out. Good. Very nice. And one more round, so we're really stretching through that lower back, pulling off on those core muscles again, hugging the ball with the inner thighs and now, we arch. So this should feel really good, the arch as well, because it's important to work your spine in both directions. Very nice. Let's have you sit back over your heels and enjoy this stretch. Come up and we'll take our ball away. And now, sit over your heels and press your head down. Reach the arms forward and enjoy the stretch. So I need you to come and sit up and if you can keep your legs slightly bent, your knees slightly bent and see if you could straighten them a little more. Very nice. And this is a great stretch. We do this in all of our Pilates classes. It's wonderful for the spine. It's a great stretch and helps you to learn how to sit up properly because posture is super important. Reach the arms out in front. Good. Breathe in and now breathe out. Exhale and drop the chin to the chest and round forward. Nice. Good. And roll back up. How does that feel? -Great. -Good. One more time. Chin in and round down. Breathe and exhale in that stretch, and rolling up. Very nice. Stay here. Take your arms down, just gently stretch, the ear to the shoulder, and center, and other ear to the shoulder, and center. Now, we turn the head, look, and center, and look, and center. How does that feel? -Terrific. -Great. So these pre-natal Pilates exercises are wonderful to do throughout your entire pregnancy as well as after you have the baby, you can do them. They're safe and effective exercises. If you feel any discomfort whatsoever, just move on to the next exercise. Thank you so much for joining us at Center for Movement in New York City. -What a great way to work out during your pregnancy. A big thank you to all the folks here at the Center for Movement in New York City. And remember, Pilates is something you can incorporate into your regular fitness routine after your baby arrives, to keep your body strong and toned.