For more information on regaining strength in the abdominals after pregnancy, read Post-Pregnancy Core Rebuilding.
If you are recovering from a cesarean section make sure your incision is fully healed and your doctor has given you the go-ahead to get started with abdominal strengthening exercises before using this video. When you do get started with these exercises, take frequent breaks, and go at a pace that feels comfortable. Don't force any exercises or push to the point of discomfort. It will take time for your body to build or regain strength, so slow, careful progression will help you build muscles without injury.
If you experience any discomfort or pain while doing any of these exercises try modifying the movement by slowing down the pace and shortening the length of movement, or stop and rest at more frequent intervals. If modifying the exercise doesn't reduce discomfort, then discontinue that exercise.
For more information about this video, please scroll down to read the text below the video player.
About This Workout
This workout will help you strengthen (and stretch) your hips, glutes and thighs-without any equipment. Coach Nicole from SparkPeople will take you through one short set of 6 Pilates exercises (plus stretches). If you're new to Pilates, we recommend that you watch our short Intro to Pilates video first.
- Length: 10 minutes
- Equipment: Body weight, mat (optional, for cushioning)
- Type of Workout: Strength training (toning) & flexibility
- Muscles Worked: Lower body (hips, outer thighs, inner thighs, glutes)
- Fitness Level: Beginning to advanced; since this workout has few transitions, it may also be suitable for individuals with limited mobility.
- Impact: No (low) impact
- Safety Precautions: A mat will help cushion your body while lying on the floor. Shoes are optional during this Pilates workout. Always work at your own pace and level, using modifications whenever necessary.
- Extra Tip: Only complete as many exercises as you can using good form, taking a break as needed. As you progress, try to finish the entire video.
- You can pause or rewind the video at any time if you need a break or need to watch for closer instructions. We suggest watching the video one time through before attempting the workout.
- While this workout will take you through just one set (4-10 repetitions) of each exercise, they all focus on the same muscle groups. Doing multiple sets of this video is not necessary, especially since Pilates exercises are not designed to work muscles to complete fatigue.
- This video does not include music, but you can play a stereo or CD in the background as you workout. Just make sure you can still hear the instructions.
- To play the video, simply click on the Play button (bottom left corner) to start. Below the video screen, you'll find buttons for Pause, Stop, and volume control.
Catherine Cram, MS, author of "Fit Pregnancy for Dummies" and one of BabyFit's Resident Maternal Fitness Experts, approved these videos and their content.