Easy Moves For Moms-To-Be
Pretty soon, you'll have a new 7-pound weight to lift (your baby). In the meantime, try these toners from fitness pro Tracey Mallett, author of Super Fit Mama. They'll strengthen your bod for carrying Baby (and labor!) and are recommended for all pregnant women who get their doc's okay. You'll need a set of 3- to 8-pound dumbbells, a pillow, and a mat. Aim for two sets of 12 reps per exercise (except for the birthing squat), three to four days per week. As pregnancy progresses, decrease the weights, take breaks, or do fewer reps. Aim for 20 to 30 minutes of moderate cardio, such as speed walking, a few times a week as well.
Standing Biceps Curl
What It Does: Strengthens arms and shoulders for holding Baby and improves your posture
How To Do It: Stand with legs hip-width apart and knees bent into a half-squat, holding dumbbells in front of thighs. Curl weights up to chest and slowly lower back to start.
As Your Belly Grows: Take a wider stance and straighten your legs a bit; this will help stabilize you.
What It Does: Tones legs, butt, and pelvic floor to prep for pushing
How To Do It: Stand with legs wider than hip-width apart, and bend knees into a deep squat until you hover several inches above the mat or floor. Place hands in prayer position in front of chest, and use elbows to gently open knees wide. Hold for 30 seconds.
As Your Belly Grows: Lower your tailbone to a pillow or do it against a wall.
What It Does: Tones abs, buttocks, thighs, and pelvic floor
How To Do It: Lie on right side with knees bent, head on right arm. Open leg so knee points up; hold for 3 seconds; lower. Do one set. Repeat on left side.
As Your Belly Grows: Do the move with your back against a wall.
What It Does: Improves lower-body strength; tones abs and pelvic floor
How To Do It: Start on all fours. Slowly straighten right leg and lift up to hip height. Hold for 3 seconds. Lower and repeat with left leg; continue alternating.
As Your Belly Grows: Do the move on a soft surface to protect knees.
Pelvic Pillow Bridge
What It Does: Strengthens pelvic floor, hips, and inner thighs
How To Do It: Lie with knees bent, feet flat, arms at sides, pillow between knees. Lift hips about 6 inches; squeeze pillow for 3 seconds; lower.
As Your Belly Grows: Sit up or lean back against a bed.
Originally published in American Baby magazine in 2011. Updated in 2013.
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