Some time ago I shared my pregnancy news with you. At the time, I mentioned the importance of staying fit and active throughout those 9 months.
Whether that means a dedicated workout routine, or simply adding more activity into your daily life, it’s vital to stay active to some degree.
So, today I wanted to share a pregnancy workout, which will strengthen your core and legs, as well as improving your flexibility. These are exercises I’ve found useful in the past.
This workout isn’t just for those who are pregnant, however. Anyone can do this workout, and find it beneficial.
I do not profess to be an expert in exercise form. The photos are provided as an illustration to guide you. By following the written instructions, you can be sure you are performing the move correctly.
Before you begin your routine, sit up tall, with your legs crossed in front of you.
Then, begin practicing some deep breaths in through your nose, and out through your mouth. Keep your breath slow and steady.
Repeat until you feel relaxed and focused on what you are about to do.
1. Sideways Swing
This is a great move for toning and strengthening the muscles along the sides of your body. It also helps to increase the flexibility of your back.
- Sit on the mat with your legs bent to the right of your body.
- Inhale and raise your arms up, interlock your fingers over your head. Your upper arms should be alongside your ears.
- Gently curve your body, extending to the right, as you exhale slowly.
- Hold for 10 seconds, breathing deeply.
- Inhale and return to an upright position.
- Move your legs to the left side of your body, and repeat, this time curving to the left.
You should repeat again once more on each side.
2. Gate Pose
Gate pose stretches the muscles between your ribs. This is a fantastic pose if you are experiencing rib pain, like I am currently.
- Come into an upright kneeling position, with your hips over your knees.
- Extend your right leg out to the side, keeping your knee and ankle in line with your right hip.
- Turn your right toes forward, so that the right foot is parallel with your left leg.
- Inhale and reach your left arm next to your left ear.
- Exhale and stretch your left arm over your head slightly to the right. Allow your right arm to come down and rest on your right leg.
- Bring your gaze up under your extended left arm.
- Stay here for several breaths, extending your spine and deepening the stretch as you breathe.
- To finish the move, bring your body upright, and place your right knee next to your left one.
Repeat this stretch on the opposite side.
3. Side Plank Variation
The side plank helps to strengthen your legs, and this move also opens up the chest and shoulders.
- From downward facing dog, bring your left foot about half way up the mat. Turn your left toes out.
- Roll onto the outside of your right foot, and bring your left arm up.
- Flex your right foot, then bring your gaze up to the left hand, and hold here for a few breathes.
- Go back down to downdog facing dog to finish the move.
Repeat on the opposite side.
4. Warrior I
Warrior I is fantastic for stretching the chest, shoulders, neck, and stomach. It also helps to strengthen the arms, thighs, calves, and ankles.
- Begin this pose from downward facing dog (or standing position).
- Bring your right foot forward, then pivot on the ball of your left foot, and drop your left heel on to the floor, with your toes turned out.
- Bend your right knee directly over your right ankle. Try to get your right thigh parallel to the floor, by deepening into the position.
- Bring your arms above your head, and your hands together.
- Keep your head in a neutral position looking forward, or tilt your head back and look up at your thumbs.
- Slide your shoulder blades down the back, and hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Repeat on your opposite side.
5. Warrior II
Warrior II helps to strengthen your legs and arms, and opens your chest and shoulders. It can also help to relieve back pain.
- From a standing position, step your feet 3 to 4 feet apart.
- Raise your arms parallel to the floor, and reach them out to your sides, palms facing down.
- Your right foot should be facing forward, and left foot at about 90 degrees. Align your left heel with your right heel.
- Exhale and bend your right knee over your right ankle. If possible, bring your right thigh parallel to the floor. Anchor this movement by pressing your left heel into the floor.
- Keep your torso long, and your shoulders over the pelvis.
- Keep your gaze forward, over your right hand.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Inhale to come up to standing position again.
Repeat on your opposite side.
6. Cat Pose
Cat pose helps to strengthen and relax the lower back. It also increases suppleness along the spine, and gives a wonderful stretch along your back, neck, and arms.
If you suffer from tension in your lower back, this is a brilliant exercise to do first thing in the morning, and also each evening.
- Starting in tabletop position (with your knees under your hips, and arms beneath your shoulders. Keep your back straight, and head facing forward).
- From this position, exhale and drop your head, arch your back, and exhale further.
- Tighten the buttocks and abdominal muscles, then go back to table position.
- Continue for 5-10 breaths, matching the movement to your own breath.
7. Child’s Pose
This pose teaches you to relax and let go. It is a very good cool down exercise, to use at the end of your workout.
- Begin in tabletop position, then slowly extend your arms out in front of you, as you lower your buttocks towards your heels.
- Bring your belly to rest between your thighs, with your forehead on the floor.
- You can either stretch your arms in front of you, with your palms toward the floor, or bring your arms back alongside your thighs, with the palms facing upwards.
- Hold for 3 deep breaths.
Repeat 2 to 3 times.
Premium Eco Yoga Mat
Just in case you were wondering, the mat which you see in my photographs (for the sake of transparency) is the Premium Eco Yoga Mat, and was provided by Sweaty Betty.
This is the first time I’ve used the mat, and it’s fantastic.
Having used quite a few mats in my time, here are a few observations:
- It doesn’t slip at all, as some have a tendency to.
- It felt really cushioned and comfortable to use.
- It’s thin enough to roll up and carry with me to a workout class.
- The carry strap doubles as a yoga strap for workouts.
- It comes in a fab pink color, too, but this charcoal is great for male or female users.
I really do recommend the Sweaty Betty website. They have some gorgeous workout gear and accessories, which might just inspire you to get going with your workout routine again, if you’ve been slacking lately.
You can check out their latest offers on the Vouchercodes website :-)
Please share your pregnancy workout routine with me below…