Class #5071

Beginner Postnatal Class

30 min - Class


This class with Wendy Foster will touch on key elements while being postpartum, such as engaging your core properly, easing tension in your shoulder, and strengthening your legs. Wendy teaches Angelia, who is 7 weeks postpartum, and is perfect for anyone new to Pilates. You will feel strong, flexible, and ready to take on your day!
What You'll Need: Mat, Overball, Theraband

About This Video


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Hello, I'm Wendy and I'm here with Angelina and we're going to share with you a postnatal Pilates flow for beginners. So this is great anytime postnatal when you just want to get into your body, gain some mobility, and also get a little bit of stretching in. For this routine, you're going to want to have a Pilates ball. So anywhere from a 10 inch to a 12 inch ball, either a little bit deflated or completely inflated, depending on what feels good for you, and a medium strength resistance band. So let's get going.

We'll go ahead and start standing and you'll take your resistance band, hold it in your hands about shoulder distance, maybe a little bit wider. Yep, and just slide your shoulders down. Wrists are nice and straight. Just inhale, scrunch your shoulders up to your ears. And exhale, slide your shoulders down.

Great. Inhale up. (Wendy audibly inhales) And exhale down. Yep, a couple more times. Your weight's back on your heels. Your ribs are over your hips and your shoulders are over your ribs.

Good. So here you're gonna inhale, scrunch those shoulders up. Exhale, slide the shoulders down. And then this time you're gonna inhale. Shoulders come up.

See if you can reach the arms up. And just exhale, lower the arms down. So starting to get some motion here. Inhale, reach up, open through the chest. And exhale down.

You might need to grab a little bit wider on the band. See if you can reach up, inhale, reach the band up. Maybe you can get a little bit of opening through the chest. And then exhale, bring the band down. So just getting a little bit more motion, increasing that range.

Exhale, arms come down. And maybe you start to sort of arch your back a little bit as the arms come up to get some more motion through the spine. Exhale, arms come down. Inhale, opening up, open through the sternum. And exhale down.

Good. Two more. Inhale as you open, maybe the band comes back behind your head. And exhale, bring it down. Inhaling up. This time as you exhale, bring the band down.

See if you can do a little curl through that belly. Just look down at your toes. And then inhale, come back up. So really moving through the spine. As you exhale, articulate through the spine, the arms come down.

And then inhale coming up. Beautiful. One more. And inhale up. Slide those shoulders down and see if you can just reach your arms over to the right and press through that left foot for a little side stretch. And back to center.

Good. Other side. Inhale as you reach. Press through that opposite leg. And exhale back with those obliques. Good. One more time each side.

Inhale as you reach, shoulders draw down. And back up. Yep. One more time. Inhale. And exhale.

Arms come all the way down in front. Slide those shoulders down, bring the band all the way down, roll the shoulders around. If you're feeling tension in your neck again, you can grab that band a little bit wider. So really strengthening with the core here, you're going to press through that left leg, arms out in front, and you're just going to inhale. Bring the right leg out for a little squat side lunge.

Yep. And then exhale back to center. Good. Inhale as you reach out, and exhale back. Good, this time see if you can inhale, lift the arms up. And then exhale, bring 'em back down.

(Wendy audibly exhales) Inhale as you reach. And exhale, belly draws in. Good. Inhale. And exhale.

Two more, really pressing through that standing leg side to side like you're in between two pains of glass or something. So just really reaching to the side. Yep. And center, and then same thing on the other side. So reach that left leg out, bend the right leg, and back to center. Good.

Keeping those shoulders down. You're connecting through your core. And see if you can stay nice and straight as you bend to the left. And back in. Good. Few more, inhaling and pull that belly in.

Everything comes back to center. And in. Last one, inhale as you reach. And exhale. Good job. You're gonna make your feet a little bit wider, so a nice wide horse stance.

And you're gonna hold onto the band underneath with your palms up towards the ceiling. So squeeze those elbows in, try and keep those elbows glued to your ribs. Just keep your arms there for a second. And here you're just gonna inhale as you come down and exhale as you come up. So inhale, bend those knees.

And just exhale, come straight up. Just relaxing the shoulders. Inhale, knees go out. Press through the outsides of the ankles. Yep. Get the legs working first.

If you need to open your legs wider, that's fine too. Two more. Straight down and straight up. Yes. And good.

Now you're gonna add the band. You're gonna inhale, open the band as the knees bend. And exhale, bring it back in. (Wendy audibly exhales) Yeah, so opening up through the rotator cuff, which can really be helpful postnatal. If you're feeding or nursing your baby or just from the everyday activities that we're doing, can really help to open up through the sternum and open up and strengthen the rotator cuff and the shoulders.

Good, two more. Inhaling, and back in. Yep. Last one. Inhale. And exhale.

And then go ahead and come all the way back down to that squat. Yep, and you're just gonna stay right there and see if you can just do little pulses. (Wendy audibly exhales) Good. Press through the heels. Work the backs of the legs.

Three, two, and one. Come all the way up. Great job. Go ahead here, you're gonna bring your heels all the way together now. So you're rotating out from your hips.

Yep, and you're gonna hold onto the band with your palms towards the floor. Yes. Good. And from here you are just going to bend your knees. Yep, and come straight up. (Wendy audibly exhales) Good.

So again, shoulders draw down. Let's get the lower body and the core first, then we'll add the upper body. So coming all the way up. Yes. Great job. So engaging the inner thighs, engaging that pelvic floor, really zipping up through the legs.

Good. Soften the elbows just a little bit. Maybe again, grab a little bit wider on the band. Yep, and come all the way up. And then as you bend this time, you're gonna open the band out wide and then bring everything back to center.

Beautiful. Few more. Inhale. Squeeze those heels. And back in, sliding the shoulders down, opening up through the sternum without arching that back or flaring the ribs. Looking good. Squeezing those inner thighs.

Two more. Inhale as you open. And exhale back. One more. Go ahead and bend those knees. Arms come out. And back in.

Great job. Go ahead and bring your arms down, yep. And you're going to turn and face the front of your mat and put your hands on your hips. Slide your shoulders down. You can have both feet parallel.

Put your knees a little bit soft and see if you can just inhale, just do a little bit of a hinge. Exhale, pull the belly in and just come straight up. Good. So again, the head stays right on top of the shoulders, inhaling as you hinge forward. Small motion.

Exhale, pull the belly in and come straight up. Good. One more. Inhaling as you hinge. And exhale. One more. Inhale as you hinge.

And exhale, draw that belly in and come up. Great job. Little hamstring stretch here, so bring your right foot forward and you're just going to do that hinge and bend that left knee as your toes come back towards you. And same thing, you're just gonna come back up, bring that foot to the floor. So inhale as you come back, sit back on that back leg, try and get a stretch through the back of that front leg, and back up.

Good. Two more. Inhaling here, shoulders draw down. Trying to stretch all three hamstrings. Last one. And up.

Good, let's switch it out to the other side, so other leg comes forward. Yep. You'll inhale as you hinge forward. Remember you wanna draw that belly in. And if you need to put a hand on your belly to protect your core or your back, go ahead and do that. Inhaling.

Yep. And belly draws in as you come up. Good. Two more, stretching out the back of that leg. And one side might feel a little bit different than the other.

Good, and then we're gonna go ahead, place that band underneath that foot for a little bit of bicep work. So holding onto the end of the band. Yep. You can stay upright with your elbows in and that foot forward, and just do a little bicep curl here. As the belly draws in, the arms just go right at about elbow length.

Right at about elbow height. Maybe a little bit lower. Yeah. Or you can add a little hinge if you want. Make it a little bit shorter. Give yourself a little bit of a break, it's up to you.

Two more because we have to do the other side, which is basically the same with the biceps. Yep. And then you're gonna go ahead and switch it out to the other side. All right, so same thing. Belly draws in, you can stay upright or you can hinge forward a little bit, sliding the shoulders down.

(Wendy audibly exhales) Doing a few more of those bicep curls. Remember you don't want tension in your shoulders or your neck. You really wanna try and isolate the biceps that can really help as you're carrying and lifting your little one or little ones all day. Three more. Two.

And one. Great job. All right, go ahead and take a step towards the back of the mat there. Inhale, scrunch those shoulders up one more time. And exhale, slide 'em down.

You can put one hand on your belly and one hand behind your head, and you're just gonna slowly roll through your spine as you come down, and walk your hands out to a nice downward dog position. And just pedal those feet out, get a nice stretch. Yep. Perfect. Reaching the heels towards the floor, the shoulders draw down. Reaching the heel towards the floor as the shoulders draw down.

Yeah. Dropping your head a little bit towards the mat. And you're going to rotate out from your hips again. Bring those heels together. Yes.

And here you're gonna inhale, those knees are gonna go wide, you're gonna sit back on your heels as you bend those knees. Exhale, draw that belly in, and then just come forward. (Wendy audibly exhales) So inhaling back, bending those knees, and exhale forward. (Wendy audibly exhales) Yes. Perfect. So you don't have to go down too low.

You can stay up pretty high. Yes. Squeezing those inner thighs again and really think about engaging that pelvic floor. Heels, inner thighs, all the way up to the core, even knitting those ribs together as the shoulders draw down. Two more.

Last one. And then you'll come down to a modified pushup position on your knees. Yes. So sliding the shoulders down again, you can come down to your forearms if your wrists are feeling a little funky or you can stay up. Yep. Perfect.

On your hands. Again, legs are gonna come together. Yes. Flexing those feet. Beautiful.

Shoulders are gonna draw down, you're just gonna inhale as you flex those feet. And as you exhale, draw the belly in and point those toes. Yes. Inhale as you flex, and exhale. (Wendy audibly exhales) Yeah, so some stability here, some stability work with this flow.

Two more. Inhaling and exhaling, wrapping that core up and in. And then you'll go ahead and point those toes, squeeze the legs, and here you're just gonna bring one knee out to the side like a little fire hydrant, and then exhale back in same side. You're gonna do five more on that same side. So inhale as you open, exhale back in.

Little bit of hip work here. Get some rotation. And then we're gonna go ahead and switch it to the other side. Again, you can always come down on your forearms. Last one.

And down. Good. Go ahead and come all the way to all fours and just come to a little cat cow just to move through the spine. Exhaling as you curl. Mm-hmm. Inhaling as you arch.

So really articulating, taking this time to find that extra mobility through your spine as that belly draws in. Last one. And back. Great job. So we're going to come down to our back, but remember, when we come down onto our back, we wanna do a log roll first.

So you'll come onto your side, engage that core, use that arm to push yourself down onto your back. Yep. And then your feet will be hip distance apart. And just take a few breaths, feel where your spine is making a connection with the mat there. Slide the shoulders down the back.

And again, just really think about starting to knit those ribs together, okay? With each breath. So breathing into the sides of the ribs and the back of the spine. You're gonna go ahead and lift your hips up. We're gonna take this ball and place it underneath your sacrum, okay?

So you might have to adjust it. That ball's not totally inflated, so it's up to you how inflated you want. You can also just use a pillow if you don't have a ball or if this feels like too much of a stretch for you. Good, so from here, just gonna go ahead and straighten your left leg out on the floor and bend your right knee in to your chest. Yeah.

So we're looking for a hip flexor stretch. Right through the top of the thigh there, underneath that hip bone, reaching out through the leg, you might have that leg flexed. If this is too much in your back, again, go ahead and take that ball out. You don't have to do this with the ball, it just gives a little bit of a bonus stretch with the ball there. And then on the transition, remember you're gonna engage that core to stabilize and switch it out to the other side.

So same thing. Checking in with the hips, making sure they're not rocking and rolling. And you'll reach the other knee into your chest if that feels okay. Again, you could hold it. Ideally you want that leg coming straight out from your hips and your pelvis, you don't want it getting pulled off to the side.

And then go ahead and bring that foot down. Yep. Both feet flat on the floor. You're nice and open through your chest, you're reaching through the fingertips, and all you're gonna do is take a big inhale into the sides of the ribs, and as you exhale, just draw that belly in and just feel that sacrum kind of sink into that ball. So there won't be any movement or engagement necessarily with your leg muscles, it's just an engagement with your core, trying to draw that belly button all the way to that ball, staying in a nice neutral position.

Good. Couple more breaths. Imagine those hip bones just drawing towards each other with each exhale. Good, and now this time when you exhale, you're gonna float one knee up to a tabletop position. Good. And just kind of hold it there.

I want you to do a little bit of research here. If those abdominals bulged out or you're feeling it in your back, go ahead and take that ball out. You can do this without the ball. If this feels okay, it's a little bit more work for the core, you're just gonna exhale, tap that toe down to the floor with your next exhale. As you press the back of the ribs into the mat, inhale, float it right back up.

Yeah, so this is a core exercise, not a leg exercise. Exhale, tap it down. (Wendy audibly exhales) As you're sinking into that ball, as you're engaging that core, the toes tapping down. Perfect. Three more.

Inhaling up. And exhale, tap it down. Knitting those ribs together. Pressing through the fingers, even the pinky finger. Last one.

And down. Great job. Go ahead and switch it out to the other side. So adjust if you need to, move those hips around, relax your neck and your throat, and then on the next exhale, bring that left knee up to a tabletop position. And just kind of turn that leg off, make sure those leg muscles aren't trying to help. And exhale, engage that core and then start to tap that toe down to the floor.

(Wendy audibly exhales) And inhale right back up. This is a great exercise for your transverse abdominis, so your lower abdominal muscles, that sort of inner seatbelt that we all have. You wanna think of kind of tightening up that seatbelt as you engage. Two more. Last one, bringing it up.

And exhale down. Great job. So go ahead and carefully hinge yourself up off of that ball. Roll through your spine and come all the way back down. We're gonna take the ball, place it in between your inner thighs.

Again, you can always deflate it a little bit more or grab a pillow or a towel, okay? You want your feet about hip distance apart, all right? You wanna press through the insides of the ankles and even the big toe, okay? And you're just gonna inhale. As you exhale, draw the belly in and start to peel your spine up off of the mat and come up into a bridge or maybe just a pelvic curl.

You might not come all the way up on that first one. And then as you exhale, you're gonna soften through the sternum, scoop out the belly, and slowly roll all the way down. All the way back down. Hollowing out that belly. And all the way back to neutral.

Good, and again. Exhale, you're gonna curl on up. Imagine a little marble on that pubic bone that you're rolling all the way up to the sternum. Good. Press through the arms.

And then exhale, slowly roll all the way back down. So you're just reversing the moves. And come all the way back to neutral. Two more, just like that. Adjust yourself if needed.

Make sure you're pressing through those inside ankles. Those inner thighs are working. Come up as high as feels comfortable for you. Good, and slowly rolling all the way back down, hollowing out that belly, lengthening out through the tail, and at the same time, lengthening out through the crown of the head. Last one.

Exhale, draw that belly in and come up. This one, you're gonna stay up here. Maybe adjust those arms, press through the fingertips. You're just gonna take an inhale. And as you exhale, just give that ball a little bit of an extra squeeze.

Stay up there. Four more, just like that. Inhale and exhale. Squeeze that ball. Zipping everything up.

Three more. Inhale and exhale. Great. Two more. Almost there. Last one. Good, and then inhale and exhale.

Slowly roll all the way down. Great job. Taking the ball out. Now we're gonna take the ball and put it underneath our feet if that feels okay for you. Both feet on the ball, yeah. So I know it's a little bit of lower body work here in this, but you're just gonna press into the ball just enough, okay?

So that you can actually exhale. Just roll the ball out in front of you using your core. So as you exhale, you're gonna straighten your legs and use your core as much as possible. And exhale, pull the ball back in. So I want you to use that breath in both directions.

Exhaling out. Inhale, lengthen. And then exhale, pull back in. Yeah. So it's really happening from the core. The legs of course are working a little bit too.

And if you need to adjust where your feet are on the ball, we can do that. Exhale, back in. So a couple more, just parallel to start. Great job. Stay nice and wide through the shoulders. Again, the back of the ribs are on the mat.

Pressing out, reaching through the feet. And then exhale, pull everything back up and in. Last one, exhaling out. And exhaling in. We're gonna get fancy on this one, so now we're going to open up through our knees and press the ball out, and then bring the legs parallel and pull the ball back in.

So inhale as you open through the knees, squeeze the heels. Exhale, press the ball out. (Wendy audibly exhales) Good. Inhale parallel, and exhale, pull back in. (Wendy audibly exhales) So inhale, open up. Exhale, pressing out.

(Wendy audibly exhales) Inhale, nice and straight. Exhale, pull back in. (Wendy audibly exhales) Great job. A couple more. Opening up through the hips. And out.

(Wendy audibly exhales) Last one. And in. Good, go ahead and bring your legs all the way back in, bending the knees. We're gonna go ahead and see if you can bring that ball over to the corner. So one side of the mat there, lengthen it out through both legs.

So a little bit of oblique work here. So the legs are a little bit of an angle, but the upper body is staying right where it is. You're gonna flex those feet. And you're gonna exhale, try and pull back from those waist muscles, from the obliques at an angle. Yes.

And you're gonna keep that angle as you inhale, reach out. And then exhale, pull back from those waist muscles on that left side if your legs are off to the right. And in. Great job. Belly draws in.

Two more. And in. Last one. And in. All right, bring those legs out and see if you can bring 'em over to the other side.

Check in with this side, see how this side feels. Adjust the ball if you need to. Keeping those hips bolted down. And then see if you can exhale, pull back in from that right side. Yes.

Inhale, see how much you can make it your core and how little you can make it your legs. (Wendy audibly exhales) Good. And you might notice one side's a little bit stronger than the other. That's completely normal. Last one, pulling the legs in from the core and the obliques.

Yep. And then go ahead, come all the way back in. You might be starting to lose that ball a little bit. Bend your knees, bring your feet flat on the floor. Yep.

Good. Shake your legs out a little bit. Good. And then go ahead and see if you can bring your legs all the way out on the mat. Yep, and your arms out to a T position.

Yes. Just right out, right at shoulder level. Yep. Bring your right knee in towards your chest and then roll on over and get a little bit of a side stretch here. Reaching out through the hip.

Really reach the hip away from the rib cage. And then exhale. You're gonna pull that belly in, bring the leg back, and switch it out to the other side. Bend that knee in first. Yep. And then roll over onto the hip.

See if you can try and keep your shoulders on the mat though. So really only go as far as you can while keeping your shoulders connected to the floor. And again, those ribs are gonna work together and knit together. Good. Exhale, draw the belly in and bring that leg back.

Both feet flat on the floor with the knees bent. You're gonna take your ball now and place it back behind your head. Yep. And hold onto that ball. So again, here, if you have your ball completely inflated, you're going to need to deflate it for this one.

So your elbows will be in just a little bit so you're not thrusting the chest forward. Draw the belly in. All you're gonna do is hold onto that ball and exhale, drop your chin to your chest. Draw the belly in and just do a little micro head float as you come up, and then inhale back down. So the ball's there to really help take the strain off of your neck.

You might bring your elbows a little bit closer. Yep. And inhale down. But you might just barely float the head off the floor, especially if you have this big ball, and that's totally fine. Again, think of knitting everything together like a little corset. And then inhale, coming back.

Three more. Sliding the shoulders down before you roll back down, get everything dialed in. Last one. Fabulous. All right, go ahead, take that ball out, come to all fours, roll off to the side.

Remember our log roll that we wanna do in between transitions. Just do a couple little cat cows again to move through the spine. Exhale as you curl. Inhaling as you arch. Open through the chest.

Exhale, tuck the tail. Last one. And then you'll come up to a downward dog position. Yep, inhaling. Exhale, draw that belly in and walk your hands back towards your feet.

Good, put one hand behind your head and one hand on your belly and bend your knees as you slowly curl and come all the way up. Inhale, reach both arms up towards the ceiling. Yep, and opposite hand on the belly, opposite hand behind the head. Exhale, curl and roll all the way down, rolling through the spine. Walking your hands back out one more time.

Reaching through the heels, take a couple of big breaths. Inhaling. And exhale. And last time, walking those hands back towards the feet. You're gonna hold onto the opposite ankle with the opposite hand.

See if you can face that palm out to really open through the shoulders, the hand that's on the leg. This comes up. Get a little bit of a twist. And then exhale. Other side.

Good. Reaching your arm up, pressing through those feet, get a nice twist through the spine. Great job. Both hands back down towards the mat. Again, one hand behind the head, one hand to protect the core as you curl and roll on up, bending the knees all the way up, bringing both arms down, standing up nice and tall.

Inhale, shrug the shoulders up. And exhale down. Great job.


Thank you Wendy for this class. I'm not post-C-section, but post 2 x TRAM flap double mastectomy, and have been looking for a suitable pilates class. This has been perfect. xxx
I am not post natal but found this to be a very relaxing and beneficial class. I will repeat this ! Thank you. 

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