Hi guys! It’s Robin from The Balanced Life. Welcome back to your prenatal Pilates series. Today’s video is going to be a short workout you can do from home. It’s all about the lower body, primarily the glutes and the back of the legs, because that’s the area that just seems to kind of lose – how do we say? – lift and tone during pregnancy. Those seem like they are the first to go, at least it is with me. So this workout will be a great way to feel the burn, and it’s safe for all three trimesters, but make sure that you listen to your own body and of course check with your doctor before you start a new exercise routine. So let’s get started just in a comfortable seated position. Rest your hands on your knees and just transition, so close your eyes, start to hear your breath, start to feel relaxation take over. Just take a minute to leave whatever it is you were dealing with before you got down on your mat. Leave it there and let it go so that we can kind of de-stress and use this little bit of time to take care of our bodies, take care of our minds, and bring our bodies back to a place of relaxation and peace which is the best environment we can give our baby. Good, just becoming aware of how you feel today. Just kind of take a scan through your body. Notice if you’re holding tension anywhere, if you feel achy anywhere, maybe you can get that a little extra TLC on your mat today. Okay, so come on onto all fours with me and align your shoulders right over your wrists and your hips right over your knees. We’ll start with just a little bit of cat stretching because it’s always a good way to loosen things up. So take a nice big inhale…as you exhale, you’re going to round through your back, drop your head, and come back through with control. Good, just to neutral today. Round it up and lengthen the spine… Good, exhale round…feel the belly lifting into the body. Start to find those abdominal muscles…and back…and again rounding up…good, back to neutral. And again, we’re going to do the little wag the tail thing, so your hips go side to side. And the point here is to just loosen up all around the pelvis, that sciatic nerve. We want to get everything kind of loosened up there, length on the side of the body, length on your obliques… Good. Okay let’s sit back into a rest pose, stack your hands, and this is another just a way to warm up. So we’re just getting those hips a little bit looser, the glutes a little bit looser before we move in case you’ve been sitting a lot today… Good. Coming back up onto that all four position. From this position we’re going to go down onto our forearms, so I really want you to think of pushing the ground away from you and imagine that you’re going to tear your mat apart with your forearms. That’s going to activate your triceps and your shoulder girdle so that you don’t collapse down into the mat. Push it away, pull it apart, pull your ribs in. Now keeping your pelvis squared off to the mat, reach your right leg back behind you, hips are squared. You’re going to lift the leg only as high as you can without feeling that you go into your lower back, and lower it down. If you go into your lower back you lose the integrity of the exercise, if you do this – that’s going to bug your back. So keep your pelvis still, just move from the glute down. Really feel the length, reach that leg so long…Good, three more here… push that ground away with your elbows… Don’t forget to breathe…good. Bend the knees, flex the foot, push up and up and up and up – five, six – keep the ribs lifting – nine, ten. Now cross your knee behind your left leg, reach the leg out on a diagonal. Cross behind, reach it up. Cross behind, reach it out – pelvis is still, abs are in…harder than it looks – five more, good, three and two and one. Good, bring it underneath you, widen your knees, sit back into your rest pose, stacked hands if that feels better to you to just prop her head up a little bit. And hold and relax and breathe…Okay coming up to do the other side. Coming onto your elbows, press the ground away, pull the mat apart, keep your hips squared off to the mat as you extend your left leg. Alright, shifting if you need to shift just to get centered, here we go…reach and lift – good, really use that glute muscle, don’t go too high – three, four – good, keep breathing – five, six, seven, eight – last two – nine, ten. Bend the knee push the roof up, two, three, four, five, six – abs lifting – eight, nine, ten. Cross behind, reach it out. Cross behind, – really important to try to maintain that pelvic stability here. It’s hard, you’ll really feel it that supporting glute quite a bit… Five more – keep breathing… two and one. Good, back to rest pose, widen the knees, stack the wrists, and relax… All right. Okay let’s do a quick stretch, just to make sure that we don’t get too tight. So let’s take the right leg press it down, the left leg is going to come over top. If your belly is really big you may be only able to crossover that much, so do what works for you and just kind of draw that top knee in towards you to feel that nice stretch through your hips. Sit up tall as you can… ah, enjoy that stretch…and then just gently rotating, not too much, just enough to get a little bit more into that hip… Good… Okay other side and just switch your legs, find the position that works for you and your size right now. First just sitting up tall and kind of drawing that knee towards you. Feels good, doesn’t it? And then give yourself a gentle rotation to the point that feels good to you. You don’t want to over rotate, just enough to get a little bit deeper… Good…ah, it feels good. I might need to do some foam rolling on those gluten tonight, I highly recommend it. Alright, come on down to your side. So laying with your side – you can fold a towel underneath your head if that would be more comfortable. And if your belly is getting quite big and heavy you could also put a little towel or pillow under your belly to support you. So I’m only about halfway through my pregnancy so I’m okay right now, but you make the best choice for you. Stack your knees and bring your shins forward so they’re parallel with the front of your mat. Feel your abdominals drawing in and try to lift that imaginary mousehole underneath you. You’re just going to open and close the knees – so these are called clamshells… Good, your hips stay pointing straight forward and you just give them that nice rotation and work in the hip and glutes… Keep breathing…good, and 10. Good, from here, lift the feet but it’s the same motion. Open, close. Just makes it a little bit harder, a little more burn here… Good, relax your top shoulder, keep your breath moving… You’re doing a great job…and 10. Good, and lower it down. From here just reach your top leg up, find your stability through your trunk, flex your foot, turn your knee and toe in and down. Lower and lift. Lower and lift, there you go. Four – but that was three, here’s four – five six, seven, eight – last two – nine, ten. Good, flex at the hip, just bring the leg forward. Your hips don’t move, lower it down, up. These are hard – three – you can do it – four, five, six, seven – abs pulling in – nine, ten, and stretch it long…and rest the leg down. Okay I’m going to have us roll onto our back for a quick figure four stretch. Now as you know if you’re past about, I don’t know, fourteen or fifteen weeks, you don’t want to lay on your back for long periods of time. So if you’re comfortable on your back for a few minutes, go ahead and do this stretch with me. If you’re not, you can just kind of tilt to the side and do the same stretch; it just shifts you enough to get you off of a flat back, which is just what we want to avoid. A few minutes is generally fine, but of course I want you to do what you’re comfortable with. So, ah! This is a deep stretch, isn’t it? This is great to avoid sciatica during pregnancy. Alright, hug both knees in and push yourself up, and let’s get set up for the other side. Okay, so propping up your belly or propping up your head to the level that you you need to, you’re going to bring both knees forward, shins are parallel in the front of the mat, try to lift your underside as much as you can. With our clamshells, we open and close. Open and close. Good, three – hips stay pointing straight forward, shoulders relaxed, breathing…eight – last two here – nine, ten. Lift the feet, same thing… nine, good and eight – you can do it – seven, six – strong hips, strong glutes – four – this will help you stay really nice and strong through your pregnancy – and one. Good, lower the hips down. From here, your top left is going to go straight out, flex the foot, internally rotate so that your knee and toe point down. Lower, lift. Lower, lift… Good. Three, four – excuse me, frog in my throat, there we go – good four more, three, two, and one. Flex at the hip, bring the straight leg forward, still pointing it in and down. Here we go – ten, you can do it – nine, eight, seven, six – oh! – five, four, three, two, and one. Good, stretch the leg long…rest it down. Let’s stretch it out, so rolling onto your back if that feels okay to you. If it doesn’t you can kind of lean over to one side or prop yourself up, just slide a pillow under one side of you to help you stay right off of the center of your back. Good, relax and enjoy the stretch… great way to keep your hips healthy and avoid that sciatica. I know I keep saying that but if you have sciatica you know that it’s something you want to avoid. Good, alright, hugging both knees in, rocking yourself up. And let’s end with our deep breathing as we always do. So find a comfortable position, you can lay on your side, you can sit, do whatever works for you. So rest your hands on your belly so you can kind of connect with your baby for a little bit here before you go into the rest of your day. Close your eyes, just notice how you feel. Notice how energized you are, notice how good it feels to have that blood flowing through the body, circulation moving carrying nutrients to you and your baby. And start to breathe here, a nice big inhale…and as you exhale, let go of any tension that you’re holding anywhere in your body. Inhale, nice fresh air through your lungs, expand your ribs, expand…and exhale, letting go of tension. One more breath… Good ,and you guys are done for the day. Congratulate yourself for taking the time to strengthen and take care of your body, even though it may not be easy right now. You’re doing a wonderful job! I’ll see you back here on your mat very soon!