Class #5070

Intermediate Postnatal Class

25 min - Class


Enjoy a brisk under 30-minute Postnatal Pilates class with Wendy Foster! You will feel energized, challenged, and happy you took the time to move! Moving with the rhythm of your breath, Wendy teaches a variety of playful plank variations, strengthening core exercises, and mobilizing leg work.
What You'll Need: Mat, Overball

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hi, I'm Wendy and I'm here with Nicole, and we're going to do an intermediate advanced postnatal Pilates flow. For this routine, you're going to want a deflated Pilates ball and a mat or just a towel. Let's get started. You're gonna start seated and you'll hold onto the ball with your hands, with your knees bent. Reaching your arms out in front of you, all you're gonna do here is just reach to the fingertips, exhale, curl, and just roll back partway, a little pelvic curl, and then inhale, come back up.

(Wendy inhales) Yep, so exhale, just a little pelvic curl, little scoop. Yep, and inhale up. Couple more of those. Just doing a little scan through the body, making sure your shoulders are relaxed, your neck's not tight. (Wendy inhales) Exhale as you curl and reach.

This time, you're gonna inhale, reach the arms up, and then exhale, bring the arms down as you curl. Yes, inhale, coming up. And exhale, nice deep curl as you reach. And inhale up, it's up to you how far back you wanna go. If you're noticing your abdominals are bulging or that you're shortening through the waist, you'll wanna go back to the beginner flow and start there.

One more inhale, reaching up, and exhale, curl. Good, go ahead, place that ball back behind your back there, the low back. Yep, right above the tailbone. And you're going to sit up nice and tall. Same thing, you're gonna reach your arms out in front this time.

You're gonna exhale, draw the belly in, curl and roll back to where that ball is. Just stay right there, relax the shoulders. Maybe take a breath. Maybe deepen that scoop a little bit more without rounding through the upper back. And then inhale, come back up.

(Wendy inhales) So exhale, curl and roll back to the ball. Stay there and breathe for a couple of breaths. Yep, and then you're going to slowly come back up on your next breath, inhale, sit tall. And exhale, curl and roll back. Good.

One more time, inhale, come up, (Wendy inhales) and this time you're gonna exhale, curl and roll back. You're gonna reach your right arm out to the side and then come back up and exhale, left arm out to the side as you reach through that right arm, yes, and back up. So the shoulders don't really move. Just the arms are reaching out to a 90-degree angle. Yep, and back up, and again, exhale, deep curl.

Bring that breath right above your pubic bone right to that ball, and up. One more time each side, exhale, reach out. And in, last one here, (Wendy inhales) and in, great job. Take that ball, open your legs up. We're gonna come up to a seated spine stretch.

So bring the ball in front and open your legs up pretty wide. You can put your hands on the ball. You might bend your knees. You might also lift your hips up by placing a pillow underneath your hips just to give you a little bit more height there. It'll help your back.

So just inhale, sit nice and tall. Exhale, articulate through your spine, your upper back and then roll that ball out to get a nice stretch through the spine. Yep, inhale and exhale, come right back up. The head's the last thing to come up, stacking all the way up. Good, inhale nice and tall.

Exhale, drop your chin. Travel through that spine. Reaching, taking an extra breath, opening up through the ribs in the back. Curling back up. Couple more here, exhale, dropping the chin.

Belly draws in reaching but the shoulders are still drawing down. Yes, and back up. Last one, exhale, drop that chin. Let your head just be heavy as you reach out and in. Great job, all right, you can put that ball away.

We're gonna come to a side position, a modified mermaid. So you'll have your legs straight. You'll come onto your side with your hand on the mat, yep. And one leg will be in front and one leg will be behind with your knees a little bit bent and you'll just take a big inhale and come up and reach that arm up over your head. And then exhale, come back down.

Couple more just like that. So inhale as you reach. (Wendy inhales) And exhale. Two more, inhale, lift the ribs up towards the ceiling, and exhale down. Last one, coming all the way up, press the feet in, and down, and we're gonna add a little bit of a twist. So you're gonna reach up.

And then you're gonna thread that left arm through and under, and then come right back up and down. Three more just like that, coming all the way up, breathe into the ribs. Great, and up. And down, two more, you got this. Come all the way up.

If you need to come down to your forearm, you can always come down to your forearm as well and you'll still get that nice opening through the side body, last one. And twist, and up, and down. Same thing on the other side. So get comfortable with that left arm underneath your shoulder. Your legs, get 'em straight.

First one leg in front and then just bend them a little bit so that when you come up on that inhale, you can press that foot into the floor and then exhale down. Good, inhale, reach up. Nice length through the waist and down. Couple more, same side, shoulders still drawing down. Hopefully this side's feeling okay.

Last one. And down, we're gonna add that little twist. So you're gonna come all the way up. You're gonna thread that arm under and breathe into the back of the ribs. Come all the way back up and down.

Couple more, come all the way up and reach. Left shoulder draws down, right arm reaches through, and up. Two more, press through those feet, and down, last one. Up and then you'll come down to all fours, great job. So coming down again to all fours, or you can always come on to your forearms again, sliding your shoulders down.

The first thing we're gonna do here is just find that nice neutral spine. You're nice and warmed up now. Just take a big inhale into your back and see if you can exhale. Just draw the belly in away from the floor without tucking your tail under or gripping or tightening or shortening, okay? So you just wanna inhale into the sides of the ribs, exhale, pull your belly away from the floor.

If that feels okay, and you can contain that cord, you're gonna take an inhale and you're gonna exhale. Draw that belly in, see if you can reach your opposite arm and your opposite leg out in front of you and just stay there for a second. Slide the shoulders down, keep engaging that core. And then on your next exhale, you'll bring everything back down to the floor. Yep, other sides, you're gonna reach out through the left arm, through the right leg, through the toes, and then draw that belly in and come back.

Couple more each side. This is a great test to see if one side's stronger or more stable than the other. Oftentimes that's the case. And then back in. And again, reaching and holding.

So thinking of all that energy right through the core there, right through the center, and back in. One more time, each side, and down. Last one, reaching, keeping the shoulder drawing down and then come all the way back to all fours, good. Slide those shoulders down. And again, you can always come on your forearms if your wrists are starting to feel a little funky.

So heal your, slide your shoulders down. You're gonna come to a modified pushup position. So you will drop your hips down towards your hands just a little bit. Yep, and then you'll straighten your left leg out. Yes, and then see if you can bend your elbows and lift that left leg up as you come down and then lower the leg as you come up.

Yes, so again, upper body, lower body working together, connecting right through the center, yes, and reach. So upper body work, strengthening the shoulders, the triceps, but still staying connected to that core. Try not to over arch that back as the leg comes up. One more and then we're gonna switch it out to the the other leg, looking good. All right, slide it out.

Make sure the pelvis isn't rocking and rolling around. Facing the floor, same thing, you're gonna bend the elbows and bring the leg up and lower it down. Good, and inhale up. Yes, and down. Staying strong through the core, reaching out through the toes.

Yep, and looking down at towards the end of the mat, right? So you're not looking straight ahead at the wall in front of you. You're not looking down at your knees. You want that cervical spine right in line with the rest of your spine, two more. And then you're going to come to a side position.

We're gonna do a little bit of obliques. So you're still gonna be kneeling. You'll face forward and bring your left arm down and your right leg out to the side, yes, good. So, same thing, you can always come down to your forearm here or you can use a ball or something to lift the floor up to your hand. So working the obliques here, nice straight line.

You're just gonna exhale, lift the leg up, and then just lower it down, barely touching the floor and exhale right back up again. Yeah, so you're going to just barely touch the floor. You're not gonna set it down, okay, you wanna keep that connection, keep that length. Three more up, working the hips, working the leg, working the core, and then bring it up about partway, and from here, you're just gonna do little pulses as you press. Press, reach through the toes.

You can even reach your arm up if you want a little more challenge. (Wendy panting) Four, three, two, and one. Go ahead and bring it down and then we'll go ahead and come over to the other side. So same thing here, you wanna make sure that body's in a nice straight line, yep. Your chest is back, reaching through the toes and you're just gonna exhale, nice big lift and lower down.

So reach out and lower. You shouldn't feel this in your back at all because you're staying nice and long through your waist and nice and neutral, three, two, and one, and then you're gonna bring it up just partway and do those micro pulses. (Wendy panting) Working the obliques. Three, two, and one, come all the way back down. Whew, all right, we're gonna come to a kneeling position and we're gonna find our ball again. So you place the ball.

This time it's gonna be behind your, right on top of your calves, okay, and you might adjust it once you get back there to see. And same thing, you wanna have your ears lined up with your shoulders and your shoulders lined up with your ribs, your ribs lined up with your hips, and your hips lined up with your knees. So you don't wanna be too far forward or too far back. Great job, okay, so here you're just, all you're gonna do is you're gonna hinge back towards the ball, inhale. Stay nice and tall and just exhale, engage the core and just come straight back up, yeah.

So inhale down using the core. (Wendy exhales) Good, inhaling, getting this position, looking great, looking straight ahead or a little bit above eye level. Last one like that. And then you're gonna add the arms. So as you go back, your arms will come up, and then exhale, everything comes down, reaching in both directions, inhale, and exhale.

(Wendy exhales) Inhale as you reach, and exhale, belly draws in. Good, couple more. You could just bring your arms right in front of your chest if you want or you can bring them up, whatever works for you. Good, last one. And then you'll come back, sit on the ball if that feels okay for you.

Bring your arms down and just do some nice, big pelvic circles on that ball, just to release the back. Get those hips movin', get some mobility. All right, and then you're going to come all the way back up again. Reach the arms out. Slide the shoulders down.

And from here, you're gonna bend your left elbow this time as you hinge back and sit back towards the ball and then come back up and other side, elbow goes back, reach through that left arm, and back up. Good, keep going, reaching, bending that elbow, good. You can even turn your head to look all the way back behind that elbow if you want, yep, and back up. Good, one more each side. Getting some energy through the core.

Your legs will probably feel in it a little bit too. Come all the way up and bring the arms down. Good, so just stay right here. We're gonna take the ball and put it right in between your inner thighs. Yep, and this is a great time for you to think of again zipping everything up.

You're gonna reach your arms towards the floor. Palms are gonna face out, okay? So you're opening through the shoulders. Take this opportunity to really externally rotate and you're just gonna stay right where you are with that ball there. You're going to inhale, reach your arms up.

And then this time as you bring 'em down, you're gonna pulse. (Wendy panting) Four, five, six, seven, eight. Inhale, reach up (Wendy inhales) and bring your arms down. (Wendy panting) Three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Inhale, reach up, and again, pumping with the breath. (Wendy panting) But just those arms are moving, right?

You're not thrusting forward, and up, last time, bringing the arms down, and pulse (Wendy pants) Three, four, five, six, seven, and eight. Great job, bringing your arms down, roll the shoulders around. And we're going to come back to a seated position with the ball in between our inner thighs still and your feet flat on the floor. So your knees will be bent. Yes, you're gonna hold back behind your thighs.

And again, just take an inhale, exhale, curl and roll back partway. Just a little curl, yeah, just hold it right there. We did this at the beginning. Sliding the shoulders down. Breathing, try not to grip with your hips.

Good, one more. And then you'll slowly roll all the way back up when you're ready. And then again, you're gonna exhale, curl and roll back. Take a few breaths, holding it. Really isolating everything.

See if you can walk your hands down a little bit more, continuing to breathe until you're all the way down on the floor. Yes, beautiful, slide those feet in. Come to a bridge position, slide your shoulders down and reach those fingers long. Good, so from here, you're just gonna do a little pelvic curl as you tuck your tail under. Yep, and come all the way up.

Really reaching through the fronts of the knees nice and even, hips stay nice and level. And then just exhale slowly, roll all the way down. One bone at a time. Good, all the way back to neutral, beautiful. Few more just like that.

Get that articulation through the spine. Stay wide through the shoulders, your chins just gently towards your chest, and slowly roll down. You might need a little towel or wash cloth or something just right underneath your head to help get you in the ideal alignment. Last one, this time you're gonna curl and bridge up. Good, stay there.

You might need to walk your heels a little bit closer towards your hips and see if you can lift your toes up, okay? So from here we're just gonna lower the hips down, again, little dips. So inhale and exhale, press, right from the back of the legs, right at that gluteal fold really pushing through the heels helps to activate that zone as you press. Good, four more, pushing through the heels into the floor. Two, and one, stay, lower the toes down and then slowly roll all the way through the spine.

Good, coming all the way back to a neutral position. Good, right here you're gonna stay right here and go ahead and just see if you can bring both legs up to a tabletop position. Yep, so staying right here, just take a couple breaths. Now remember, tabletop is right in front of your hips. It's not back towards your shoulders, okay?

If you bring 'em a little bit forward, that can make a huge difference just a little bit. So make sure they're in the right spot. Try and get the ribs down, get the bra strap down. Reach your arms up towards the ceiling and from here, you're just going to face your palms towards each other, yes, and you're gonna bring one arm out to the side like a little open book. And then exhale, squeeze that ball.

(Wendy exhales) Bring it right back in. Other arm, inhale as you reach it out, and exhale, relaxing the neck and the throat. Couple more times each side, really isolating. Good, one more each side, you got this. If this is too much, you can also just do one leg at a time.

Last one, and up. Go ahead and bring the arms down. Bring, take the ball out, bring one foot down and then the other. Ooh, nice job. All right, so you're going to roll over onto the side.

You're gonna put your ball right in between your shoulder blades. Right there, so you'll be on your back. Yeah, good, sliding your shoulders down, and just bring your hands behind your head. Just really support your head. Your thumbs are right at the base of your skull.

Your elbows are in just a little bit, and again, your chin is just gently towards your chest. Just see if you can kind of hold that position. Make sure again that core is really working. You shouldn't feel this in your low back at all. Yep, and just feel the core working as you lift sort of up on that pelvic floor.

See if you can keep those ribs as knitted together as possible and you're just gonna inhale, go drape yourself back over the ball just a little bit. And exhale, draw the belly in and come right back up. Good, so inhale, yes, your shoulders are reaching away from your hips. You're not bringing your hips with your shoulders, okay? So these stay right where they are, exhale up.

Beautiful, inhale down. (Wendy inhales) Wrapping up those ribs as you exhale coming up. (Wendy exhales) Chin stays towards your chest, inhale over the ball. Two more. And last one. All right, stay right there.

Bring your arms down if that feels okay. You're gonna go into the single-leg kick here. So you're going to bring one knee in towards your chest, yep, and the other legs out, if that feels okay. Have it high enough so your back's not kicking in and you're just gonna inhale and exhale, switch. (Wendy exhales) Yep, and (Wendy exhales) so that ball's helping you stay open through the chest.

It's helping support your core a little bit at the same time making it a little more challenging by keeping you in this scooped position. (Wendy exhaling) Two and one, you can add the arms. You can reach the arms back behind you and bring the knee in. Inhale as you reach out back behind you and exhale in, yes. (Wendy exhales) (Wendy exhales) Good, inhale arms come up and switch.

(Wendy exhales) There you go. One more time each side. Last one. And then go ahead and bring both knees in. Both feet down, and we'll take that ball out as you roll off to the side, yep, and come back down onto your back.

Whew, relax your shoulders, we've got a couple more. So again, here's the option. You can use the ball for a little bit more advanced or you can do these without the ball or you can deflate the ball. So it's up to you. It's nice 'cause you can start off with no ball and then gradually get up to the point where you could have a more inflated ball.

We're gonna take this ball and put it underneath our sacrum. So you're lifting up, you're placing it above your tailbone, right in between your hips and your tailbone there. Get that position nice and comfortable. Same thing, your wide through the shoulders. And from here, you're gonna go ahead and bring one leg up to a tabletop position, yep, and then the other leg back up to a tabletop position.

You're gonna squeeze your legs together and flex your feet. Yes, so think of really lifting from the shins. You're gonna bring your heels all the way up towards the ceiling. Keep your feet flexed and then exhale, lower the legs down. Point your toes, drag your knees back to tabletop and then bring 'em all the way back up.

So flexing the feet, lowering the legs, pointing the toes, drag your knees in and all the way back up. And exhale, lower. (Wendy exhales) And inhale all the way up. (Wendy inhales) So exhale as you lower. (Wendy exhales) And inhale's longer than the exhale. (Wendy inhales) (Wendy exhales) (Wendy inhales) And (Wendy exhales) One more, you got this. (Wendy exhales) (Wendy inhales) And then go ahead and bring one leg all the way down and one leg up for a little stretch if that feels okay. Same thing, you're using that core and then you're just gonna kick (Wendy exhales) little scissor kicks, keeping your pelvis nice and stable like it's bolted all the way through your pelvis, all the way down to the floor.

(Wendy exhaling) Last one and then we're gonna add something fancy. You're going to change the breath. You're gonna kick, kick and then open through the hips all the way up and kick, kick, and open through those hips. Yes, and flex the feet (Wendy exhales) and open through the hips. One more time, each direction, you've got it.

And opening, last one. And open up, nice job. Go ahead and bring both feet down on the floor. Yep, take that ball out from underneath you and rolling through your spine. And you're gonna bring one leg across for a figure-four stretch and you can always bring the opposite knee up.

So oppositional stretching here, right? This foot can also be up against a wall, pushing that right knee away as you draw that left knee in. And then go ahead and switch it out to the other side. Same thing, those hips are staying nice and level, taking some breaths. (Wendy exhales) Relaxing and releasing (Wendy inhales) (Wendy exhales) any tension. And then you'll go ahead and bring both feet back on the floor.

One more stretch here. Bring your feet the width of the mat. Yep, and you're just going to drop your knees over to the right side and get a nice stretch through the front of the body. And then exhale, use those obliques to pull your knees back up and over to the other side. And exhale, pull the belly in, bring the legs back up one more time each side, dropping those knees, just let everything go.

Take some breaths all the way up and down your spine. And back up and in. Other side, inhale, let those legs just drop. Stay there for an extra breath. And exhale back up.

And you are energized and ready to start your day.


I loved this class!  I'm a year postpartum as of this post, and I haven't had the chance to do much for my body in that time. This was perfect for someone like me, who has a long history of professional dance and fitness experience, but who is still rebuilding their strength, connections, and patterning after childbirth. 
Stephanie! I’m so happy you enjoyed this routine! Congratulations on your new babe. It can take a while to feel ready or resurface- Regaining my mobility & stability were the hardest for me.  Thanks for your support & feedback😘

Lina S
Nice flowing class. Do you have a tip or specific cue to give on how to gauge the distance of the feet and how to place the hand (in line with the hip?) in the side stretch (rainbow shape with the body)? Thank you in advance.

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Pilates Anytime Logo

Move With Us

Experience Pilates. Experience life.

Let's Begin