No need to hit the brakes on your fitness routine while expecting. In fact, exercising while pregnant benefits you and your baby. With clearance from a physician, it’s safe for a healthy mom-to-be to continue her regular routine or even start a new one! Maria Berlinski, one of our certified fitness instructors who specializes in pre-and post-natal exercise, shares four of her favorite strength-training exercises for future mothers.
Note: A prenatal exercise program should include a warm up, cool down, and proper prenatal stretches.
Planks strengthen the entire body without straining joints, particularly targeting the core. A strong core improves posture and reduces backaches and pains commonly associated with pregnancy.
To get into a plank position, begin on your hands and toes on the floor. Lean your hands on a bench to lighten the resistance. If this hurts your wrists, drop down onto your elbows. Position your arms perpendicular to the chest, and keep your head in a neutral position gazing at the floor. Engage your core while keeping the hips aligned with the body. Hold for as long as you can maintain proper form, from five seconds to a minute, depending on your fitness level.
Squats strengthen the lower body, engaging your quadriceps and hamstrings. As your baby bump grows, you’ll be thankful your strong thighs can carry the extra weight.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms crossed at the chest. Keep the ankles aligned with the knees, and lower your hips back until your knees form 90-degree angles. Make sure your knees do not roll inward or outward, and keep the heels grounded at all times. Complete up to 20 repetitions. Add weights if you can maintain proper form.
Bicep curls target the front of your arms. You’ll be carrying around a little one in no time, so get your arms baby ready.
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, begin with your arms extended, elbows by your side. Bend the elbows slowly down then up, completing a full range of motion (90 to 180 degrees). The exercise can be completed standing or sitting. Choose a weight that you can maintain proper form for 10 to 20 repetitions.
Triceps extensions target the back of your arms—AKA arm jiggle. Work away the wobble with this easy move.
Begin with a dumbbell in each hand extended overhead. Keeping the elbows in by your ears, lower the weight behind your head and return to starting position without locking your elbows. Your arms should extend 90 to 180 degrees. You may complete the exercise standing or sitting. Choose a weight that you can maintain proper form for 10 to 20 repetitions.
Want to learn more about creating an exercise routine that is right for you during and after pregnancy? Attend our Prenatal and Postnatal Workshop, led by Maria Berlinski on May 30. Register here.