With these Pilates exercises, you can get started straight away – either exercise by exercise using the following illustrations or as a complete video training (in German).
On the corresponding Postnatal Pilates card, you will not only find the exercises but also a multitude of information on nutrition, B vitamins and iodine.
Sit upright on the edge of a chair with your knees hip-width apart; make your back long and place your hands on your thighs.
Now tense the muscles around your vagina as if you are trying to interrupt your urine flow. While doing this, push your tailbone into the seat of the chair and pull your buttocks together. What you are now feeling is your pelvic floor.
It is important to warm up before exercising in order to avoid injury.
To do this, stand with your legs apart and your arms hanging at the side of your body. Place your weight first on one leg and then on the other as you lift first your left heel then your right to your bottom. At the same time, pull your arms backwards.
Continue this exercise for 3-5 minutes.
Stand upright with your legs more than hip-width apart. Bend your knees and stand straight again. As you do so, lift one arm over your head and then the other, so that the sides of your upper body are stretched. Your shoulders should remain down. Remember to breath, tense your pelvic floor and pull in your belly button.
Repeat this 20 times on each side.
While breathing out lift up your pelvic floor in stages, similar to riding in an elevator. You can do this by pulling your labia and buttocks tighter and tighter together. Once your pelvic floor is on the “upper level”, hold the tension for a few seconds before allowing it to travel down again to the “basement” as you breathe in.
If you pull in your belly button at the same time, you can also train your abdominal muscles.
You can do this exercise standing up as well if you wish. Try to incorporate it into your daily life whenever you can, for example when you are brushing your teeth, cutting vegetables, changing your baby’s nappy or working at the computer.
Stand upright and keep your shoulders down for the entire exercise. Now hold the palms of your hands together in front of you and lift them up to the height of chest. Ensure that your elbows remain at chest height. Tense your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles and press your palms together while breathing out.
Repeat the exercise 10 times and then do another two rounds.
Lie on your back and put one leg up. Hold the back of your knee with your hands and pull your outstretched leg close to your body, ensuring that your toe is pointing towards you. Hold this position for a few seconds, tense your pelvic floor and pull in your belly button. Point your toe away from you again and slowly lower your leg to the floor as you breathe out.
Repeat the exercise with your other leg. You should do the exercise 5 times on each leg in alternation.
Go onto all fours (your knees and hands should be hip-width apart), place your lower arms on the floor. Your head should form an extension of your spine as your look downwards. Breath out and pull in your pelvic floor. At the same time, tense your abdominal muscles by pulling your knees and elbows together (without really moving them). Hold this position for several breaths and release again as you breathe out.
Repeat the exercise 10 times.
Stay on all fours, turn your fingertips towards each other and bend your elbows slightly. Your head should be aligned in such a way that it forms an extension to the spine; your back should be straight. Tense your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles and ensure your toes are pointing to the floor. While breathing out, lift your knees 5-10 cm above the ground. Breathe in and briefly hold the position. Slowly lower your knees to the floor again while you breathe out. Pull in your belly button and tense your pelvic floor.
Repeat the exercise 5 times.
Lie on your side with your body outstretched. Support yourself on your lower arm; one foot should lie on top of the other. Now tense your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles as your lift your body off the ground while breathing out. Hold this position for a few seconds while tensing your belly button. Slowly lower your body to the floor again as you breathe out.
Repeat the exercise 5 times and then switch sides.
Turn onto your back and lie with your knees up, ensuring that they are hip-width apart. Stretch your arms to the ceiling; your palms should face each other. As you breathe out, tip your pelvis upwards, raising your head and shoulders from the ground and pull your arms over to the side of your right knee. Ensure that you tense your pelvic floor and pull in your belly button. Lower your body again while breathing in. Breathe out again and pull your arms toward your left knee.
Repeat this exercise 8 times on the right and 8 times on the left side in alternation.
Stand up and place your feet hip-width apart; relax your shoulders. While breathing in, raise your outstretched arms above your head and bring them down again as you breathe out.
Repeat the exercise 10 times.