Sara Haley is a pre and postnatal fitness specialist and creator of the award winning prenatal program, Expecting MORE and postnatal program, Expecting More®:The 4th Trimester Workout. Here she shares 5 Simple Prenatal Cardio & Strength Moves You Can Do at Home in Less Than 20 minutes PLUS offers a chance to win her signature pre- and postnatal workout DVD collections!
Please consult your doctor or midwife before trying this or any other exercise program during pregnancy.
For this workout you’ll need a supportive chair, medium sized weights (an amount at least equal to the weight of a healthy newborn baby) and a timer. Run the circuit 3 times through with one minute of rest between each rounds.
Busy Bee: You think you are busy now, but just wait until baby comes. That’s why it’s so important to keep your cardiovascular endurance strong. Stand next to your chair. Reach up and away from it as if you were trying to put something high up on a shelf. Then, rotating from your feet, to turn your body towards the chair, tap the chair. Repeat this for 30 seconds before walking to the other side of the chair and repeating it for another 30 seconds. You want to move quick enough that you feel your body getting warm. Just avoid going breathless. Also if this is not enough for you, you can always reach down to touch the floor, until your belly no longer allows you too.
Carseat Rows (weights needed): A strong back means less backache during pregnancy and post. You need strong back muscles to lift and carry your baby, along with everything else that comes with it (car seats, strollers, diaper bags,etc.). For this exercise, stand facing your chair. Bend your knees and hinge at the hips. Hug your baby to your spine to help keep your back flat. Leave one hand on the chair. With the other arm, row it back so that your arm comes right to your bra line. Keep it very close to your body. Return and repeat for 30 seconds before switching to the other side. Again, before you’re showing, you may be able to perform this movement without the chair. Use it for support as soon as you need it.
Baby Burpees: I bet you were thinking you get out of doing burpees, just because you’re pregnant, right? Wrong! Baby Burpees are a great way to get your heart rate up and train your core at the same time. Stand facing your chair. Walk one foot at a time away from the chair so you are in an elevated plank. Walk your feet back in. Continue alternating the leading foot for 60 seconds, or if you’ve done burpees in the past (before you were pregnant) and can land light on your feet, hop your feet out and walk them back in. The farther you walk your feet away from the chair, the more challenging this will be. If you need more modifications, just walk your feet away from the chair so they are right underneath your hips and back in (so your legs will never straighten).
So Big Shoulder Press (weights needed): Strong shoulders will allow you to do so much with your baby, but especially fun games like “So Big!” “How big are you? Soo big!” as you lift them up high. So let’s practice with weights. Stand in front of your chair. Squat down with your weight in your heels (not shown in picture). You can allow your butt to touch the chair, or just hover slightly above. Keep your weights at shoulder level. As you stand up press them high over head. Repeat for 60 seconds.
Baby Butt Lift: Most women feel and see a change in the way their butt looks during pregnancy. Let’s create less work for your postnatal recovery and keep that butt as lifted as we can, yes? Stand facing your chair. Use the chair to support your upper body as you lift one leg up so that it creates a straight line. You can put one hand on the back of the chair, both on the chair, or take one hand off to test your balance. Do whatever feels good to you that day. It doesn’t matter if your leg is high, just that the back is long and straight. Do this by thinking of hugging your baby closer to your spine. Pulse the leg up for 30 seconds before switching to the other side.
Like what you see? Enter to win Sarah’s DVD collection of Expecting MORE® and her postnatal program, Expecting More®:The 4th Trimester Workout here:
*** All exercises are taken from Sara’s prenatal workout program Expecting MORE, available as downloads or on DVD on her website.
About Sara Haley: Sara is an LA-based pre and postnatal fitness specialist and creator of the award winning prenatal program, Expecting MORE and postnatal program, Expecting More®:The 4th Trimester Workout, which is geared towards all moms whether they had a baby 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years ago. With over 15 years of experience as a fitness specialist, 7 years as a Reebok Master Trainer, Sara has a passion for educating women about staying fit, healthy and strong during pregnancy and beyond, in the safest and most effective ways possible. You can catch Sara at @SaraHaleyFit on social channels or SaraHaley.com.