Class #214

Prenatal Stretch

20 min - Class


This class is designed for the Pregnant student wanting to find some comfort within her ever-changing body. Leah takes you through a 22-minute stretching routine that will address areas of tightness and discomfort that often come with pregnancy. Take this class when you want to feel good in your body.
What You'll Need: Mat

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All right ladies. Hello again. Okay, so some days you just wanna a little stretchy movement, right? A little bit, feel good, kind of, you know, more stretchy mobilization and such. So we're going to focus a little bit more on that in this short stretch session, I guess you could call it that if you want to. So we're going to focus on a little bit of waste lateral flection, kind of rib stretching wastes of bleak and then a little bit on the legs, the adductors, the flexors, and a little bit of the hamstrings as well. Does that sound good? Fantastic. Okay. So I want you to start again. You can come a little bit forward on your mat are fine. Good.

And you can stay facing in. And I'm going to face you because I think that might be the best way for you to see me here. Great. Okay. So first we're not going to start with the big breathing here, but we're going to kind of incorporate the breathing right into the first movement. Okay. So I want to just to float your arms up and downstream and take the breath in and exhale. Good and breath in.

And this seems to get to shoulder height for me, so you don't really need to go any higher. And exhale, excuse me, inhale and exhale. It's the curse of my life. And go and take it down. Oh yeah. Just getting them all mixed up. You're going to go forward right now. Make your arms a little bit more narrow for me. That's it. Good. Now I want you to slide your right fingertips forward so you get a little bit. Everybody feel that pull behind the right Scapula, good and the next cell.

Bring it back. More passive. Bring it back more active as you pull your left arm forward. So we're going to alternate arms. Good. And draw it back. And I'm going to tell you if you feel a little bit of that spinal rotation, a little bit of rotation in your rib cage, just go for it. Yeah, just let your body kind of do what it wants. Of course there's some limitations, but just kind of let it move.

That's the point of this session is to kind of feel good and reaching forward. Good and XL, draw it back in one more time with the left and reaching forward. Good and bad. Good. I want you to take your hands behind your back, fingers interlaced. Good. And if you can get your arms as close your hands as close to the floor, that's great. If they obviously might need to come up a little bit behind you on a diagonal, that's okay too.

So you can take your breath and you're gonna just reach your palms back, pressure or palms back and stretch out the front of the shoulders, slightly lift the sternum and the next cell. Just relax. That's it. And in how? Pressing arms back. Lift that sternum up. Try to hold the sensation of the abdominal wall in. And then exhale, relax. And just make this as gentle or as aggressive as you need. And inhale, reach. Feel the shoulder blades together, the art open at the sternum. Rise the face, rise toward the ceiling. And then exhale, relax. One more time and inhale, reach.

And the exhale. Relax to me. Great. Take your arms down to your sides. Fingertips just tapping onto the mat. Yeah, we might want to stagger a little bit. Good, thank you. So your right arm is going to come up and you're going to start to side bend over to the left. You're going to flatten your left palm, allow your left elbow to bend and just go into this nice side stretch. And I want you to hold here and I want you to breathe. Soften your top elbow a little bit. Take a nice big breath in, feel the expansion of the right side rib cage, and then soften it.

Inhale, feel the expansion of the right side rib cage, and then soften prepping with an inhale on the exhale, you'll push through your left arm to lift you up and come back to center. Now depending on where you're tight, you might have felt a little bit more of a strong stretching your rib cage. Most likely for most women, particularly pregnant women, they're going to fill a nice strong pool through their QL, particularly and through their old bleak. So that's okay. And that's good. All right, so let's go to the left over and then bending to the right. Left arm comes over. Good.

Just find that stretch. Take the breath in and exhale. Good and breath in. And exhale. Give me one more time and breath in. And with the exhale, push with your right arm to come up and nice.

Now we're going to do some circular movement with that. My favorite in case you're going to go over to the left again with the right arm. Find the side stretch. Find the lateral stretch. Good Xcel, soften your spine so you're going through the diagonal all the way around to the front. Let your left arm release. Go to the diagonal, then to the lateral stretch on the other side on the right side, and then push and come up three times in the same direction and reaching over and the XL going through the center, Hollow Your Abdominal Wall, and I let your head drop. Let your arms just circle around naturally. Think of it more dance like, and then press that floating your arms to the center and over to the left. Good.

And around dropping your head piking or hauling through your center body over to your rights and press. Now you can't tell me that doesn't feel good, right? And let's go the other direction to the right. Inhale, close your eyes, open your eyes, whatever you want. Through the diagonal in pregnancy, we tend to get tight in our back and just allow it to mobilize here and around. And I want you to focus on hauling here, supporting your spine with your abdominals. So we don't have a license here to just let a wall of our foreign glow, but we want to be a little bit more free. But we still want to have that sense of support and over and around all the way. Dropping your head, spiraling your arms around, feeling that big, full circle. Great. And over here, good from here, the arms are going to float up.

We're gonna do a little bit of a spinal movement, mobility stretch. You're going to exhale pool the 10 million all the way, and then take it all the way up with an inhale. Let's go again. And Xcel pool the central body. And, and in how re stack and again, pulling the center body and nice and tight. Find that hollowness and breathe in. If you're really tight, you should feel that little bit of that pool, a little bit of that lengthening through yours erector spinae, which are your back extensor muscles and all the way up. Good. Now from here, you're gonna take the shoulders app and Xcel, slide them down.

And don't worry so much about your elbows or your hands. Slide up [inaudible] and then feel them glide on your back. Okay, and inhale up. Think of it passively rising then XL. Actively press those shoulders down. Good. Two more and lifted up.

Okay. And the Xcel pressing down. Last one, ladies and up and exhale all the way. Great. Okay. This time we're going to take our left leg out. Keep our right leg bent. That's it. Very good. Okay. Now you can be the judge of where you want to sit comfortably, but relatively you're going to be equal on both of your sits bones. And if you want to press your pelvis a little bit forward, you can, but you want to keep your leg externally rotated or into a spiral. Exactly.

Flex your foot from me by flexing the foot. We're going to pro promote a little bit more of link through the gastrocnemius did do the other calf muscles there and we're going to promote a little bit of activation of the Shin muscles in front of the Shin. So we want that here. So arms are going to be out to the size of very simple here. You're going to go over towards your legs. So to the left you're going to give me a side stretch first.

Now at the same time, try to pull the right side pelvis down. That's it. And keep that external or outward spiral of that left leg. That's it. Breathing here. Okay. Tomorrow, make sure your breath is nice and big and full. Last one.

Now carefully. I want you to rotate your body with gentle movement here. Place both hands down on either side of the Shin and just gently drop your chest as best as you can toward your extended leg. Towards your left leg and just hold this stretch. Make sure the right hip is pouring down toward the mat, keeping that sense of the abdominal wall drawing in and up. Great. Now here, I want you guys to extend your back.

That's it. And push out through your heel. Grab your left foot. If you're able with your right hand though, there you go. If you can't do that, go ahead and just grab your Shin. That's definitely sufficient. So you're going to hold this now try to pull your chest forward and try to fill.

You're going to wrap the right side of your body down so that it's parallel to the floor. That's it and holds here. [inaudible] imagine that you're reaching your sits bones out behind you. Good. Last breath. Slowly round yourself over and with your Xcel, rule yourself that gently on the diagonal and then so you come out of your back easily come back to center. Nice. Good. Let's go to the other side. So just switching your legs. It's a flexing your feet.

So filling yourself even on both sitz bones here. That's great. Good. Flexing that foot. So again, you want to feel you have that outward spiral of your right leg. Okay, I'm trying to let that left knee open just subtly. You don't want to push it too much at this point. Arms out to the sides. Good. Keeping the ribs in Nice and controlled and exhale side bent hands going to go behind your leg and feel that nice reach. Good promoting that, softening that anchoring the left side of the pelvis, down that drawing in of the abdominal wall.

Now just try to open your shoulders a bit more. Yes, there you go. You should feel a difference there and breathe. Nice and full. Big deep breath. Last breath and slowly turn yourself towards your leg. Hands down on either side of the Shin and low ego stuff.

Now be gentle with yourself. Don't tell yourself you have to go a certain length or a certain depth in your stretch. You just seem to go with your body, tells you this is where you need to be today. Some days it may be a little bit more, some days may be a little bit less. You just have to listen. And as you drop your head here into your stretch hall when with your abdominals now take the breath in with your exhale.

Extend your back nice and lifted with your spine. Flex your foot. Try to grab with your left, your right to big toe with your left hand. If not, again, you can keep your hand on your Shin or heap your hand on your math, whichever you prefer. Once you fill this position, try to spiral your trunk a little bit more. So your left side comes down in parallel to the floor. Yes, promoting that extension of your upper back, reach the sits bones and the pelvis back behind you. Now one side might feel a lot different from the other and that's okay. Remember to breathe and draw the abdominal wall in Nice and tight to my breath.

Last one, take your hand down. Exhale round your chunk to start. Take another big sip of air and then that. So roll yourself up all the way up to the diagonal and then on spiral yourself. Nice. Good. Okay, let's just take the soles of the feet together. Try to walk your bottom as close as you can to your heels and you want to just let gravity do its job here and just drop your knees. That's it. Good. Okay, so from here we're going to come forward with a flat back. Now as you come forward here, you're going to feel a little bit of a stretch through your adductors and you might feel a little bit of stretch to your hips, the back of your hips as well.

From here, you're going to XL, wrap the abdominal wall in and up, and you're going to roll up through your spine. Yes. So again, gooey spine here. So you need to come forward, hinting, reaching forward, reaching forward with that flat back good than XL. Pull the abdominal wall in. Not even feel like you're tightening low through your pelvis. Drop your head so you can watch your trunk as you articulate through your spine. Good again and going forward, reaching, reaching. Nice, flat back.

Excellent. Then Xcel wrap. Oh the way up through your spine. And let's go one more. What do you think? Go. Good. Good. Yeah. Keep the head in line with your spine here and exhale, wrap yourself all the way up, keeping everything nice and engage and left. Excellent. Good. Okay, so I want you to his face in toward the mat as you are.

Excuse me, enter the center of the room. I'm going to come on to the knees. So you're gonna come up, kneeling on your knees there for me. That's this. We're gonna do a little flexor stretch here. So let's bring your left leg forward. First you're going to Tuck your right toes underneath. That's it.

And place your hands on your knees. So this is gonna be a little bit of balance. Now if you can try to get that rightly behind you, so it's on a diagonal. That's it. Now instead of feeling like we're just going to press ourselves down, I want you to try to pull the pelvis underneath you as best as you can, as if you were drawing it into posterior tilt or a tech, and kind of push your arms away at the same time. So you're kind of getting that sense of opposition.

So feel like you're going to lift up out of the stretch as opposed to sinking into the stretch. So you're kind of lifting the energy out of the joints. Now more so than dropping your pelvis, press your pelvis forward and underneath you and you should feel that opening of your hip. Good and relaxing your shoulders here. Let's breathe. Inhale and allow that left femur or thigh bone to pull back into the left side of the pelvis. So your square relatively square with your pelvis. Good breath in.

Exhale, breath in. Exhale, [inaudible] and breath in. And exhale. Good. Take your hands, fingertips down. You're going to flex your foot, send your hips back. That's it. And Flex your front foot. That's it. Now, nice lifting through your sternum.

That's it. And the attempt is to get your back as flat as you can, but it doesn't get flat. That's okay. The idea is that we engage the musculature the correct way. We get the energetic pool correctly, so you can link them that ham string a little bit more and just holding here. [inaudible] reaching those hips back one more time for me. Breath in. [inaudible] good and just bend your knees softly nice and we'll come out of it here.

Good. Let's do the other side. So right foot comes forward, left toes are tucked under. That's it. Now again, all of your checkpoints here, the niche should be over the ankle. You want to draw that right hip back into the right side of the pelvis. That's it. You want to draw the pubic bone forward and underneath heel. Place the hands on the knee. Lift up in the sternum and feel that energy up, up, up, and the energy of the pelvis forwarded under so that you pool and you lengthen. Stretch the flexors of the hip, little bit of the quadriceps. Nice and lifted through your trunk, through your sternum. Feel the shoulders relaxing down and breathe in.

Exhale, breathe into your stretches, focusing on giving the muscles time to react to the stretch, trying to lengthen using all of those principles of stabilization to support you so you can remain balanced here. You can remain calm. One more now ever, so gently come out of the stress. We don't want to come out of stretches too quickly. Place the hands down. Send the energy, the pelvis and back. Flex the front foot, the right foot in this case on the fingertips who you're perched on top of this fingertips. Good. Your chest is reaching forward, your heart is pulling out of your chest without your head coming too high.

Try to keep your neck in line with the rest of your spine and particularly draw the right side of the pelvis and back. That's it. You feel how that increases the pool on the hamstring, the length on the hamstring when we put the pelvis more in a correct position and breathe here, flexing that foot so you can crease the whole posterior chain. Stretch here and breathing. Two more. Keep that pool, keep that energy reaching out with your pelvis forward with your heel gently release. Go ahead and bring it in all the way.

Good. Go ahead and sit on your bottom again. Good. You can face in just as you were at the beginning. Good. Nice. Let's just feed the hands right on top of the knees, so we just did a nice little short stretch series focusing on the waste. Of course, focusing a little bit on the add doctors more on the waste and then getting into the flexors and the hamstrings as well. So let's just finish with three nice deep breath here together.

So we'll take a breath in and exhale and too, last one for me. Feeling that breath resonate through your whole body. I had a big exhale feeling the relaxation. Very nice. Thank you so much. Very good work.


Ho absolutely wonderful to see Leah here. She was my teacher/instructor 3 years ago now? A great teacher, and wonderful mentor who has always managed to find time for my silly questions and comments over the years!! Congrats on the upcoming Pilates baby Leah! Hope to see more of you here .
Jamie Kirk
What a great class! Thank you. I did this with my daughter-in-law who is 5 months post baby. She loved it. We wonder though what you suggest for mothers who had quite a bit of tearing, where would you have them start with exercises. She cannot yet do a roll up, etc. I have taught her to "scoop" and "engage" transverse abs and obliques, is there more I should encourage her to try. We tried a level one class and she cannot quite do it yet. Thanks

So sorry for the late response. It sounds like you have started your daughter-in-law at the right pace, particularly with the tearing. Nice and slow is the way to go. At 7 months post partum now - you could also incorporate some nice ball exercises - pelvic tilts, circles, leg lifts etc to continue to help the pelvic floor muscles engage as they are healing. I used a lot of these exercises in my pre-natal ball class.

I find this is great for postnatal stretching too!
Abby - absolutely! It's great for postnatal women too!
Hi Leah, question for you.....I'm feeling a lot of tightness and soreness in my glutes and the hip joint. Are there any specific stretches I can do, to safely target these areas? Thanks!
This has been everything to me in my 7th month, especially after a nice power walk.
Jess H
Wow! I feel absolutely amazing after that. I’m just coming out of my first trimester with my second pregnancy and I’m starting to have a couple of aches and strains, particularly in my hips and obliques. This was perfect and I’m looking forward to doing it again. Thank you so much Leah
Dharma D
41weeks and a day: so needed this! Thank you! 

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