Hey guys! Comin atcha today with a prenatal workout. I did this bad boy last night and my legs can still remember it veeery well.
Ladies who are pretty fit pre-pregnancy might see the word “prenatal” in a workout and think “easy.” I think that sucks–and it doesn’t have to be that way. As long as they have the thumbs-up from their doctors, preggos can still bring it in the gym (to an extent). My doctor told me I should be working out moderately for 150 minutes a week!
Obviously, we preggos can’t lay on our stomachs, so things like swimmers and back extensions are out. Some recommend avoiding the supine position (laying on your back) because of the potential to restrict blood flow to both mom and baby, but really, that doesn’t apply to a lot of women, and if it did, you would know. Dizziness is the big signal–if you feel light-headed (really, ever during a workout), that’s your cue to ease up.
And don’t let anyone tell you you shouldn’t work your core/abs while pregnant. What do you think is holding all that baby up?
Well, that’s not a lotta baby yet. But it will be.
I’ve been disappointed with some of the prenatal workouts I’ve found online because many of them are just modifications of regular workouts.
Personally, I don’t think that a prenatal workout is just a dumbed-down regular workout. There are specific exercises that women should do more of while pregnant, to set themselves up for a successful labor and easier postpartum recovery. For example, the glutes are very important for supporting the pelvic floor during pregnancy, so squats are where it’s at for preggos.
(As someone who didn’t realize this during my first pregnancy and paid the price: truuuuust me!)
Anyway, that’s enough soap-boxing for now. Here’s the workout!
*As always, get the OK from your doc before starting any new exercise program.
What you need: a chair (or other support) and set of handweights. (2-10 lbs – I use 5.)
30 sec. each:
Jog or march in place
–From a wide standing position, squat down into a sumo squat and place your hands on the floor between your feet. Then, kick or step your feet back into a plank position. Jump or step back into the squat position and stand up (optional: jump up).
Circuit 1: Legs & Glutes
Forward lunges – x15 per leg (hold support if needed)
Pulse lunges – get into lunge position and pulse slowly (down an inch, up an inch) – 10 pulses each leg, x3 rounds
Supported deep squats – (video demo) – x15
Knees and feet pointing slightly out. Squeeeeeze the glutes on the way up! Don’t cling to the chair–just hold lightly for balance.
Supported deep squats to tip-toes – x15
Pause at the top and kegel up!
Small glute pulses – x20 per leg
Holding your chair for support, lift one leg behind you while you lean forward slightly. Find a height that feels comfortable (no higher than parallel to the floor) and allows you to target your glutes. Small leg pulses upward (1 inch up, 1 inch down), powered entirely by the glutes.
Rest – 30 sec.
Circuit 2: Arms
Posture curls – x20
Plies to overhead press – x20
Romanian deadlifts to arm flies – x20
Keep back straight during deadlifts. Squeeze shoulder blades together during flies.
Bent over tricep extensions – x20
Slow and controlled (no swinging!).
Bent over tricep extension pulses – x10
Hold extension at its highest point behind you and pulse upward.
Rest – 30 sec.
Circuit 3: Core and Pelvic Floor
Plank – 30 sec.
Elbows or hands! (Elbows if you can.)
Leg slides – x20
Either prop yourself on your elbows or put a stack pillows behind you for support. Slowly slide heels away from your body, engaging core.
Heel drops – x10
Hold legs at 90 degrees, then tap heels to the floor, engaging core.
Inner thigh squeezes – x20
Fold a pillow in half and place it between your legs. Prop yourself on your elbows with your legs at 90 degrees, heels together and knees apart. Slowly squeeze the pillow in and out, engaging your pelvic floor.
Pelvis lifts with kegels – x10
Place feet on the floor, still holding the pillow between your thighs. Lift and lower the pelvis, kegeling as you lift. Hold briefly at the top before going back down.
Abdominal breathing – 30 sec.
On the exhale: Kegel up and squeeze in your abs. Think about the breath rising like an elevator from pelvic floor to chest. Hold briefly at the top.
On the inhale: Release kegels/abs, down the elevator.
Deep squat pose – hold for 5 deep breaths
On the exhale: Kegel and squeeze glutes.
On the inhale: Release kegels/glutes.
P.S. You can’t imagine how excited I am to have a picture of me in that position on the internet!! :) Anything for you guys.
As with most workouts, you dictate how hard or easy this ends up being based on how well you monitor your form and use your breath. That boring stuff is so important!