In this series Merrithew™ Master Instructor Trainer Laureen Dubeau takes a look at postnatal fitness through the lens of STOTT PILATES®.
There are several factors that go into losing extra ‘baby weight’ and exercising is definitely one of them. Core and peripheral (arms and legs) exercises can help burn calories and build muscle, both necessary to shed the pounds. Carefully-chosen Pilates exercises can help achieve the desired goals. Be sure your client gets approval from her doctor before you begin, and start slowly, building up in repetitions and resistance as you get stronger. As always, make sure form is ideal to avoid strain or injury.
- Augment the Pilates program with some type of cardiovascular activity like walking or swimming
- Be conscious of form in every movement to realize the most benefit
- Start with shorter exercise sessions then build up gradually, don’t overdo it
- Use light resistance to start, then increase weight or tension
- Emphasize the importance of eating enough to support the demands of the body, baby and workout
Exercise: Supine Bend & Stretch with Flex-Band®
Lie supine (on back) with spine in a neutral position, knees bent, one foot on the mat, one leg lifted in tabletop position, Flex-Band around ball of foot, holding ends elbows bent with hands by shoulders.
- Breathe in to prepare
- Breathe out, reaching leg out on a diagonal and arms overhead
- Breathe in to return
- Repeat 10–12 times on each leg
Note: Repeat exercise with both legs lifted and Band around both feet, being sure to keep lower back lengthened on the mat (do not allow arching). Intensify the exercise by holding lower on the Band.
Additional exercise options:
Push Ups on Stability Ball™, Cardio-Tramp Rebounder work on a Pilates Reformer, Forward Step Up on Stability Chair.