Work the Bump: My Pregnancy Workout Routine
Let’s work my BUMP! A lot of you have asked about my pregnancy workout routine. Truthfully, my workouts continue to change as my body changes. One week I’ll feel like superwoman, still able to comfortably run a few miles… and the next, I’m quite literally toppling over in an attempt to do a simple squat. Pregnancy is hard and unpredictable.
I make adjustments according to how my body feels. I’ve been fortunate to continue working alongside my trainer, MadFit owner Mike Alexander. The general rule, according to my doc, is you can continue doing exercises you were doing for a full year prior to becoming pregnant. So, pregnancy is not the time to suddenly take up kick boxing. Mike and I stuck to exercises my body was used to, while toning things down as I got further along. We always use light weights and take things slow.
My goal has been to stay active and keep my body moving. But I’ve never made it a point to push myself harder than what makes me feel comfortable. I’m not prepping for a marathon, after all… I’m growing a human!! I’m 9 months in, and still attempting to workout a few days a week (but my body is so wobbly, I feel more uncoordinated than Gumby).
Below are some different exercises I’ve done, snapped at various times throughout my pregnancy. I also took up pre-natal yoga more recently, to help prep for labor…
LOWER BODY | PREGNANCY WORKOUT
Leg Lifts (lying or standing) | pulse each leg quickly to the side, so you feel a burn in your thighs + bum | 30 reps each side, 3 sets
Walking Lunges | squeeze your bum while doing walking lunges | 20 steps, 3 sets
Squats | allllll kinds of squats are ideal for pregnancy (they also help get the babe in the right position pre-labor) | 20-25 reps, 3 sets
Step-Up Extensions | using a stair, start with one leg on the step, and extend your back leg straight out, forming a 90-degree angle (see example) | 15 reps each side, 3 sets
UPPER BODY | PREGNANCY WORKOUT
The key to upper body workouts during pregnancy is using light weights. The goal is to remain toned, but not to overwork yourself. Do what feels comfortable — and that comfort level will change like crazy throughout your pregnancy. What feels good one week, may feel near-impossible the next. Here’s what worked for me…
Resistance Bands | see a full resistance bands workout here
Overhead Press (standing or kneeling) | extend 5-pound weights | 15 reps, 3 sets
Lateral Raise | stand shoulder width apart, and extend 3-pound weights to your sides (your body will make the shape of a ‘T’) | 20 reps, 3 sets
Planks | hold a plank position for 30-seconds to a minute, depending on comfort level (see an example here)
*** note: planks became too difficult for me during the third trimester
CARDIO | PREGNANCY WORKOUT
Gauge your cardio workouts truly by how you feel. During the first trimester, I could (mostly) continue my normal runs a few days a week, except when I felt sick. During the second tri, I aimed to do a two-mile run, twice a week. By the third trimester, running was too much on my body. I switched to walking. Walking is SUPER good for mamas-to-be, throughout pregnancy, because it’s easy on your joints and keeps your blood moving.
Moderate Jogs | 1-3 mile runs at a pace of 5.0-5.5 (if on the treadmill)
Inclined Walks | 1-3 mile walks on a slight incline at a pace of 3.8 (if on treadmill)
Leisure Walks | 1-2 mile swift walks around the neighborhood
YOGA + MEDITATION | PREGNANCY WORKOUT
See my full post on pre-natal yoga positions here. My instructor has specifically been working on exercises to help prep for labor and pain management. I didn’t give this a shot until late in the second trimester, but it’s really worth it! I’ve also just started to use pregnancy meditation apps for about 10-minutes each day, to really indulge in my pregnancy these last few weeks.
Photos by Annie Shak | Graphics + Design by Annie Bonenfant