12 Easy Excercises for a Happy Healthy Pregnancy

In keeping with the season of renewal and rebirth, we asked one of our long-time Personal Trainers, Tatum Rebelle a specialist in prenatal care, what she recommended as an accessible “at-home” and efficient workout for expecting mothers. We do highly recommend meeting with a Personal Trainer regularly to ensure proper form and the best results however, the workout Tatum details below is a great way to fill the gaps between sessions, while traveling or when you just aren’t able to make it to the gym.

For information on working with an MBS Personal Trainer or to request your free 20-minute consultation, click here!

MBS Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel guides a prenatal client through a supported arm press

“Exercise during pregnancy is often mistakenly viewed as an unnecessary risk to a woman’s unborn child. Expecting mothers are encouraged to “play it safe” and “take it easy” by misinformed loved ones, well-meaning strangers, and inaccurate websites. Outdated medical literature is still referenced suggesting that expectant mothers avoid elevating their heart rate, abstain from many types of exercise and spend their pregnancy resting instead of staying physically active. This is quite simply- bad advice!

In fact, there are many amazing benefits to prenatal exercise including stress relief and improved mood, better sleep and posture as well as less pain, swelling and constipation. Exercise also boosts confidence and increases body awareness, which is important during pregnancy. Research has shown that women who exercise throughout their pregnancy tend to have shorter, less difficult labors with fewer complications including reduced risk for gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and other pregnancy-related ailments. They also have a decreased need for medical intervention with quicker, easier recoveries once the baby is born!

Research has even shown that physically active pregnant women tend to have healthier, smarter babies!

The following workout is a simple, safe and effective circuit for pregnant women of all fitness levels, in any trimester.

Circuit: (click links for demo)

Step ups

Ball Squat

Chest Press with Band

Hamstring Curl with Ball

Reverse Lunge

Plank

Back Row with Band

Plie Squat

Hip Press with Ball

Back Pull with Band

Bridge on Floor

High Knees (as fast as comfortable)

 

LET’S BEGIN!

Warm up: Step ups

Ball Squat

Increases strength of thighs, rear, and core.

Personal Trainer, Rebel Tatum demonstrating a Ball Squat Personal Trainer, Rebel Tatum demonstrating a Ball Squat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Stand with good posture leaning against the wall with the stability ball placed comfortably on lower back.
  • Tighten your rear, hamstrings, abs, and pelvic floor.
  • Squat by bending at the knees as you push your hips down and back so the body is lowering toward the floor, not underneath or in front of the ball.
  • Stand back up and repeat.

Chest Press with Band

Strengthens chest and arm muscles.

Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel demonstrates chest press using a resistance band Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel demonstrates chest press using a resistance band

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Attach band around doorknob, pole, or other fixed object about shoulder height.
  • Stand with good posture with abs tight and feet placed in a split stance.
  • Arms out beside you with palms facing down.
  • Push the handles in front of you.
  • Focus on squeezing chest muscles.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

Hamstring Curl with Ball

Increases strength of hamstrings (back of thighs), glutes, and core.

Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel demonstrates hamstring curl with ball

Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel demonstrates hamstring curl with ball

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Lay on the mat with your heels and calves on the ball.
  • Tighten your rear, hamstrings, abs, and pelvic floor as you press your heels into the ball and raise hips off the floor.
  • Slowly roll the ball to your rear as you brace yourself with your hands at your side.
  • Push the ball back to the start position and keep your hips elevated off the floor.
  • You should feel this in the back of your thighs. If it is straining behind your knees or calves reposition your feet on the ball and try again.

Reverse Lunge

Improves balance. Tones thighs, glutes (rear), and core.

Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel demonstrates the Reverse Lunge

Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel demonstrates the Reverse Lunge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Stand with good posture and feet placed shoulder width apart.
  • Tighten your rear, hamstrings, abs, and pelvic floor.
  • Step back while bending at the knees and lower your body towards the floor.
  • Weight stays on your front heel and the knee does not go in front of your toes.
  • Return to starting position and switch legs.

Plank

Strengthens core and shoulders. Pulls abs in like an ‘internal girdle’.

Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel demonstrates Plank

Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel demonstrates Plank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Lie with forearms on mat and elbows positioned under shoulders.
  • Draw your abs in tight as if you were bracing your belly.
  • While keeping the abs drawn in, tighten your rear, and hold your body straight. Never lower your hips past the straight body position.
  • Raise hips or take a break if you can no longer hold perfect form. Form is more important than how long you hold!
  • Either on toes with hips elevated, or down on knees with body straight. Keep abs tight the whole time, and don’t forget to breathe!!

Back Pull with Band

Strengthens back and shoulder muscles. Improves posture.

Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel demonstrates Back Pull with Band

Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel demonstrates Back Pull with Band

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Sit tall with your back straight and abs tight.
  • Hold the middle of the band, wrapping around your hands for a firm grip.
  • Hold the band at shoulder level with your palms facing down.
  • Pull the band apart keeping your arms straight and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • Keep the shoulders down so the movement does not strain your neck.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

Plie Squat

Tones inner thighs. Increases strength of legs, rear, and core.

Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel demonstrates Plie Squats

Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel demonstrates Plie Squats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                

 

  • Stand with good posture and feet placed wider than shoulder width.
  • Toes point out at 45 degrees.
  • Tighten your rear, hamstrings, abs, and pelvic floor.
  • Squat by bending at the knees as you lower the hips down and back so the body is lowering towards the floor.
  • Weight is on your heels and the knees do not got in front of your toes.
  • Stand back up and repeat.

Hip Press with Ball

Increases strength of glutes, hamstrings, and core.

Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel demonstrates hip press with ball

Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel demonstrates hamstring curl with ball

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Lay on the mat with your feet placed flat on the ball.
  • Tighten your rear, hamstrings, abs, and pelvic floor as you press your feet into the ball and raise hips up off the floor.
  • Slowly lower your hips back to the floor as you brace yourself with your hands at your side.

Back Row with Band

Strengthens back and arm muscles.

Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel demonstrates Back Row with Band

Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel demonstrates Back Row with Band

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Attach band around doorknob, pole, or other fixed object about shoulder height.
  • Stand with good posture with abs tight, knees slightly bent, and feet shoulder width apart.
  • Arms out in front of you at chest height with palms facing down.
  • Pull the handles back toward your chest as you squeeze your shoulder blades down and together.  
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

Bridge

Increases strength of glutes, hamstrings, and core.

Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel demonstrates Bridge

Personal Trainer, Tatum Rebel demonstrates Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Lie on the mat with your knees bent with your feet flat on the floor, hip distance apart.
  • Kick one foot out straight in front of you, press your hips up and squeeze your glutes as you exhale. (If one leg is too difficult at first press with both)
  • You should feel this in the back of your thighs and rear. If you feel it in your knee or it feels awkward try different foot positions.
  • Push your body up until it makes a straight line from your shoulders to knees.
  • Pause for a few seconds at the top.
  • Inhale and lower down to the mat.

Instructions and Tips:

Perform circuit 1-2 times depending on difficulty level and time availability.

Do each exercise in a row with little or no rest. About 45-60 sec or 15-20 reps each.

Remember to breathe during each exercise, and listen to your body. If something does not feel right then stop and/or readjust. Each exercise is done in a slow and controlled movement.

Stay mindful of what muscles you are working and where you feel it. Make adjustments to your form as necessary.

Be sure you are hydrated and have eaten a light meal or snack within a couple of hours before exercise. Have water available and sip throughout workout.

For more information about exercising during pregnancy or to learn about becoming a certified pre- and postnatal trainer, visit www.totalmommyfitness.com