Today we’re wrapping up our series of prenatal pilates with one more move that’s perfect for mom. Leila Cunningham and Cristin Wertman are here to show us the shoulder bridge, which is especially great for stretching out your lower back.
If you are pregnant, always consult your physician before participating in pilates and only do what feels comfortable to you.
The Shoulder Bridge
Benefits: This move is great for opening up the hip flexors, which can get tight while pregnant. It also stretches the entire front side of your body, and helps tone the glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs and triceps.
Step 1: Lie on your back with your reaching long behind your head to get a nice stretch. Press your feet firmly into the floor, keeping them in alignment with your hips. Take a deep inhale as you lift your hips up to the ceiling, while simultaneously bringing your arms down to your sides. Squeeze your glutes at the top and push your triceps hard down into the floor. Suck your belly in and make sure knees, hips and ankles stay in alignment. Think of reaching your knees over your toes to open up your hip flexors.
Step 2: Take a deep exhale and gently lay your spine back on the ground, returning your arms to their initial reaching position. For an extra spine and pelvis stretch at the end of the movement, really arch your low back and reach your tailbone down to the floor — it feels great!
Honest Tip: If you are pregnant, only do a few of these as you don’t want to lie on your back for too long. Do not do this exercise if you feel any discomfort.
Leila Cunningham is a Certified Pilates Instructor based in Los Angeles, California. When she isn’t sharing her knowledge and passion for Pilates at her studio, she’s spending time with her husband and two beautiful daughters. For more fitness tips and easy exercises, check out her YouTube channel.
This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for health advice. Before undertaking any course of exercise, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.