Ready to stay strong during pregnancy and add a fitness fix to the baby games ahead? Alternate between cardio and sculpting and add internal training for a complete body workout with these 5 circuit moves from my daily sweat pregnancy program, Expecting More.
You’ll need a chair and a set of free weights, and as always with exercise, listen to your body and respond to its needs as you progress.
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This cardio move sculpts inner thighs
What baby doesn’t enjoy a good round of Peek-a-Boo? Soon you’ll be hiding behind cribs and rocking chairs to surprise your little one. With these moves, there will be no huffing and puffing over a silly game, right?
Stand behind your chair, hands on your baby, and march or jog in place for a count of 8. Then, moving hands to the chair back, and with hips rotated out, step out to the right and sit into a plié squat, as if the chair is your hiding place. Then, step back together and repeat by stepping out to the left. If you’re comfortable jump both feet apart into your squat and then together again.
The chair adds support and reduces impact. Get low before you come back to your march or jog with a big, “Peek-a-BOO!”
Strengthens your core; scuplts your back
Keep your back strong as you prepare to repeatedly move your baby’s car seat from the stroller to the back seat.
Face your chair with feet shoulder-width apart (your stance will widen as your baby grows). Hinge forward at the hips with a flat back. With at least a 5lb hand-held weight in your free hand, place the other hand on the chair’s seat. Add stability with a free weight in your supporting hand too if you have wrist pain or want more support. With your free hand, row backward as if you’re pulling the car seat up from its holder.
Lengthen your free arm back down and repeat for 30 seconds. Activate your core by thinking of hugging your baby close to your spine. If you’re comfortable, walk your feet into a plank position and do these moves. As you complete each side, take a 15-second break before repeating for 30 seconds on the other side.
Sculpts and strengthens shoulders, glutes, legs
Lifting baby over and again can lead to back pain, so let’s practice the pick up before baby arrives!
Begin seated in the chair with legs at least shoulder-width apart. Hold one weight (at least 5 pounds as your baby will be bigger than that) in each hand at your shoulders. As you stand from the chair, push your heels into the floor and press your weights up and together above your head, just as if you were raising baby. Initiate this move from your legs, not your back, standing up as straight as possible through the move. Finish by returning to start position back on the chair. Repeat the entire sequence for 30 seconds.
Creates cardio, shapes your glutes, legs
Separation anxiety is but one of the many hurdles of motherhood, so teach baby that “Mama always comes back.”
Stand next to your chair, and begin to move away by shuffling or side-stepping out for a count of 4, waving “bye, bye!” Then, walk back toward the chair and, using the chair for balance, hinge forward at the hips and lift your outside leg. Repeat the entire sequence (shuffle to the hinge) for 45 seconds.
On your last rep, hold the one-legged hinge, squeeze your glutes and pulse your working leg to the ceiling for a count of 16. Rest for 15 seconds, and repeat on the chair’s other side with the opposite leg. Activate your core by hugging baby to your spine as you hinge forward.
Tones and strengthens triceps
Don’t be the pregnant woman who struggles to get up from her chair. Strengthen your triceps now for a boost when baby gets bigger.
Take a seat in your chair, place your hands behind your glutes and slowly walk forward until you are no longer sitting on the chair. Press your shoulders away from your ears and lower yourself down toward a 90-degree angle from shoulders to your elbows. Then slowly push yourself back up. The farther you walk your feet away, the harder the exercise. Repeat for 30 seconds.
As your baby grows, you may not be able to do as many reps, and you may need to rest on the chair between reps.
Also read: Exercise Realities When You’re A Mom