At-home newborn strength-prep workout with pre/postnatal nutrition and fitness specialist Joanie Johnson of Fit Pregnancy Club.
15-Minute At-Home Prenatal Workout
Remember to stay hydrated and always check with a doctor before conducting a workout while pregnant.
Here we are setting up muscle memory by wrapping the abdominal wall and lifting through the pelvic floor to support our structure. This way we don’t injure ourselves doing daily activities such as picking up toys or putting a newborn down in a crib.
Belly Pump: Bring both of your hands to your belly. As you breathe in, fill the diaphragm, expanding the rib cage with air and then exhale and tighten—by doing this we are pumping the abdominal wall closer to our midline. Next, add the pelvic floor muscle. As you inhale, release and open the pelvic floor. As you exhale, you are going to perform a Kegel. Exhale, lift…inhale, release. Make sure to do this in concert with the diaphragm. Inhale, fill, and expand…exhale, pump, and Kegel.
Shoulder Rolls: Put some movement into the body and warm up the joints by rolling your shoulders in both directions. Finish by lifting your arms over your head with a big inhale.
Lunges: With your legs apart, slightly lunge into the right leg, adding some weight over the right side of the body while simultaneously lifting and lowering your coinciding arm. Make sure to have a slight bend in the knee and an open chest. Repeat on left side.
High Knees: At a calm tempo lifts each knee up to your waistline—alternate each side.
Kickbacks: Warm up the quads by slightly bending your knees and simply kicking the lower leg backward. Make sure you are alternating back and forth in a rhythm. Allow your arms to be up and in-line with your shoulders. With a bend in the elbows bring your hands together and then push your elbows behind you in the same rhythm.
Squats: Turn on those glutes with some classic squats.
The average newborn is seven pounds, so we want to get those arms ready! Although we recommend seven-pound weights, no one knows your body better than you do so always make sure that you are using weights you are comfortable with. Always remember: When picking up your weights, lean down and wrap that abdominal wall—never bend over and pick up.
Bicep Curl: Open through the chest, find that inhale in the diaphragm. Then exhale, wrap the abdominal wall, and Kegel as you take the bicep curl. If you feel like you are compromising with your form, downgrade with the weights.
Overhead Press: Open the chest, exhale and push those weights overhead, inhaling on the release. Consider this training for putting a heavy box on a shelf, the exhale abdominal wrap is going to support your spine and structure.
Lateral Raise: Slightly bend forward with a crease in your hips and open up through the chest. Inhale, bring the weights out in front of you, arms extended with palms facing one another. Exhale and wrap the abdominal wall while lifting the pelvic floor as you take your arms out to the sides. If you are feeling any pressure on the lower back, switch to lower weights or pull the abdominal wall in closer.
Shoulder Shrugs/Postural Muscles: Open up the shoulders, exhale then lift your shoulders and inhale return, with weights in hand. Allow lots of length in your spine and a slight bend in your knees.
Triceps Kickbacks: Take a slight squat with the weight in your heels, tuck elbows in tight, open up through the chest, exhale, and press your arms back. Make sure you are flexing your arms, your glute is activated, and your back is straight with an open chest.
Triceps Pulses: Hold triceps kickback position, rotate your palms to the ceiling and push back and upward with ten little pulses.
Wrap the abdominal wall to put the weights back down. Take a breath and grab a sip of water as you reset for a moment. Begin belly pump breaths before repeating arm series one more time.
Crib Reaches: Set up muscle memory by putting weight on your heels. Enter traditional squat in your lower body, holding the weight in-between both hands in front of your chest. Inhale and fill (motion as if you are putting a baby down) exhale, wrap, support your core, lift through the pelvic floor as your arms go away from the body and inhale up through the center—all while engaging your squat technique. To reverse, switch your breath and movement and inhale down through the center. While in your squat the pelvic floor is released, the abdominal wall is soft and we are going to tighten everything as you extend your arms to stand, hugging our abdominal wall closer to us. Imitate the motion of picking a baby up, using your breath to support the core.
Step Ups: Starting with your right side, come down on one knee driving your right heel into the floor, tuck your left toes under, inhale and fill. Exhale as you stand up putting your weight on the front heal to a standing position, feet together. Lower back down to one knee, then bring both knees together on the ground while the rest of your body stands tall. Repeat 10 times on the same leg before switching—remember to stay hydrated.
Cool Down and Stretch
- Quad Stretch: Sitting on top of your legs as they are tucked under your butt, lean back with both hands on the floor behind you. Continue to lean back until you feel the stretch at the front of your legs. Use this as a chest opener as well by rolling your shoulders back, opening up the front. Find your deep belly breath right away.
Shoulder and Triceps Stretch: Sit in any comfortable position, take one arm across the body, with a big breath in and out. Lift the same arm above your head, while bending the elbow with gentle pressure and taking a big breath in and out. Repeat on other side.
Butterfly Stretch: Stay on the ground, pull your feet together in a butterfly stretch. Lifting up and out of the hips again, exhale forward using the weight of your head to add to the stretch.
Belly Breathing: Find yourself in a comfortable seated position. Bring your hands to the abs or the baby and close your eyes. With your back straight and head reaching up towards the ceiling, allow your sitting bones to be rooted down into the floor. Working the diaphragm as you breathe in, exhale and focus on releasing all the muscles on the inner and outer core unit. All your abs should be nice and soft, feel free to massage this area. Release the pelvic floor—think of it as opening and widening.