4 Great Fitness Moves for Pregnant Mamas

Featured Article, Health and Fitness, Pregnancy
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Any pregnant woman will tell you that pregnancy does a number on your body. And with each passing day that you’re growing a human inside you, your regular fitness regimen gets a little more (ahem!) challenging. Here, Jill Dailey, founder of the Dailey Method, shares four great moves that are ideal for pregnant women to give themselves an overall boost to their physical and mental health.

Barre Lunges

Barre Lunges for prenatal workouts

Barre lunges | Photo credit: The Dailey Method

Description: Lunges at the barre is a great exercise for creating strength and balance in your quadriceps and gluteal muscles. The gluteal muscles are located at the base of your spine, so it’s important to keep these muscles strong and toned during your pregnancy to help offset potential back pain, which is common because of the shift of body weight from the baby.

Step-by-step:

  1. Holding onto a flat surface, lunge one leg forward and the other leg back; keep your spine upright.
  2. Keep your front knee directly over your front ankle and the back knee directly below your back hip; work to press the back hip forward so your pelvis stays centered.
  3. Perform sets of 20 movements down and inch and up an inch.
  4. Also, extend your legs straight and stand all the way up in two counts and lower down as much as possible in two counts. Repeat for 20.

Wide Turned-Out

turn out lunge

Wide turn-out lunges | Photo credit: The Dailey Method

 

Description: This is a great exercise for working on the strength and support of your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are essential for a healthy pregnancy, to easy child birth and for a quicker recovery.
Step-by-step:
  1. Place your feet wide, so that your ankles are directly under your knees and your toes are angled slightly forward
  2. Keep your pelvis in a neutral position, your spine upright and your collar bones wide
  3. In your lowest position, perform small up and down motions from your knees, but keep a constant focus on pulling your pelvic floor muscles inward and up
  4. Hold as low as you can and focus on drawing the energy of your heels towards each other.  This is engage your inner thighs and help you get deeper access to your pelvic floor muscles.

Plank

Description: Planks are a basic and fundamental  position in barre workouts. They are a great exercise that strengthens your almost every single muscle in your body with a strong emphasis on your core, so you’ll have the strength to lift and carry your baby. However, it’s very important as you progress in your pregnancy to take plank position on your knees. You will still receive the benefits of the overall upper body strengthening while protecting your abdominal wall (and the precious cargo that lies within).

Step-by-step:

  1. Position your forearms parallel to one another on the ground and walk your knees back so you are one straight line from your knees to the crown of you head. Keeping your legs parallel draw your heels in towards your seat.
  2. Energize the back of your head, your ribcage and your abdominal wall to the ceiling.  On each inhalation lengthen from your knees to the crown of your head and as  you exhale pull  your waist up deeper.
  3. Hold this position for up to a minute.

Seat Work on All-Fours

Seated work on all fours

Seated work on all fours | Photo credit: The Dailey Method

Description: This exercise will help to strengthen your back muscles and support your spine for healthy posture during pregnancy. A strong, lengthened spines helps you to sit and stand with proper alignment and helps to ease and offset back pains.

Step-by-step:

  1. Position your body on both hands and knees on the floor
  2. Maintaining a neutral spine, lift and stretch your right arm forward and your left leg behind you; Do 30 small lifts while maintaining stability and stillness of the pelvis, spine and ribs.  Repeat on the other side.
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