Pregnancy Pilates four point kneel

Pregnancy Pilates four point kneel
June 30, 2017 blackginger

Kneeling exercises to include in your pregnancy Pilates routine! Work your core muscles, arms and pelvic floor in these safe pregnancy exercises

To start…

Kneel on your mat with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips. Rock your pelvis until it is comfortably in a neutral position, lengthening your spine from the top of your head to your tailbone.
Breathe in, and breathe out as you squeeze the muscles around your anus and draw your pelvic floor upwards until you feel your abdominals engaging and your bump lifting. Stay connected and breathe normally for five breaths before releasing. Ensure your ribs are still able to move normally as you breathe.

Pregnancy Pilates exercises kneeling

1. Four point kneeling- breathing and deep abdominals

Position yourself into the neutral set up- hands under your shoulders, your knees under your hips with your back long.

Pregnancy Pilates exercises kneeling core strength

Inhale, allow abdominals to relax and baby to drop downwards try to focus your breath into a 3-D pattern into your chest, back and sides.
Exhale as you hug baby back upwards towards your spin, squeezing the muscles around your anus and drawing your pelvic floor upwards until you feel your abdominals engaging and your bump lifting.
Repeat 6-8 times
Sit back on your heels and reach arms long forward for counter stretch and relax to take pressure off wrists.

2. Seated on heels – engage pelvic floor

Sit back on your heels, weight spread evenly between your tail bones, spine straight.

Pregnancy Pilates exercises kneeling for pelvic floor

Inhale to prepare
Exhale as your imagine your sit bones being drawn together and zipping your pelvic floor from back tailbone forward underneath you towards your pubic bone. Now try gently contracting to lift the area upwards inside your body towards your belly button.
Inhale, hold, exhale and relax the muscles completely.
Repeat 6-8 times
Move forward, back into the four point kneeling position

3. Four point kneeling with blocks – arm toning and obliques challenge

Use one block and have a toning ball ready or a weight no more than 2-3lbs.

Pregnancy Pilates exercises kneeling core strength

Place one hand on the block and one hand on holding the toning ball. Make sure you grip the ball in your hand properly for good wrist strength.
Try to lift the toning ball off the floor a little until both your shoulders are the same height and level.
Bend your arm so your elbow is in to the side of your waist ready for a tricep kickback position.
Inhale, prepare.
Exhale, extend the arm back straight ensuring wrist is long.
Inhale return arm to side.
Repeat 4-6 times
Don’t let your back arch, keep your shoulders level by actively encourage the block arm to keep pressing away and keep hugging baby in and up with your deep abs and pelvic floor as above.
Change arms and repeat to the other side. You may like to roll your wrists around between changing arms if you are suffering with weak wrist joints.

4. Cat stretch

Adopt the four point kneeling position, weight evenly distributed, shoulders over your hands, spine long.

Pregnancy Pilates exercises kneeling back strength

Inhale, prepare.
Exhale as you curl your pubic bone upward towards your navel and drop your tailbone down towards your feet, continuing to round the rest of the spine from tailbone to head so you are looking down at baby. Imagine rounding and arching your back up into an even curve, pulling baby back towards your spine
Inhale at the top keeping neck relaxed and shoulders away from your ears.
Exhale as you return to a neutral spine. Don’t let your back sag down towards the floor as you return.
Repeat 4-6 times
Try reversing the direction to work from head to tailbone.

5. Four point swimming

Adopt the four point kneeling position, weight evenly distributed, shoulders over your hands, spine straight. Make sure your arms aren’t locked at the elbows putting extra pressure into joints. Ensure head and neck is long and in line with rest of the spine

Pregnancy Pilates exercises kneeling for lower back

Inhale, prepare.
Exhale as you reach out your left arm along the floor as far as your posture doesn’t change shape or collapse on one side.
Inhale return and swop arms.
Now try going further and lifting the arm off the floor at the end of the stretch to reach long up by your ears.
Now try the legs!
Keeping your hips level , Draw your baby up towards your spine and keep your pelvic floor connected. Exhale as you stretch your left leg along the floor behind you ensuring all the while that your upper body is working hard to stabilise you.
Inhale as you return.
Next time try reaching the leg so far away that it lifts off the floor. Remember think length not height to keep pelvis level and stop the work going into the lower back.
For extra challenge- try adding in opposite arm to leg at the same time, either with hands and feet remaining contact with the floor, or reaching them away from the ground.
Repeat on both sides 4-6 times
Once you have finished these exercises move on to the Pregnancy Pilates on a fit ball moves!

Remember – if you have any health issues or concerns about your pregnancy make sure you consult your midwife or your doctor before embarking on any new pregnancy exercise regime. If you are new to pregnancy Pilates we recommend waiting until your second trimester before you start.

Pregnancy Pilates: what to wear

Be on point in specialist maternity exercise clothes designed for pregnancy Pilates 👌