Here I am this week in almost week 30 of my pregnancy! Erin is growing and I feel and look like I’m about to pop. I’ll spare you the picture…Just kidding – there will be a picture at a later post…I’m learning how to use the new camera I got for Mother’s Day!
Let’s talk about exercise! Did you know that if your doctor okay’s it, you should be getting a healthy amount of exercise during your pregnancy. (Hey, even if you’re not pregnant, you still should be exercising regularly.) I’ll admit, I was doing well to exercise 3 times a week during my first trimester, but the second and third trimesters have been easier on me in the nausea department. Since I’ve had a healthy pregnancy and exercised regularly before my pregnancy, my doctor encouraged me to stay active, within reason. I have had to learn how to listen to my body, which hasn’t been easy for someone who formerly had a no pain no gain mentality. I do miss lifting heavy, but I am enjoying adding new exercises to my repertoire and taking the intensity down a notch or two.
Disclaimer: Before beginning any exercise or diet program, consult with your physician/healthcare provider. The opinions in this post, although by a fitness professional, are not, in any way a substitute for medical treatment or advice.
- Squats – This was recommended by the nurse-midwife at my ob/gyn. I have been gradually increasing the number of squats I do with each session, up to 100. I break it up in to sets or somtimes add a light resistance band around the ankles. Adding kegels at the bottom gives an added benefit. For a beginner, standing in front of a chair is a great way to learn how to sit back correctly. You can also stand with the chair in front of you as time goes on.
- Donkey Kicks – This exercise can be done on all fours and is great for the low back and booty. With your knee bent, press your heels up to the ceiling, but keep your abs engaged to protect your spine. Complete all reps on 1 leg before the other.
- Wall Push-ups – This one is fairly self-explanatory. Stand at arm’s reach away from a wall. Without bending at the hips, bend your elbows as you lower your body closer to the wall. Press into the wall to straighten your arms.
- Tricep Dips – Sit on the edge of a chair or bed, with elbows bent behind you and feet flat on the floor. Slide your bottom off of the seat and press through your hands to straighten your arms. Bend your elbows to lower back to your seat level.
- Glute Kickbacks – Standing with good posture, lift one leg behind you until you feel your glutes contract, without forcing your range of motion. Lower the leg until your toes barely tap the floor. Repeat. To make this move more challenging, tie a resistance band around both ankles.
- Side Lunges – Stand with both feet together. Step to the side with your right leg, bending your knee as you land and keeping your left leg straight out to the side. Push off your right leg to return back to start.
- Bird Dogs – Start off on all fours, using and exercise mat to make you more comfortable. Engage your abs and extend your right leg in front of you and your left leg behind you. Lift your opposite arm and leg to parallel with the floor and pause for 2 counts at the top of the movement, then lower, after you’ve completed the desired number of reps, then change sides, using the left are and right leg.
- Seated Row – For this move you will need to be seated in a chair or on the floor. Use a resistance band that challenges you, but allows you to complete the exercise with proper form and technique. From the seated position, loop the band around your toes. taking one end of the band in each hand. Be sure that there is no slack in the band, even with your arms extended out in front of you. Now, simultaneously, bend at the elbows to bring the ends of the band toward you, keeping your elbows by your sides and close to your rib cage. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, and release, allowing your arms to come back in front of you. Repeat.