Stay fit with these upper and lower body pregnancy workouts!

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Exercising during pregnancy is very important when it comes to trying to having an easier pregnancy.  Keeping your health at top notch as well as making delivery easier are only two of the benefits of doing pregnancy workouts.  Please remember to consult your physician before starting any pregnancy workouts.

Pregnancy workouts can be a little different then your everyday typical workout.  There are precautions you will want to take heed before exercising at this stage of your life.  Your goals of exercising will change.  Before you got pregnant, you may have wanted to lose 10 pounds or needed to lose a dress size so you can fit into those new jeans.  That will have to change while you are pregnant.  The main focus of exercising while you are pregnant is to keep healthy, make delivering your baby easier, and also making it easier on yourself to lose those unwanted pounds after your pregnancy.

These pregnancy workouts are not anything over strenuous.  They are focused around building strength and stamina within your muscles.  We don’t want your heart rate to get over 140 beats per minute.  This means we will keep our repetitions at a mid range with a nice steady pace.  You can perform each of these workouts either once or twice a week.  They should be done on different days, not at the same time.  I suggest adding cardiovascular exercise in as well for at least 2 days a week.  Each form of exercise will give you different benefits and results.

The upper body workout focuses on push and pull motions to hit all the appropriate muscles.

Upper Body

Seated Chest Press 3 sets of 10 Reps
This can be performed using a chest press machine or resistance bands and a chair.  Hold the bands as if you are holding a bar across your chest line.  Fully extend your arms focusing on flexing the chest, shoulder, and tricep muscles.  To really work the chest, you have to focus on keeping these muscles flexed throughout the movement.

Seated Row 3 sets of 10 reps
This exercise can be performed with a cable machine or resistance bands.  Seated with your back against the wall, keep your legs extended in front of you.  Wrap the resistance band across your feet and grab hold of each end of the band.  Keeping your back straight, pull the band towards you in the exact opposite motion you would use in a chest press.  Focus on squeezing the inner muscles of the back.

Shoulder Press 3 sets of 10 reps
You can perform this exercise seated in a chair with either dumbbells or resistance bands.  Dumbbells are looked down upon during pregnancy because there is a risk of dropping the wieght on your stomach.  As long as you are using a light weight and have control, you may use the dumbbells.  While seated with good posture, hold both hands close to your shoulders with palms facing up.  Raise the weight until your arms are fully extended.  Focus on flexing the shoulders and the triceps during this motion.

Bicep Curl 3 sets of 10
Preform with either dumbbells or resistance bands.  With your arms fully relaxed curl the weight upwards only using the bicep muscles.  Don’t arch your back or throw the weight upward.  Make sure to fully extend your arms when relaxing the biceps.

Lower Back Stretch 3 sets of 10 reps
While lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent, pull one knee up toward your chest.  Hold this for at least 5 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.

Lower Body

Tailor Pose 3 sets of 10 reps
This exercise will help loosen your hips and open your pelvis. Sit up with a straight back against the wall.  Keep the soles of your feet touching each other with your knees bent.  Gently press your knees down away from each other towards the floor.  Hold this position for 10-15 seconds.  Remember to not push too hard and to do this slowly.

Plie Squat 3 sets of 10 reps
The squat is one of the most beneficial exercises for all situations.  It’s great for strengthening the thighs.  Hold onto the back of a chair with your feet less than shoulder width apart.  Keep your toes pointed outward away from each other.  Keep your shoulders back and chest lifted while lowering your butt towards the floor.  Make sure your weight is on your heels.

Forward Lunge 3 sets of 10 reps
Begin with your feet about hip width apart and toes pointed forward.  Step forward with one leg and lower yourself to a 90 degree bend at the knees.  Keep your body under control and don’t step too far out.  Like the squat keep your weight on your heels.  Don’t allow your front knee to move forward past your toes.  Push yourself back up to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.

Calf Raises 3 sets of 15 reps
Holding onto the back of a chair, raise your self upward only using the calf muscles.  During pregnancy don’t attempt a one leg calf raise because of the risk of falling.  You can do this on a stair case as well allowing your heels to hang off the edge.  This will allow for more of a stretch in the calf increasing range of motion.


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