Times are hard.. this can be a particularly emotional and stressful time for expecting mothers. Taking some time for your own mental and physical health can be very beneficial and important for a healthy pregnancy. Exercising before or during pregnancy and keeping up with your normal fitness routine is encouraged. With the current restrictions making daily exercise more challenging, we’ve created an easy to follow video that goes over and breaks down the exercises that are safe when pregnant.
Experts agree, when you're expecting, it's important to keep moving: Pregnant women who exercise have less back pain, more energy, a better body image and, post-delivery, a faster return to their pre-pregnancy shape. Working out doesn't have to mean a big time commitment or fancy equipment. The following workout is simple and can be done at home.
Always check with your doctor before starting this or any exercise program.
Exercises Shown in video:
1) Lunge with thoracic rotation: This exercise is a deep lunge thoracic rotation for improving upper back mobility. While our lower body is in a split stance position, will also stretch the hips.
How does this help: As the body goes through changes and the belly begins to expand, you may experience tightness or stiffness through your mid back (thoracic spine) and hips. This movement helps stretch and bring blood flow to the said areas for release.
Rotate the neck to “look through the hand”
Reach straight up toward the ceiling, not back
2) Bird Dog - this exercise is great for core stability, getting the posterior chain engage, and improving muscles for a efficient posture.
How does this help: Core stability is a foundational base that will help ease potential low back pain. Posterior chain engagement helps keep a postural balance between the front and back of body as your belly expands later in the last two trimester belly putting more weight is put on the anterior chain.
Head neutral (not sagging or looking up)
Hips level (think of a glass of hot coffee sitting on your lower back region) -definitely wouldn't want to spill that
3) Hip Bridge (with or without Med ball Press) - this exercise is great throughout all trimesters for supporting the low back muscles, the hips, and pelvic floor health (exercise is good as long you do not feel nauseous, light headed, or pain while laying on your back). The press acts as a strength component to build upper body strength.
How does this help: The glutes play a big role in balancing and distributing forces throughout the lower regions of the body (lower back included), strong and active glutes have been linked to reduced lower back pain, and help muscles needed for birth become active and in good health (pelvic floor muscles). Upper body strength will be needed during pregnancy but also after as you may find yourself feeding or carrying the baby most of the time in the first months.
Roll hips back into neutral position (think of your hips as a bowl of water, too far back and the water spills out, too far forward and the water spills out, but neutral... still waters.
Breath through the movement (inhale on your way up & exhale on your way down)
4) Squat with Rotation (with or without Med ball) - this exercise is great to build total body strength and coordination. This movement focuses on building leg strength, core stability and strength, as well as balance.
How does this help: As the body goes through changes and the belly expands and more weight is added, you may find it harder to complete daily tasks and do things you enjoy. The associated muscles groups are muscles that will be used everyday in various activities/tasks. You may also experience changes in balance and coordination as the belly grows and the little takes up more room, this exercise is done in two planes of motion to help counteract that.
5) Seated V stretch - this exercise is great during all trimesters. Stretching the inner thighs, hips, and back may be the keys to a lot of happiness and comfortability.
How does this help: As the body goes through changes and the belly begins to expand, more weight will be placed on your hips and inner workings, you may experience tightness or stiffness in these areas. This movement helps stretch and bring blood flow to the said areas for release.
Hips open and neutral
Sit on SIT bones
Breath through the stretch - deep breaths
Nothing fancy equipment needed to be efficient and precise in training while expecting. Yes, all those extras can be helpful, but sometimes going back to the basics is what is best for longevity of your health, the birth, and the babies safety. I hope these exercises help you in some way!
If you are interested in learning more, have any questions, or concerns related to exercising while expecting, feel free to use the link below to get in contact with me.