If you’re pregnant, you may be wondering if it’s safe for you to exercise? The short answer is YES, but there are guidelines you should definitely be aware of. This month, we sat down with Erica Ziel: A prenatal and postnatal expert and creator of Knocked Up Fitness®, to learn about exercise during pregnancy. Erica tells us about what you should be doing to stay active and fit. Especially when the workouts are safe and effective for strengthening your core, lengthening your spine, and helping to improve how your body feels during pregnancy. In our session, we learn that instead of shooting for intense exercise during pregnancy, a little movement can go a long way!
Guidelines for Exercise During Pregnancy:
Before you start, these rules for working out during your pregnancy will keep you safe and moving:
- You should never feel completely exhausted after you workout.
- You should always end a workout feeling more energized and connected through your deep core.
- If you feel winded during your session, you’re working out too hard and need to decrease your intensity.
- Always be sure to discuss with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routines.
- Aim for a little movement every day – even just one of the exercises below or go for a short walk!
Top 3 Exercises During Pregnancy:
Erica shares her go-to pregnancy exercises that you can do at-home, all together as a circuit or as a warm-up for your full workouts. These exercises will strengthen your deep core, open up your hips, improve your posture AS WELL AS help you with tiredness, back pain and diastasis recti. Time to get moving momma!
- Start on your knees with a ball positioned close to you.
- Exhale, tucking your chin towards your chest, while rounding your spine and slowly roll the ball out in front of you.
- Inhale to lengthen your spine and hold, pressing lighting into the ball, while keeping your hips just behind your knees.
- Exhale as you press your arms into the ball; tuck your chin and hips to articulate your spine back to starting position. All while continuing to lightly “hug your baby”.
- Do 5 to 8 reps
- Seated with your right leg bent in front of you and left leg tucked behind you, place your right hand on the ground behind you.
- Reach your left hand back over your head, press your hips up, bringing you up onto your knees. Hold the stretch and breathe into your side and belly.
- Place your hips back on the ground.
- Repeat on the same side 2 to 3 more times, then switch sides by positioning the opposite leg in front of you.
- Stand with feet wider than shoulder width apart and slightly rotated out; your knees should be aligned with your feet.
- Rotate to your left, pivoting on your right toe, allowing the rotation to come from your hips. Keeping your focus on your core, as you lightly hug your baby, while lengthening tall and squeezing your glutes. Continue reaching your arms up and around to your left.
- Return back to center.
- Rotate to your right, pivoting on your left toe and reaching your arms to your right.
- Continue alternating for 10 to 20 reps.
Tip: Limit rotation as your pregnancy progresses and move through a range that feels good for your body.
Feeling your core connected and understanding the relationship between movement and breath is also an important concept. It can specifically help to improve your labor, birth and beyond. Erica teaches her foundation movements on how to exercise during pregnancy, postpartum recovery and much more in her Knocked-Up Fitness online course.
Erica Ziel is a mother of three & the creator of the Core Rehab Program, Prenatal/Postnatal Exercise Specialist Instructor Course and the Knocked-Up Fitness Program. Erica created her programs for women to stay fit, healthy & feeling their best during all stages of pregnancy and beyond. She is also a sought-after expert for fitness-infused Pilates and personal training. Erica has been featured in and contributes to many media outlets such as: Fit Pregnancy Magazine, PT on the Net, LiveStrong.com, The New York Times, People.com, Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine and many others. !Exercise During Pregnancy