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3 Moves to Help Moms-to-Be Cruise Through Delivery


Hollywood seems to be in the middle of a full-fledged baby boom. From Maxwell Drew (Jessica Simpson's new little girl) to the upcoming film What to Expect When You're Expecting (in which Cameron Diaz plays a pregnant personal trainer!), bumps are certainly trending in the pop culture world. Are you or is someone you love expecting too? If so, practicing Pilates now may help make your delivery easier and help you get your pre-baby body back faster, says Mariska Breland, founder of Fuse Pilates in Washington, D.C. Breland explains that you don't try to correct bodily changes during pregnancy, as many of these are necessary to help with delivery (like the pelvis tilting slightly back). The goal is to adjust the body and your exercises based on these changes, so that it will be primed for delivery and will have strong muscles—especially in areas that are often utilized by new moms. For a taste of Breland's Push Prep class, try out these three moves. They're great for those who are expecting and those who just want to tone up!

Clam Reach Targets shoulders, upper back, hips, legs

  • Lie on side and prop upper-body up on your forearm.
  • Bend knees, right leg stacked on top of left, and bring them to a 45° angle from hip. Place hand on hip.
  • Lift right knee toward ceiling.
  • Extend right leg straight back and left leg straight forward.
  • Return to start. Do 10 reps, switch sides and repeat.

Giraffe Targets shoulders, butt, hips

  • Begin on all fours. Rotate to open your right hip and place weight on left hand and left knee. Extend right arm overhead.
  • Reach right foot down to tap the floor, then lift back up. Do 5 reps.
  • Return right fingertips to floor. Look over right shoulder and circle right leg in a small circle 8 to 10 times in one direction, then the other direction.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

Staccato Targets shoulders, butt, hips

  • Lie on side, propped up on forearm. Bend left leg to 90° and extend right leg straight. Internally rotate right leg so that toes point toward floor.
  • Lift right leg up and move it in front of body, then lower it to touch the floor with toes.
  • Lift leg back up and return to start. Do 8 to 10 reps.
  • Hold right leg back in starting position and lift and lower in a small range of motion for 20 reps.
  • Switch sides and repeat.