I am SO excited to share my first “Fitness Friday” with you guys. As you know, I’ve been working with a personal trainer since February and up until I got pregnant, I’d lost about 12 pounds and was feeling and doing awesome! Now, JUST because I got pregnant does NOT mean that I have an excuse to go backwards and gain all of it back right away and be unhealthy. My goal this pregnancy is to keep up the momentum I had before I got pregnant and be very cautious of my weight gain through what I eat and how I exercise.
So, with that in mind, I want to share weekly pregnancy fitness and health tips or workouts for you guys throughout! It will also help me keep myself accountable!
This prenatal workout from Rachel Sevier of Shape Fitness is great for any stage of pregnancy! No matter how far along you are, always listen to your body and if you feel like you need to rest, REST! So many things about your body change during pregnancy so be sure to perform exercises safely and with correct form to prevent injury.
You will find extra tips about exercising during pregnancy in the “Trainer Tip” following each exercise to be sure to read them as well as each exercise description.
This particular workout uses 3-8lb dumbbells, BUT if you don’t have dumbbells, get creative! Canned goods, water jugs, babies, and even pets can be your weight! You can also use a resistance band if you have one, or just your bodyweight! As long as you are contracting your muscles, weight or no weight, you are improving your fitness and being healthy for your baby!
Now, for this workout, I do three rounds of 8-12 reps of each exercise. You’re done in about 15 minutes or less. This is the PERFECT at-home workout to do if you’re not feeling well, super nauseous, tired, or just don’t have the energy to get to the gym. Trust me, working out in my first trimester was so hard, but I always felt better when I pushed through and did it anyway.
**Always consult your doctor before beginning an exercise regimen.
This exercise is purposed to warm up your body and get it ready for some resistance training. Start by standing nice and tall and practice engaging your core and slightly tucking your tail bone under to prevent your lower back from arching. Perform an exaggerated marching motion, lifting your knees as high as you can, and making a large range of motion with your arms.
Trainer Tip: During pregnancy, your heart rate can elevate much faster than usual. During your warm up, you want to get your muscles and your heart ready for exercise, but if at any point you feel out of breath, STOP immediately and allow your heart rate to come back down before you continue exercise.
Start with as wide of a stance as is comfortable for you and point your toes outward. Holding your dumbbells straight down, lower your body into a squat, being sure to keep your knees right over your ankles. Press through the heels to return to stand. Now, keeping your elbows by your sides, curl your dumbbells up to your shoulders, contracting your biceps. Repeat 12-15 reps at a comfortable pace.
Trainer Tip: It is important to work your core throughout your pregnancy. During the sumo squats, tuck your tailbone under to engage your abs. This will also prevent your back from arching.
Start by standing tall and holding your dumbbells at shoulder height. Take a giant step back with one leg and lower both knees to 90 degrees, keeping your weight in your front heel. Press through your front heel to return to stand and press your dumbbells up until your arms are straight and biceps are right beside your ears. Repeat 8-12 reps on each leg.
Trainer Tip: A lot of times, your balance can be off during pregnancy. To avoid losing your balance, perform this exercise beside a chair or couch where you can hold on. Lunge with the leg closest to the couch and perform the shoulder press with your free hand. After 8-12 reps on one side, turn to face the other direction and perform 8-12 reps on the other side.
Stand with your feet hip width apart and knees slightly bent. Keep you core tight and back flat as you hinge forward at the waist, pushing your butt to the back of the room. Hinge forward as far as your belly will allow you to. In this position, fly your dumbbells out, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Arms should be as wide as possible while keeping a slight bend in your elbows. Bring your arms back down, then squeeze your glutes as you press your weight through your heels to stand back up. Repeat 12-15 reps.
Trainer Tip: Having a strong back is very important during pregnancy to help you maintain good posture as you carry more weight on your front side and your center of gravity shifts.
Start on the floor, leaning back on your elbows and forearms. Extend your legs out just a little bit (but knees still bent) and lift your toes off the floor so that just you heels are touching. Lift one knee up and towards your chest, feeling your abs engaged. Return that heel to the floor and repeat on other leg for a total of 10-15 reps on each leg.
Trainer Tip: If you are able, you can lift both knees at the same time, being sure to support your body with your forearms.
And for added difficulty… try it with a toddler sitting on you…
Start in a position with your butt on the floor. Hands should be right under your shoulders with your fingers pointed towards your feet. Press through your heels and lift your hips as high as you can and squeeze your glutes. Your heels should be right under your knees in this position. Slowly lower back to the floor and then repeat for 10-15 reps.
Trainer Tip: Lift your hips just high as is comfortable for you. This exercise is also a stretch and is very important during pregnancy. As your belly grows, your lower back tends to arch, causing tight hip flexors and weak glutes. This exercise simultaneously stretches your hip flexors AND strengthens your glutes. This will help prevent lower back pain during pregnancy, and make your body more prepared for delivery.
It’s also important to take a water break…
And be sure to watch and make sure your toddler doesn’t try to go turn the treadmill on…