11 Pregnancy Exercises You Can Do At Home From Expert Pregnancy Coach
Pregnancy is a wild and wonderful journey, a time that requires more physical, mental and emotional strength than you ever anticipated. It is often accompanied by physical challenges that can impact a woman's body and her strength levels. However, with expert guidance from a skilled pregnancy fitness coach, every mom-to-be can build strength, help alleviate common discomforts and reduce the impact of more serious injuries that can arise during pregnancy. This expert guide provides a range of pregnancy safe workouts and guided exercises designed for the modern, busy expecting mom.
As the lead pregnancy fitness coach at Transformation Nation, I'm here to share that having a coach to guide you through this transition is a game changer! With over 20 years of experience in fitness and 10 devoted entirely to this expert field, I'm happily offering you a quick, NO-COST consultation with me, Coach Joanie to answer all your questions and get you started on the right track.
Please feel free to click on the link above and book a convenient time for a consultation that suits you best. I’ll listen to your current situation, understand your pregnancy fitness goals and suggest a workout plan for you that is tailored to your body and lifestyle.
Pregnancy Exercise Guide
The benefits of exercise during pregnancy
A consistent, safe and guided pregnancy workout routine complete with pregnancy stretches offers many advantages. One area is that it helps counter ailments like back pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, and other conditions, while also building your strength and stamina vital for labor. It helps manage healthy weight gain, and lowers the occurrence of developing gestational diabetes, hypertension disorders, pre term birth, and Cesarean births. As an expert pregnancy fitness trainer I would also emphasize its mood-enhancing effects, improved sleep, boosted energy and quicker postpartum recovery, which are often overlooked!
The importance of pregnant women also taking the time to relax
Relaxation is a crucial partner to exercise. Proper downtime mitigates pregnancy issues and symptoms that often occur due to stress. Finding the perfect way to manage your stress will result in better management of your blood pressure, anxiety, tension and promote overall better mental and physical health which is vital for you and the baby. The options are limitless and can come in the form of meditation, yoga, breath work, reading a book, booking a date night...anything that helps you release and let go. This aspect of "exercise" is often overlooked but is vital to ensure you are finding balance in your physical, emotional and mental health during pregnancy.
The importance of "safety" when exercising when you're pregnant
We cant talk about pregnancy fitness without addressing the concern of safety. Yes, safety is paramount, but because of information overwhelm on the internet, many people feel confused about who to trust and what to do. During pregnancy your body is continually changing and evolving. It’s crucial to follow a safe fitness program and ensure you adapt your workouts to the stage of pregnancy you’re in. But what does that mean? It means finding a professional pregnancy trainer that is educated, experienced and you can trust . An expert pregnancy trainer will design a fitness program tailored exactly to your goals and body's individual needs.
The importance of warming up via breath work before exercising for pregnant women
Warming up the body and essential muscles of the core shouldn’t be skipped as they prepare the body for exertion. Breath work in the form of learning diaphragmatic breathing and the Core Breathing Belly Pump® will increase blood circulation to your muscles, activate your core and prepare your body for movement, which in turn minimizes injury risks. For pregnant women, learning this specialized breath and core work is crucial to ensure effectiveness and safety.
With these important points considered, below are some pregnancy workouts and exercises for you to try at home:
How to: Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat. Exhale as you engage your pelvic floor and core muscles by pushing your lower back to the ground. Hold momentarily and then inhale, release. This exercise works the pelvic floor, lower abdominals, and increases pelvic mobility during pregnancy.
Benefits: Strengthens the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, addresses lower back pain that may be the result of postural shifts during pregnancy.
Repetitions: 10-15 times.
Safety Precaution: Use cushioning if needed to avoid over-arching. Perform this from a side lying or standing position if you don’t feel well on your back.
How to: Position yourself against a wall, maintaining a shoulder-width stance. Gradually descend into a squat, ensuring knees align with ankles. As you rise, imagine pushing the ground away with your feet, focusing on engaging the glutes and quads.
Benefits: Strengthens your thighs, buttocks, and lumbar back.
Repetitions: 10-12 times.
Safety Precaution: Ensure your feet are grounded, press more weight into your heels to connect to your glutes if needed to avoid strain in the knees.
3.Pelvic Floor Exercises (Kegels):
How to: Visualize your pelvic muscles as an elevator. Exhale as you initiate the contraction at the ground floor, gradually elevating the tension level by level by stopping the flow of urine and stopping yourself from passing gas. Inhale and release the contraction with the same amount of control. The ascent and descent should be deliberate and controlled. You should place just as much emphasis on the muscle contraction as the muscle release to ensure full range of motion.
Benefits: Enhances pelvic floor strength, reducing dysfunction risks.
Repetitions: Elevate for 10 seconds, descend, repeat 10 times.
Safety Precaution: Focus on correct muscles and maintain steady breathing. Exhale on the contraction and inhale on the release.
How to: Facing a wall with outstretched arms and palms pressing into a wall, bend your elbows, exhale as your bring the upper body closer to the wall. Push away, utilizing your pectorals, biceps, and triceps. Inhale to prepare for the next repetition. The standing position eliminates core and back strain, making it more pregnancy-friendly.
Benefits: Strengthens the upper body and improves posture.
Repetitions: 10-15 times.
Safety Precaution: Ensure you maintain a stable torso and avoid elbow lockout. If these feel strong with the correct muscle activation, try advancing them to an incline.
5.Side-Lying Leg Lift:
How to: Recline on your side, hips stacked vertically and legs aligned with your torso. Elevate the top leg, maintaining its straightness, then control its descent. This movement emphasizes the outer thighs and hips, pivotal for pelvic support during pregnancy.
Benefits: Reinforces hips and thighs, alleviating sciatica issues.
Repetitions: 10-15 times per side.
Safety Precaution: Rest your head on an arm or cushion to reduce neck strain. Coordinate a steady, controlled breath.
How to: Sit on a sturdy chair, with legs apart. Lean forward, reaching towards the ground, allowing your back to round slightly. Feel the stretch in the back of your thighs and along your spine.
Benefits: Alleviates lumbar tension and enhances leg flexibility.
Repetitions: Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, repeat 5 times.
Safety Precaution: Use easy, controlled breaths to avoid strain or overstretching.
How to: Sit on the ground with the soles of your feet together. Using your elbows, gently press to lower your knees to deepen the stretch. Focus on inhaling and relaxing your pelvic floor during the stretch. This is especially useful during pregnancy to open up the hips, inner thighs and relax the pelvic floor.
Benefits: Increases flexibility in the hips and inner thighs, promoting an easier labor and more mobility in the pelvis.
Repetitions: Maintain the stretch for 20-30 seconds, repeat 5 times.
Safety Precaution: Avoid applying excessive pressure.
8.Arm & Upper Back Stretch:
How to: Extend one arm, then use the opposite hand to draw it across your chest. This elongates and reduces strain in the deltoids and the upper trapezius, releasing upper posture aches and pains and essential for carrying the baby post-delivery.
Benefits: Relieves tension in arms, neck and upper back.
Repetitions: Maintain for 15 seconds per arm.
Safety Precaution: Avoid pulling or applying excessive tension to avoid over stretching.
How to: Breathe deeply as you gently incline your head to one side to stretch the sides and back of the neck. Given the extra weight carried during pregnancy, neck stretches can be incredibly rejuvenating.
Benefits: Reduces tension and stress in the cervical region.
Repetitions: Uphold for 10 seconds each side.
Safety Precaution: Movements should be fluid, avoiding jerky or quick movements.
How to: Holding onto a chair for stability, lift up your heels and onto your toes, engaging the calf muscles. Then, slowly lower your back down. Training the calves during pregnancy promotes better blood circulation in the legs, reduces cramps and helps promote better posterior movement mechanics to support walking and balance.
Benefits: Augments calf strength and equilibrium.
Repetitions: 10-15 times.
Safety Precaution: Retain a steady grip for balance if needed. But, if you want an added challenge, try holding loosely or letting go. Never perform a calf raise off a curb, or stair position.
How to: Starting on hands and knees, shift to sit back on your heels, arms extended. The pose not only stretches the lumbar spine but also offers a moment of relaxation and meditation.
Benefits: Relaxes the back and pelvic floor and calms the mind.
Repetitions: Uphold for 30 seconds, repeat 5 times.
Safety Precaution: Use a cushion for knees and ankles.
The journey of pregnancy can be significantly more comfortable with tailored exercises. Working with an expert in pregnancy coaching who offers pregnancy safe workouts coupled with pregnancy strength training will make a considerable difference to you on that journey. Ultimately, the goal is that during pregnancy you stay active, prioritize finding a pregnancy fitness coach to help you gain strength and move safely and take regular mental and physical relaxation time to embrace this incredible transformation!
Hi I'm Coach Joanie
"I work with many parents who are in the pregnancy stage and guide them towards a strong and healthy parenthood. As a recognized authority in the field, I help mitigate issues like back discomfort, pelvic issues, sciatica, diastasis recti, and diminished strength, among others. My specialized programs, available 24/7, begin at only $35 per month and provide optimal and tailored support. I'm currently providing a complimentary consultation to chat about your pregnancy fitness goals with me, at a time that suits you, please click on the link now and book!"