Fitness

Your pregnancy workout

Many women want to continue working out when pregnant, but it can be hard to know what is safe for your body and your baby. Luckily, personal trainer Melissa Lorch (fit4mum.com) is here to help. She’s teamed up with Dyna-Band to come up with a special Fit4Mum workout which will help you maintain firm posture throughout your pregnancy and avoid any unnecessary aches and pains.
“During pregnancy, you will experience continual changes to your body size, shape and centre of gravity,” she explains. “Keeping active and doing resistance work will help keep your important mummy muscles tight and stretch your body.  Keeping your mummy muscles strong will help to decrease low back pain, shoulder and neck strain, improve energy levels, flexibility and endurance, and it can also help you build your strength for labour.”
When taking on any new workout, Melissa always advises that it’s a good idea to speak to your healthcare provider (GP, nurse or midwife).
She also suggests it’s best to be aware of your increased joint flexibility in pregnancy. As she explains, the placenta releases the hormone relaxin as early as the second week of pregnancy which increases the elasticity of your ligaments, and this means you must ensure you do not exercise past your full range of motion or over stretch during your workout.

THE WORKOUT
The workout is based on a circuit, where you move from one exercise to another. Adjust the time spent on each exercise according to which trimester you are in.
Try to do a short dynamic warm up and mobility exercises pre-circuit and a short cool down followed by relaxation after.
You wil need a resistance band for the moves – Melissa recommends using a Dyna-Band. Use the pink Dyna-Band in pregnancy and for the first six weeks as a new mum. For the post-natal 12 weeks + workout you may choose to purchase the green band.

Trimester one
Standing glute press: 15 seconds each side
Tricep kickback: 15 seconds each side
Side steps: 30 seconds
Side lying leg abduction: 15 seconds each side
Box press up: 30 seconds
Clamshell: 15 seconds each side

Trimester two
Standing glute press: 20 seconds each side
Tricep kickback: 20 seconds each side
Side steps: 40 seconds
Side lying leg abduction: 20 seconds each side
Box press up: 40 seconds
Clamshell: 20 seconds each side

Trimester three
Standing glute press: 15 seconds each side
Tricep kickback: 15 seconds each side
Side steps: 30 seconds
Side lying leg abduction: 15 seconds each side
Box press up: 30 seconds, can be done standing, leaning against a wall
Clamshell: 15 seconds each side

Post natal 6-12 weeks
Standing glute press: 15 seconds each side
Tricep kickback: 15 seconds each side
Side steps: 30 seconds
Side lying leg abduction: 15 seconds each side
Box press up: 30 seconds, can be done standing, leaning against a wall
Clamshell: 15 seconds each side

Post natal 12 weeks+

Standing glute press: 20-30 seconds each side
Tricep kickback: 20-30 seconds each side
Side steps: 40-60 seconds
Side lying leg abduction: 20-30 seconds each side
Box press up: 40-60 seconds
Clamshell: 20-30 seconds each side

Learn the moves

  • Your pregnancy workoutStanding Glute Press
    Use a Dyna-Band assist strap to anchor the band in a door at ankle height. Face the door, with your feet hip-width apart, knees soft and abdominals tight. Place your Dyna-Band around your right foot. Keep hips facing forward and back straight. Hold on to the anchor/door for support if necessary. keeping your leg straight, pelvic in neutral with hip pushing towards the anchor point push your foot / leg directly behind, leading with your heal. Slowly return to starting position.

  • Your pregnancy workoutTricep Kickback
    Use an assist strap to anchor the band in a door at chest height. Face the door, with your feet hip width apart, knees soft and abdominals pulled in.
    Hold the ends of the Dyna-Band in each hand and slightly lean your body forward. Keep your stomach held in and your shoulders relaxed. Take both arms back keeping the elbows bent, make sure both arms are parallel.
    With both elbows pointing to the back, take a deep breath in, as you breathe out, straighten your arms. The movement should come only from the elbows. Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.

  • Your pregnancy workoutSide Steps
    Tie or clip the Dyna-Band just above your knees. With toes pointing forwards, step from side to side in a rhythmic motion. Keep abdominals pulled in, spine in neutral and knees soft.

  • Your pregnancy workoutSide lying leg abduction
    Tie or clip the Dyna-Band securely around your ankles.
    Lie on one side with your lower knee bent at a 90-degree angle and your top leg straight. The band should naturally position itself over the front of your feet. Keeping your toe and knees facing forward slowly raise and lower the upper leg. Breathe out as you raise and in as you lower.
    Rest your head on a cushion and use your top arm to stabilize yourself.

  • Your pregnancy workoutBox Press Up
    Place the Dyna-Band around your back and under your armpits, holding the ends between your thumbs.
    Position your body on all fours with hands slightly wider than shoulder width and your head in line with your body – eyes are looking at floor. Anchor the Dyna-Band to the floor with your hands. Take a breath in, bend the elbows lowering the body to the floor. Keep back straight and stomach held in. Breathe out and as you do, slowly return to starting position.

  • Your pregnancy workoutClamshell
    Tie or clip the Dyna-Band securely around your thighs, just above your knees. Lie on one side with your knees bent and your abdominals tight. Keeping your feet together move your top leg so that your knee moves upwards. Breathe out as you raise the knee and breathe in as you lower back to the starting position. Do not do this move if it causes pain in pelvis.

You can repeat this circuit or add in additional circuits featured in the full Fit 4 Mum Pregnancy & New mummy workout program. £11.99 from dynaband.co.uk. Your Fitness readers can save £2.50 P&P by quoting ‘FREEPP” at the checkout.