MY TOP 5 PREGNANCY EXERCISES
My previous news item “3 Ps of Pregnancy” explained the importance of keeping your body strong and supple during pregnancy and how to stay safe during your workouts. This blog outlines my top 5 pregnancy exercises you can do safely at home and the benefits of each exercise.
Despite the possible barriers of sickness and fatigue, I have found that maintaining regular workouts with modifications can actually help to reduce fatigue.
Modifications to pregnancy exercise
- Lower the intensity, time and frequency as required helps to maintain energy levels during and after workouts. So, I like to use the motto “a little of something is better than nothing”.
- Focus on gentle stretching when your body requests as this may also help to raise energy levels and allows recovery time between harder sessions.
- Always listen to your body
Firstly focus on 15-30 minutes of functional exercises that target multiple areas of the body to gain motivation and avoid fatigue.
Secondly aim for 10 – 20 repetitions as a start and increase as your body allows. Add arm weights as desired 1-1.5 kg to start is a good start.
Thirdly remember that form is key and it is best to do less repetitions rather than lose your alignment and control.
*** This is a guide only from my personal experience. Consult your trusted health professional physiotherapist if you have any concerns or for more specific guidance.
Position: Standing with gently lean against the fit ball and wall with hand weights
- Your spine is supported in a neutral position against the ball
- Having a supported spine makes it easier to focus on controlled movement, breath and the connection to your pelvic floor
- Feet hip width or slighter wider and angle knees over toes as you squat
- Strengthens arms and legs simultaneously ready for lifting and holding your baby
Position: Sitting on a fit ball that is sized so your hips are slightly higher than your knees
- Lumbar mobility, release and decompression to ease tired back muscles
- Pelvic floor and lower abdominals activation can be considered during movement
Position: Sitting on a fit ball with elbows are 90 degree and shoulders relaxed. Gently open and close hands rotating from the shoulders without squeezing shoulder blades back
- Sitting posture and endurance for feeding your baby
- Opening the shoulders help reverse slouched postures and tight chest muscles in preparation for the post natal period
- Addition of hand weights for additional strengthening
Position: Crawling position on all fours with opposite arm and leg raises
- Safely connects the upper and lower body with abdominals
- Creates balance and pelvic stability
- Ideal position for gently connecting to pelvic floor and lower abdominals
- Can be increased by adding arm weights or regressed by just doing arms or leg separately
Position: Sitting on a fit ball and reach one arm up and over into side bend and other arm resting on your thigh
- Gently stretches the spine and opens the side of the ribcage
- Feels fabulous to reverse stress of daily postures
I love doing this basic routine everyday as it allows me to stay supple and strong.
Written by Amy Anderson Senior Physiotherapist