Just wanted to stop in and share my latest prenatal workout! This one’s a bit more arm-focused than my last one, so if you’re a fellow preggo hoping to rock some tanks and maxis this summer (!!!), this might be just the thing.
(Haha–the preggo Care Bear! I couldn’t help myself.)
For this workout, you’ll need a set of light-ish hand weights (I used 5’s) and a chair for support.
With strength training like this, you’ll want to take 10-20 seconds to rest after every move. While your heart rate will rise a bit, your heart should never be pounding. The talk test is the best measure for prenatal exertion (can you still hold a convo easily?).
And as always, make sure you have clearance from your doc to work out!
Here we go!
Warm-up (x30 sec. each)
Step from side to side, quickly and rhythmically, while swinging arms up to shoulder level.
Feel free to do regular jacks or half jacks if you can do them comfortably!
Twist and reach overhead with your right hand as if you’re picking an apple from high above your left side. Then, with soft knees, bend forward and set the apple in the basket near your right foot.
High knee marching
As high as you can comfortably go. Keep knees wide apart to accommodate the belly.
Arms 1 (x15 reps each)
Mini push-ups (or wall push-ups)
On knees, lean forward until arms are parallel with the floor. Slowly lower two inches and raise back up.
Mini tricep push-ups (or wall)
Similar to mini push-ups, except that elbows point directly behind you, hands point straight and, fingers are pressed together. (Super tough! Take breaks as needed.)
Dumbbell elbows to ribs (I used 5 lbs.)
Lie on your back holding dumbbells. Position arms at 90 degrees with elbows right next to ribs. Raise dumbbells up and return, focusing on tricep activation.
If you’re uncomfortable laying on your back, feel free to prop yourself up on two pillows. (As long as you don’t feel dizzy, the supine position is ok for short periods during pregnancy.)
Dumbbell skull crushers (I used 5 lbs.)
Still on your back, raise dumbells overhead, bend elbows, and slowly lower the weights to either side of your head, stopping at the temples. (Video)
Squats – 3 flavors (x15 reps each)
1. Regular air squats
2. Supported deep quats
Holding a support (such as a chair back) for balance, lower into an extra-deep squat. Knees and feet should be pointing slightly out. Squeeeeeze the glutes on the way up! Don’t cling to the support–just hold lightly for balance.
Optional: rise up onto your toes at the top!
3a. Sumos – L heel lifted
3b. Sumos – R heel lifted
*Pause for leg stretch*
Bend forward at the waist and hang towards the floor. Then, reach for each ankle and stretch gently.
Arms 2 (x15 reps each)
(I used 5 lb. dumbbells for all of these, but feel free to go heavier/lighter or drop the weights altogether, depending on how your arms are feeling today!)
Lift dumbbells directly overhead, then slowly lower to shoulder height, upper arms parallel with the floor. Remember not to squeeze the dumbbells–focus on the biceps pushing upward.
A similar movement to the overhead press, except you’re pulling your arms down and back simultaneously. The focus is more on the downward movement than the upward.
Elbows go below shoulder height and shoulder blades pinch together in the back, activating back muscles.
The idea here is to fight the slouchy posture that can come with a growing belly!
Bend forward at the waist, legs shoulder width apart, and let dumbbells hang down in the middle. Then, lift slowly to the sides, up to shoulder height if you can.
These are super tough, so don’t feel bad if you have to take breaks or grab lighter weights!
Bend & snap
Legally Blonde anyone?? I couldn’t resist!
This is really just a Romanian deadlift with an arm fly–the same thing we did in my last prenatal workout (thus the recycled pic!)–but I decided this name was way more fun. Plus, it gives you something to say in your head as you go through the movement.
Keep your back straight during the deadlifts. Squeeze your shoulder blades together during the “snap.”
Core + Glutes (x30 sec. each)
Hands or elbows. Keep the back flat–no arching!
Half pilates roll-down
From a sitting position, start to slowly roll backwards, with zombie arms. Look down at your belly, engage the core.
Go as far back as you feel comfortable, pause for a second, and then rise back up.
Lie back on your elbows and lift knees off the floor, thighs pressed together. Roll knees to one side of the body, stabilizing with your core. At the farthest point, extend legs long, then pull them back in and roll to the other side. Repeat the leg extension there.
I highly recommend watching this video for a demo before trying this!
Lie on the floor, placing feet on a chair or sturdy surface. Arms flat on the floor. Lift the glutes as high as you can, hold for a second (squeeeeze!), and lower to an inch above the ground. Repeat.
Squat pose with deep breathing – 1 min.