In my last post (“Should I lift heavy things while I’m pregnant!?!”) I promised to post a video to demonstrate some moves that are safe and effective for pregnancy and postnatal - so here it is, my first workout video!
Do have a read of all the whole blog before jumping into the workout - it'll really help you to get the most of all the moves. I also go into more detail for modifications that you can make to the exercises as you move through your pregnancy and into the postnatal period.
I hope you find this video really helpful - drop me a line and let me know how you get on!
This is a really simple but effective bodyweight circuit - just 5 exercises in all - the only equipment all you’ll need is a resistance band for the seated rows.
We'll be doing:
Glute Bridge x15 reps
Squats x15 reps
Reverse Lunge x16 reps
Seated Row x15 reps
Raised Push-Up x15 reps
Depending on where you are on your fitness journey and how your energy levels are today you can also add in some dumbbells - it's up to you!
We’ll be targeting lots of the key muscles that you want to keep strong in pregnancy to help counteract posture & alignment changes - things like rounded shoulders & flat ‘mum bum’!
Doing this circuit two or three times a week will keep you feeling strong throughout your pregnancy, meaning you are ready for the physical demands of labour and for the postnatal period. It will also hopefully help you to avoid common pregnancy back pain too.
If you're postnatal then all these moves are safe to do once you are feeling ready to get back to exercise. Definitely not before your 6-8 week GP check after a vaginal birth and at least 10 weeks post C-section but listen to how you are healing and recovering and DO NOT RUSH IT.
They are low impact, pelvic floor and diastasic recti safe but if you are unsure if these are suitable for you or they don't feel 'right' when you perform them then do seek advice from a personal trainer specialising in postnatal fitness or from a women's Health Physio.
For ALL these exercises you need to be EXHALING on EXERTION which means breathing OUT on the most difficult bit of the move. Here is a great graphic to explain the breath and core connection:
When I talk about ‘THE CORE’ I am referring to your pelvic floor, abdominal muscles and lower back muscles. I also include the Glutes - it is ALL connected!
Give the circuit a try and let me know how you get on!
HIP/GLUTE BRIDGE MODIFICATION
If you are in your third trimester you have the option of raising yourself up onto cushions so that you are not lying flat on your back. Place several cushions under your head and upper back and then perform the exercise as in the video.
If you are early on in your pregnancy you may still feel comfortable doing push ups on the floor on your knees, but as your bump grows you will want to do the raised press up version in the video (exercise no. 5) as the abdominal pressure may feel too much in the traditional position.
If you are postnatal you will want to start in the raised push up position as it is a strong move not only targeting arms and chest but also the core so the raised position is ideal to help you get that core connection. Notice that I am using a deep exhale as I push my body away from the bench.