Written by: Melanie Talastas-Soriano BA-Kin, CAT(C)
Expecting a new baby is one of the most exciting things in life for some families and close friends. Speaking from experience, there are a lot that goes into the pregnancy process especially if you have little ones already. However, if you are a new mom, I feel your excitement and what we will discuss in this article will apply to you as well.
Once your energy picks-up I know you are eager to continue what you were doing before you found out about your pregnancy. Let’s get back to training! Here are 5 exercises for expecting moms. Please consult your doctor first before participating in exercise programs and to try these exercises.
Exercise 1: Ball sit – This exercise is good for posture and most importantly core strengthening. When performing ball sit, be sure to sit upright with your legs a bit wider than shoulder width apart. Squeeze your upper back, chest out then engage your core like you’re doing the kegel. Kegel is contracting your inner core muscles along with your pelvic floor muscles. Sometimes it is describe as holding your pee. When you engage your core, your upper body will be forced to stay upright.
Once you’ve master the kegel on the ball, you can rotate going clockwise while keeping your upper body upright. Complete 10 revolution then switch to rotating to counterclockwise. Rest and relax in between just by bouncing on the ball while seated. Bounce 10 times slow and controlled.
Ball sit is a simple and effected exercise for pregnant women to help focus on core strengthening and allows for lighter compressions on your spine with amazing support for the growing baby.
Exercise 2: Ball wall squats – Ball wall squats targets the lower body (quadriceps, hamstring and glute muscles as well). Using the ball for squats allows smoother transition during squats. Bend your knees close to 90 degrees, then move up to the starting position contracting your glutes as you move up. Complete this exercise 3 sets x 10 repetitions. Be sure to rest in between the sets.
Exercise 3: Incline push-ups – You can use the arm rest of your couch if you have enough room or you can also complete incline push-ups on the wall. This exercise focuses on core and upper body strengthening. I like this exercise because it challenges the full body and very good to break a good sweat. Complete 3 sets x 10 repetitions.
Exercise 4: Supine clam shell – This exercise is good in the first and second trimester if you are still comfortable lying on your back. I use mini band for this specific exercise to add more resistance for hip abduction. Hip abductor is responsible for moving the hip outwards and also a hip stabilizer which helps with walking and standing.
Lie on your back with the mini band around your thighs (above the knee). Start with your knees bent to 90 degrees with feet together, then after engaging your core, drop your knees to the side (only as low as your hip allows) slow and controlled, then slowly bring your knees back to the start position. Complete this exercise 3 sets x 10 repetitions.
Exercise 5: Ball squeeze + bridge – Find a soft ball about the same size as a volleyball or a soccer ball that you can easily squeeze between your knees. This exercise targets the inner thighs and again helps to strengthen your core as you engage throughout the exercise. Perform this exercise only if you are still comfortable with lying on your back.
Start with your knees bent with the ball between your knees with your feet aligned with your knees. Kegel / engage your core while squeezing the slowly lift your torso up while squeezing your glutes on the hip extended position. Hold for 5-10 seconds then lower your hips back to the mat. Repeat 10 times completing 3 sets.
Thank you for reading our article. We hope this will help you get back into an exercise routine before your baby arrives. Please don’t forget to check out other simple exercise and rehab articles. Book your Athletic Therapy appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by: Taylor Post
Certified Athletic Therapist
Insahyu Training and Therapy
Habits, good and bad, form a massive part of our day. With a New Year fast approaching, many people want to know how to get motivated to exercise and make working out a daily habit. You already know the many benefits of exercising – from increased energy, improved mood and reducing your risk for a number of health issues. Of course, wanting to make exercise a daily habit and actually doing it are two completely different things. Changing your behaviour is hard and can be more of a mental battle than a physical one.
Here are some simple strategies to help you make exercising a daily habit.
1. Set a time and stick to your schedule
Schedule when you are going to exercise based on the time of day that you are most likely to stick to your plan. Whether that is early in the morning, over your lunch break, or after work, just try your best to keep it consistent. This will help form the habit. Treat your workout as you would a work meeting or dentist appointment and at it on your calendar or phone as a reminder.
2. Lay out gear and pack your bag the night before
Make sure that you have everything that you will need for the gym laid out or packed before you go to bed every night. This includes your running shoes, workout clothes, headphones and water bottle. Whatever you can do to make getting up and ready for the day easier and smoother, the more likely you will be to get your workout done each day.
3. Start Small and Progress Later
When you first start exercising you will likely have a lot of energy and motivation, but pushing yourself too much to soon can lead to burnout and make you more likely to quit your habit. The key is to get started, move your body every day and form that pattern of behaviour. You might start by going to the gym for five minutes and that is great. Focus on the habit first and the results later. Once your body is used to daily exercise, you can start to increase the length and intensity of your workouts, and the results will be even more noticeable.
4. Make it enjoyable
If you can chose a form of exercise that you don’t absolutely dread you will be more likely to keep doing it consistently. If you hate running, don’t chain yourself to the treadmill. This could mean circuit training or a fun fitness class, take up swimming, yoga or even something as simple as walking outdoors.
You can also make exercising more enjoyable by giving yourself a reason to look forward to your workout, you can download new music to listen to, plan to watch your favourite show while running on the treadmill, invite a friend to join you at the gym or buy a new outfit to wear.
5. Exercise Even When You’re Too Tired
Chances are you will feel better after you exercise. Remember, it does not have to be the hardest workout of your life, but just going and doing a small workout will leave you feeling energized, refreshed and keep your new habit going strong.
6. Take a Relative Rest Day
Recovery is very important and it is necessary to allow your body a chance to rest. However, you don’t always want to skip the day completely, because then you aren’t being consistent with your habit. Instead try to find an activity that allows for active recovery. For example, if you are strength training most days of the week, on your “rest day” could involve going for a walk, swim or bike ride.
7. Be Kind to Yourself
Remember that you are human and it is likely that you will slip up from time to time while beginning your fitness journey. Life gets in the way and practical concerns like a busy schedule, family commitments and health problems can act as barriers to exercising each day. Do not get discouraged or punish yourself if you miss a workout. It happens. However, try your best to reset as soon as possible and get back to your exercise routine as soon as possible, to maintain the habit.
Team Insahyu: Certified Athletic Therapists.