Class #4799

Increase Your Mobility

20 min - Class


Grab your Fitness Ball and move along with Wendy Foster. Here you will use the support and feedback of the Fitness Ball to focus on your alignment, balance, and mobility. Class begins with sitting on the Stability Ball to mobilize your low back, hips, and pelvis. You then move into movements to decompress your spine and create more space. This is a feel-good class you will return to again and again.

When you get to Side-Lying, Wendy suggests deflating some air out of your ball to better support yourself.
What You'll Need: Mat, Fitness Ball

About This Video


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Hello, today we're going to be doing a prenatal workout on the stability ball. I'm Wendy and I'm here with Anne. And working out on the stability ball can be great during pregnancy. It can help with your mobility. It can help with spinal decompression.

And you can even sit on your ball during the day if you're working at your desk. What you wanna look for when you're working on your stability ball or working out on your stability ball is that your hips are a little bit higher than your knees. So this is a 55 centimeter stability ball for most people that will be the right size. Of course you can always deflate it a little bit or inflate it. You can also sit right in the center of the ball, or if you want a little bit more challenge, you can walk your feet forward and sit more in the front.

That'll make it a little bit squirrelier and a little bit more challenging. But today we're gonna start right in the middle of the ball. You wanna have your feet, hip distance apart, or maybe a little bit wider. And we're just gonna start with some big hip circles. So inhaling to one side and then exhaling to the other, moving through the hips, just get that mobility through the pelvis.

Starting to center and ground with your breath. Yeah. And you wanna make sure that your feet are on a secure surface. So you might need a yoga mat under your feet. Maybe take your socks off if you're on a wood floor, just so you can stabilize yourself.

And then we'll reverse the direction. Go the other way. Inhaling and exhaling. So, you're still doing that posterior lateral rib cage breathing so that Pilates breath, expanding that rib cage out to the side, not so much expanding it forward. You wanna think about keeping those ribs, not quite knitted together during your pregnancy 'cause you'll have a little bit of space in there, but you don't wanna thrust them forward.

Great. And then you'll come back to center and take a big inhale, get nice and tall and lengthen out through the crown of your head. You'll keep that length. And as you exhale, just do a little pelvic curl to get some motion through that pelvis forward and back. Yep.

And inhale up. So lengthening, exhale, tucking that tail release starting right at your tailbone and traveling up through your spine. So you get that low back, that mobility through that lumbar spine. And then see if you can put your hands behind your head with your elbows out. Yep.

And you're just gonna do the same thing. So you're open through your chest, but you're just gonna tuck your tail a little bit, beautiful, without rounding your back. You can bring your gaze or drop your chin a little bit down towards your thighs and then inhale up and exhale. If that feels too unstable or that it's hard to keep that position because you're thrusting those ribs forward, just bring your arms down. Good.

Last one, exhale curl. And then you'll come back to that neutral position and you're gonna inhale. Keep the shoulders down, but to the right, you're just gonna dip your elbow to the right, as you keep pressing through that left foot and left side and then inhale come back up. Yep. So exhale over to the left.

Yes. Keeping that length through the waist and center. Good. Drawing that belly in, dipping, opening up. And when you come back again, thinking of no wrinkles in your shirt, so keeping that length between your lowest rib and your hips.

So important to open up those intercostals during pregnancy to get a little bit of extra space in that rib cage for your growing baby. One more time and center. You can bring your arms down. Open up your feet pretty wide, almost like a horse stance if you do a yoga. So yeah, really wide here.

Yep. And you're just gonna hinge forward a little bit. So here, you're gonna keep your back nice and straight and then just exhale, draw that belly in and come right back up. (Wendy exhaling) Yep. So inhale hinging forward.

And the ball might roll a little bit back behind you. You're gonna keep that straight spine and exhale, just hinge right back up. (Wendy exhaling) Yep. Inhaling forward, stay nice and straight and just exhale, belly draws in and come forward. Good. Couple more.

Inhale. Opening up through the hips can help stretch those inner thighs. It can be great for your pelvic floor to work your legs and your feet in a variety of positions. (Anne exhaling) Good. Last one, inhale (Anne inhaling) and exhale.

(Anne exhaling) Great job. So now we're gonna come down to a kneeling position with the ball. And you'll have the ball down in front of you. You'll come down onto your knees and you'll have your hands on top of the ball in a kneeling position. So you'll wanna have maybe a towel or a pad for underneath your legs.

And we're just gonna do a supported Cat-Cow here. So as you exhale, you're gonna roll that ball forward, roll through your spine and reach. Yup. Inhale and then exhale, tuck that tail, curl around that back, pull the belly in and come all the way up. Gorgeous, all the way up through the crown of the head.

Yes. And then again, exhale, dropping and rolling through as you reach. And then exhale, pull the belly in, curl and roll up. And you might just go as far as feels comfortable for you. You don't necessarily have to reach all the way out.

Especially right here, you might just come partway and you can still get that length through the spine. Exhale coming up. One more, inhale tall, exhale roll to the spine and reach those arms out, reach through the fingertips and exhale come all the way back up. Beautiful. All right, you wanna hold onto the ball now.

When you hold onto the ball, you wanna hold onto the side or a little bit underneath it at the bottom so you can be externally rotated through your shoulders just a little bit. Yep. So here, we're gonna make sure that the tail's going towards the floor. Yep. And that your ribs are in line with your hips.

And you're just gonna keep those shoulders down. All you're gonna do is inhale, reach the ball up. Yep. And exhale, draw that belly in and bring the ball right back down. Great job. So inhale.

You're reaching up, but the shoulders aren't coming up with the ball, the shoulders are staying down. And exhale, down. Yep. And again, you're looking straight ahead at eye level, opening through the chest a little bit. You really wanna open through that sternum, lifting through the collarbone. And exhale down.

Two more. Inhale up. And last one, you're gonna bring the ball up, you're gonna keep it right here. Make sure the shoulders draw down. You're gonna press through that left side and inhale, reach over to the right and exhale back to center.

So lengthening those obliques, inhale other side, press through that right leg and exhale, come back. (Anne exhaling) Beautiful. Inhale, keep reaching. And exhale. And you can even think of kind of squeezing that ball just a little bit with the palms of your hands to give yourself a little bit of an upper body bonus workout there.

Yep. Inhale, reaching. Great job keeping that alignment. Remember you don't wanna pinch those shoulder blades together. And center.

One more time each side. Inhale as you reach, you wanna really push through the leg on that opposite side to keep you stable. And back. You're gonna lower the ball down in front of you. You're still holding it if that's okay with your arms.

And we're just gonna do a little bit of a twist to the left. So exhale as you twist. So you can really draw that belly in and then inhale back to center. And exhale other side. You're still kinda squeezing that ball a little bit, especially with your pinky finger and the palms of your hands.

And your head is just attached to your spine, so it's all moving together. Yep. And center. One more time each side, you've got this. Just a little bit of a micro twist.

Just again, to get into that upper back, those ribs. Get that mobility through your spine and you'll bring the ball down onto the mat. And we're going to have you come to the side and get a nice big side stretch. So bring the ball right up against your hip. You can drape yourself over the ball, lengthen the opposite leg.

You can bring your hand down onto the floor and the other arm up and just get some nice length through the waist. Reaching to that opposite leg. And if your ball is really inflated, you might have to deflate it just a little bit to support you here. You'll bring your top arm down and your bottom arm will bend, that elbow will bend and support your head here. Yep.

And you're really leaning into the ball with that leg. You're just gonna start to lift that long leg as you point your toe, just up. So little leg lifts, inhale down and exhale up. So really use those obliques. Try not to use your neck or your throat.

And really call on that ball to support you so it can take some of your weight. Two more. And then last one, you're gonna hold it up there and then you're gonna turn your toes towards the floor. So you're gonna internally rotate through your hips. And you're just gonna do little pulses with your leg.

(Wendy exhaling sharply) So working your inner thighs, your outer thighs. four, three, two, and one, bringing that leg down. Whew! Nice work. And then we're gonna go ahead and bring it over to the other side. So same thing.

Just go ahead and get that ball nice and snug up against your outer thigh. Yep. And reach that opposite leg long. Get a nice stretch. Reach your arm up and over your head.

Yeah. Reaching and lengthening through the waist, breathing. And then you can go ahead and bring that top arm down. The lower arm's gonna come up, support your head. And you're gonna use those obliques to lift that leg up as you point your toe.

So, yep. Exhale as you lift up, stay nice and long. Whew, this can be some work on both legs 'cause your other leg is still supporting you and pressing into the ball a little bit. Three, two, and one. And then we're gonna internally rotate and we're gonna just do little pulses.

So stay in that work zone. (Wendy exhaling sharply) You're not gonna lower it all the way to the floor, you're gonna stay lifted. Five, just a few of these. Two and one. Go ahead and bring that leg down. Whew! And then you'll come to a kneeling position with the ball in front of you.

Yep. And we're gonna do a little hip flexor stretch. So bring your right leg on the outside of the ball. Just come to a kneeling position with your left knee. Yes.

And when you roll that ball forward, you're just gonna reach your right arm up and get a nice stretch through those hip flexors, through the psoas, and then inhale, bring it back. Arm can come down. Yes. So inhale, reach it forward. Hanging out there for a breath, get a nice stretch. If that's too much with your arm lifting up, that's lengthening too much, you can bring the arm down and just support yourself by holding onto the ball with that arm.

Great. And exhale back. Last one, inhale as you reach reaching the opposite arm up from whichever hip flexors you're stretching can really give it a bonus stretch. And then we're gonna switch it out to the other side. So your left knee will come on the outside of the ball.

Yep. And same thing. You'll just roll that ball forward as you reach up with your opposite arm, beautiful. And back. Yeah. And it depends on you how far you're gonna come forward.

Remember you wanna keep that length and really focus on not overarching your back to try and get the stretch, but keep that tail towards the floor. Good. Last one, reaching up through the arm and back. You'll go ahead and roll that ball off to the side and come down onto your back carefully and you'll use the ball to support your legs. You'll bring your calves up onto the ball.

Both feet up onto the ball. Yep, all the way with the calves with your knees bent. Yes, perfect. All right, so from here, just do a couple of those pelvic curls again, to get you back to center, press through those arms, press through the hands, do a little pelvic curl. (Anne exhaling) Good, last one, just to get you back to that neutral pelvis after being on your side.

And you'll come back to neutral here, yep. And you might have your... you might have a little bit more calf on the ball, it just kinda depends on you. But all I want you to do is think about as you exhale, draw that belly in and at the same time just press your calves into the ball. So just try and connect with your core, staying in that neutral pelvis.

So you're not moving your pelvis at all. You're just using that pressure of the ball to connect to your pelvic floor and your core. So there shouldn't be any tension in your chest, or in your throat, or in your shoulders. Walking those fingers down. Yeah, just a little bit of pressure there.

(Anne exhaling) Good. And then from here, again, it depends on where you are during your pregnancy, for your third trimester, you wanna stay with your knees bent, in your first trimester, you might be able to have your legs a little bit longer. We're just gonna come up to a micro-Bridge. So you're gonna exhale, start to curl that pelvis as you come up. Yep.

And then inhale at the top, and exhale, roll back down. Yeah. And you can adjust the ball if you feel like you want it more underneath your knees or further away towards your heels. Remember the main goal is to look for any kind of abdominal bulging or coning. And if you're doing an exercise where it looks like there's a cone going through your core, you need to back off and find a modification or maybe just reduce the range of motion.

Pressing through the arms. Great. One more. Exhale as you curl and then exhale, roll back down. Great job.

You're gonna just bring one leg up for a little hamstring stretch. So reach out through the heel, you can hold behind the thigh, reaching out through the heel and at the same time, really lengthen down through the sitz bone. So you're getting that oppositional stretch using the ball to support your opposite leg. Yeah. And you can even bring your leg across just a little bit to get that stretch through the IT band.

Good. And back, and then just switch it out to the other side. Fabulous. Holding on. I like to really flex my foot when I'm stretching my hamstrings. And make sure that you're staying nice and neutral.

If you roll onto your back, you're gonna miss out on some of the crucial stretching that you wanna have for the backs of your legs. And then you can go ahead and bring your leg across and back. All right. Both legs down on the floor. We're gonna come to a little figure four stretch.

So one leg's on the ball. You're gonna bring one leg across, yep. Open up through the knee. And this is where you can drag the ball in a little bit closer towards you if you wanna get more of a stretch through the side that you're stretching. So whichever knee is bent, whichever foot is in front, that's the side you're stretching.

You should feel it through your piriformis, right where your hamstrings insert and then you can bring it back. And one more time pulling the ball in. So one knee is coming towards you as the opposite knee is pressing away. And then you can switch it out to the other side. So for any of these exercises, you can always think about putting a little towel under your head if you want to, or just a really small pillow to support your head if you're feeling tension in your neck or your throat.

So bending the knee as you come into this piriformis stretch and just holding it for a couple of breaths. Beautiful. This is a nice one to do too, because you don't have to hold the leg with your arms so you can stay open through your chest while you're still getting this piriformis stretch. And then bring it back. All right, go ahead and bring both legs back.

One more here. You're gonna have your heels on the ball. So roll the ball out just a little bit further away from you, so you've got a little less muscle of your calf on the ball there, yup. And all you can do is put your hands on your quads. This is a little contract release.

So all you're gonna do here, is you're gonna exhale, you're gonna push your thighs into your hands and at the same time, push your hands into your thighs and you're pressing your heels into the ball and then just release. So you're gonna exhale, engage that core, push into the thighs, push into the heels and release. This can be great for your sacrum and for your pelvic alignment. You wanna make sure your knees are in line with your big toe and your second toe so they're not flaring out to the side. Looking good.

Last one. (Anne exhaling) And release. Great job. We're gonna roll off to our side carefully, come up and you're going to sit in front of the ball. So you'll have the ball up against your back.

And you may need to deflate your ball a little bit here. You'll just lean into the ball, sort of a little bit of a hinge with your feet in front of you and your knees nice and wide. Yeah. So just get comfortable there. Take a couple breaths and use the ball to kind of keep you in this position.

You should have your entire rib cage and your bra strap pressing into the ball. So here, all we're gonna do first is I just wanna make sure that you're comfortable enough that you can exhale. Just do like a little squat. You're just gonna lift your hips up a little bit as you come up, yup. And then just inhale, come back down.

Yeah. So exhale, just come up. If you can, you can have your hands on your hips. You can have your hands on the floor. Yeah. Working the backs of the legs.

We just stretched out the piriformis and the hamstrings. And down. Couple more. (Anne exhaling) And down. And last one, if this feels okay for you, you can bring your arms down to your side.

And as you come up, you can inhale, reach your arms back behind you for a big arm circle. and then exhale, bring them out to the side and down. (Anne exhaling) Good. So inhale as you lift up, really push through the feet. And exhale arms, come out to the side and down.

(Anne exhaling) Good. Inhale as you lift up, you want the upper back and your shoulders really pushing into that ball as much connection on the ball as you can get with your upper torso or entire torso. Last one in this direction and back, and then reverse the direction. So reach those arms out, reach through the fingertips, open through the chest. And then exhale, bring your arms down. Yes.

Really pushing through the whole foot. The big toe, the second toe, those knees are in line with the toes. And again, you can have your feet a little bit wider, your legs a little bit wider when you're doing this work during pregnancy, so that your legs are aligned with that pelvis that's starting to open up a little bit. Two more. Inhale as you open and reach.

Great breath. Yes, I know these are kinda hard. Last one. Reaching up and exhaling down. Great job on the ball today.

Remember, you're gonna wanna deflate it a little bit for some of these exercises. You can also do this exercise against the wall for a little bit more support.

Prenatal Pilates: Mat Pilates for All Trimesters


1 person likes this.
I'm not pregnant, but I really enjoyed this class. Very simple, mobility moves on the ball, which I love using for Pilates. 
Olga T
Hi, I know that I shouldn't lie on my back in the second and third trimesters, yet almost all prenatal classes on this platform include back exercises and some of them are quite extensive. Why do you include them? 
Sofie van der Sommen
Hi, I had the same Question. Lying on your back is not recommend in third trimester.I'm curious, why are you making this choice Wendy?
Sofie van der Sommen
I saw an explanation for my earlier question in other videos of yours. Clear! Thank you Wendy! :)

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