The best labor-prep Pilates moves for each trimester.
Everything in this slideshow
First Trimester: Forearm Control or Plank
Miraculous changes happen to your body in each trimester of your pregnancy—but each phase presents new challenges, too. A custom Pilates workout plan like this one, designed exclusively for Fit Pregnancy by Jennifer Gianni, creator of the Fusion Pilates for Pregnancy DVD series will help you stay fit and feel comfortable at every stage of your baby's growth.
Forearm Control or Plank
Get on your hands and knees, then lower yourself until your elbows and forearms are on the floor. Lace your fingers together, keeping your elbows wide. Straighten one leg at a time until your body forms a straight line from head to feet. Lengthen your body from your head to tailbone, keeping abs pulled in. Pressing into your forearms, squeeze the muscles in both legs [shown].
Breathe deeply as you hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds, building up to 30. Rest by sitting back on your heels if needed.
First Trimester: Mermaid side bends
Mermaid Side Bends
Sit on your right hip with knees bent to the left, left hand holding your left ankle. Reach your right arm overhead and lean to the left; hold for 1 breath, lifting your ribs and contracting your abs. Place your right hand firmly on the floor to the right and push into your hand. Lift your right hip off the floor, balancing on your right shin and top of foot, left leg straight and pressing into the foot. Then reach your left arm overhead and lean to the right as you squeeze the right side of your waist and tighten your abs [shown].
Slowly return to the starting position and repeat sequence 4 to 8 times, then switch sides.
Second Trimester: Hovering Knees
Get down on your knees and forearms, elbows shoulder-width apart, knees under hips and toes curled under. Inhale, then exhale as you tighten your abdominal muscles without moving your back. Slowly lift both knees at the same time, floating them a few inches off the floor [shown].
Hold for 1 full breath while pressing into your forearms and squeezing abs tightly. Lower both knees at the same time. Do 4 to 8 reps, resting in between by sitting back on your heels if necessary.
Second Trimester: Kneeling Hundreds
Kneel on a flat pillow, knees hip-distance apart (or sit in a chair). Your shoulders back and down, inhale through your nose for 5 counts as you pump your arms rapidly behind you, squeezing your upper back and shoulders. Exhale through your mouth for 5 counts [shown], pulling abs in. One set equals 10 pumps. Do 5 to 10 sets, resting when needed.
Third Trimester: Pelvic Tilts
Get down on your hands and knees, wrists directly under shoulders and knees under hips. (If you have any wrist discomfort, place a rolled towel under your hands.) Inhale as you arch your back and tilt your tailbone up, then exhale as you tuck your tailbone under and round your back. Draw your abs in and contract your pelvic-floor muscles [shown], doing a Kegel by squeezing the vaginal muscles as if to stop the flow of urine. Repeat for 8 to 10 reps. Sit back on your heels between reps to rest if needed.
Third Trimester: Clamming
Lie on your right side with legs slightly forward and knees bent and stacked on top of each other. Place a pillow under your head and a flat pillow under your belly for support. Stack your hips, and keep your spine straight and abs drawn in. Place your left hand on your belly to connect with your baby. Keeping your toes touching, rotate at your left hip and lift the left knee, taking your knees apart as far as possible [shown]. Slowly lower and repeat for 8 to 10 reps, then switch sides.
Find out more about your trimester-by-trimester fitness needs and how they related to this prenatal Pilates workout.