Pregnancy Safe Exercises

Sabrena Merrill, ACE-certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor: Hi I'm Sabrena Merrill, and this is my friend Kelly, who is four months pregnant

And we are going to show you how to perform exercises safely and effectively throughout your pregnancy The first place I'd like to start is the midsection, or the core musculature And in order to do that, you have to know how to support your trunk And the deep abdominal muscle, the transverse abdominus, is what actually helps you hold all of that in for support So, Kelly's going to demonstrate that for us

Kelly, if you turn to the side, and if you stand normally and relax, you can see the abdomen in one position Now, I'll have you pull in with the lower abdominals, and you can see how the circumference of the abdomen actually decreases And relax Excellent One more time, Kelly: Pull in

And relax Beautiful job So, that's what I want Kelly and you to remember when you're doing the rest of our exercises is that it's just a slight up-and-in engagement with the abdominal wall, and that will help support the contents of the abdomen but also the lower back throughout the rest of our exercises today So, the next thing we're going to do is move to the mat, to the floor, and I'll show you some more core exercises So, we're on the floor, on the mat with Kelly, and I'm going to show you our first core exercise

So, on the elbows, and, Kelly, on your knees, she's going to lift up her abdomen and produce a plank position: straight like a board Now, the whole time she's here, she's pulling up and in with that deep abdominal wall and she's getting a great workout for the shoulders and the entire midsection Good, Kelly Relax Excellent

We can make it one step harder Kelly, if you're willing and able, we'll go ahead and have you take it to your toes So, the next modification, then, is to lift up on your toes Perfect She has a straight body here and she's really working underneath to pull up and in on the abdomen

You can relax, Kelly Thank you Great Our next exercise is a side-lying position, and it's a side bridge So, Kelly is on her elbow and her legs are in a hook-lying position

So, go ahead and lift your hips off the floor And she has a straight board side bridge The muscles underneath, the obliques on this side, are actually working to hold the body up in that position Excellent Now, take it down, Kelly

So, for you doing this at home, plank positions, you're going to want to work your way up to, ultimately, holding for about 30 seconds each But feel free to start with about five to 10 seconds per repetition and then work your way up to 15, 20, maybe even 30 seconds in the end Of course, resting in between And try to get about two to three reps each time you do these exercises So, I'm giving Kelly a minute to rest here while I explain a few things about the core exercises that we just did

You'll notice that we didn't do any abdominal crunches or curls in that core conditioning segment, and there's a good reason for that As the abdomen gets larger as the pregnancy progresses, the vertical muscles that run up and down in front of the abdominal wall tend to move toward the side to make room for the baby So, what you don't want to do is actually do the flexion exercises associated with crunching because it tends to move them even farther apart So, one way to get a great core workout and still condition those muscles is to do the plank exercises that I showed you, where you're pulling the abdomen up and in for great core support Next, I'm going to teach you how to stand up safely from a lying position

And this is important, not just with exercise, but from getting out of bed in the morning or any situation where you're down on the floor or you're lying and you want to stand up So, I'm going to have Kelly demonstrate this She's gonna lean over, put her weight on her hands, then her weight on her legs, and then stand all the way up The next exercise is actually for both the upper and lower body We're going to incorporate a row with a pelvic tilt lunge

Now, a row motion is important because, especially after the baby comes, a mom spends a lot of time with the arms in front of the body holding and cradling the baby, which tends to stretch out the upper back muscles So, the row is going to be a great exercise to help counteract that activity And then the lunge will help, again, tighten the rear side of the hip and stretch the front side of the hip So, Kelly, I'm gonna have you face the chair and adopt a lunge position Great

So, you're leaning a little bit into that front hand and Kelly's going to perform a row And as she rows the weight up, notice the elbow stays very close to the body Great Then come out of that She's going to lean back and go into a pelvic tilt lunge, bending both knees and then coming back up

So, again, on the chair with a row Come out of that Leaning slightly back, bending both knees with a pelvic tilt Great One more, Kelly

So, this is a combination move A row Leaning back Tucking under Excellent job, Kelly

You can relax Remember to do about eight to 15 repetitions on each side, both with the row and the lunge And you will have a very well-balanced workout throughout your pregnancy Thank you for joining us today The exercises that we just showed should be done several times a week, say two to four days, to the point that you're challenged but you're not uncomfortable

For more information on healthy pregnancy exercise tips, please go to our website, Acefitnessorg (Text on screen): For more information wwwacefitnessorg

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