Workout Wednesday: Pregnancy Safe Circuits

So, yep, you guessed it… still no baby!

I’m now 5 days beyond my due date, which is pretty normal for a first time mama, but I’m getting a little impatient nonetheless! I can’t wait to meet this little lady and to start to learn all about her quirks, her personality, and who she’s going to turn into.

If you read my post a couple of weeks ago about my workout progression throughout pregnancy, you should remember that I’ve remained pretty active this whole time. I started out doing pretty much everything I was pre-pregnancy, minus the extremely heavy, max-0ut lifts on my bigger compound lifts. That worked for me for a while, until my body started to tell me to slow down and take it down a few notches. Slowly, this has gotten me to where I am today — long walks (but not too long, this bladder being crushed by a baby’s head can only take so much!), and some light circuits at home. Yes, I’m still getting in some near daily exercise, but it certainly is a far cry from my normal routine. For instance, I went out for a slow but steady hike on Monday, and didn’t crank it up the inclines like I normally would.

I find that I feel better overall if I move though — walks are crucial to keeping my legs and hips from feeling too tight, and light circuits just help me to feel more energized during this time when my body is literally sustaining a full sized baby!

I thought I’d share a couple of quick at home circuits that are safe for pregnancy, in case there are any other soon-to-be-mamas out there who can’t quite figure out a routine. But the great thing is that these can be used by anyone — they are great circuits for beginners, and the intensity can be ramped up for anyone looking for a quick at-home workout when they don’t have time for the gym.

My staples throughout the end of this pregnancy have been goblet squats and incline push ups. I’m trying to keep these arms as strong as possible, and trying to maintain what muscle I can in my lower body without doing too much or causing pain. My ability to do single leg exercises for lower body differs by the day, and really just depends on the amount of SI joint (where the pelvis meets the lower part of your spine) pain I’m having at any given time.

Also, you’ll note that I do include glute bridges here, which require me to lay on my back. It is a common rule for pregnant women to avoid laying on their back for extended periods of time, but has been found to be safe for a few minutes as long as you feel ok doing it. If your doctor has given you a strict “no”, or if you don’t feel comfortable doing these, please substitute a different exercise such as fire hydrant kicks on all fours to attack those glutes.

pregnancy-safe-circuit-1

pregnancy-safe-circuit-2

Circuit #1:

Equipment Needed: Kettlebell and/or set of medium dumbbells, chair or bench

Exercises:

Goblet Squat: Holding the KB or one dumbbell directly in front of and against your chest, feet about shoulder width apart and feet turned slightly out. Squat down between hips, keeping core engaged and back flat.

Incline push up: Push up on bench or chair, heights suitable to your fitness level.

OHP: Overhead Press. Stand with core engaged and a dumbbell in each hand, or KB in one hand. If using dumbbells, alternate pressing overhead with palms facing away from you. If using KB, finish reps on one side before moving to other side.

Feet Elevated Glute Bridge: Lie on your back with both feet up on chair or bench, scoot your butt close to the bench. Driving your heels down into the bench, squeeze your glutes and lift hips up so that you form a straight line from knees to shoulders.

Donkey Kicks: Starting on all fours, alternate kicking each leg straight back, squeezing each glute with kick. Make sure to keep core engaged and back flat.

Circuit #2

Equipment Needed: Resistance band loop and/or resistance band mini loop

Exercises: 

Band Squats: If using mini band, place band around ankles. If using full size band loop, hold one end, and loop the remaining band around the outsides of your feet, so that you are standing inside loop, hands by your waist. Squat to your normal position.

Side Kick Outs: Keeping band or mini band in the same position, start with both knees slightly bent. Alternate kicking each leg out to the side against the resistance of the band.

Band Shuffles: Keeping band or mini band in same position, bend to about a quarter squat position. Shuffle sideways for 10 steps, then back in the opposite direction for 10 steps.

Band Pull Aparts: Grasp band in both hands, directly in front of chest with arms outstretched. Keeping arms straight, bring hands away from each other to the sides, essentially pulling band across your chest. Squeeze the muscles between your shoulder blades at the end of the motion.

Band Split Squats: Split Squat with resistance band under front foot. Grasp band near knee, calf, or ankle; holding the band lower for more resistance.

Band Rows: If using full band loop, stand on band with both feet. Keeping back flat, hinge at hips and bend forward. Grasp band low, and complete bent over row with both arms. If using mini band, start in lunge position with band under front foot. Grasp band with opposite hand and perform single arm rows for all reps before switching foot/hand.

Again, these can be great little at home circuits for anyone, beginner, pregnant, or just someone looking for a quick session on a busy day!

Enjoy, and hopefully I’ll be back with some news for you very soon!

 

 

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