Hey there! I’m Anna and I’m so excited to be a guest on Loren’s blog today!
Before we get started let me further introduce myself. I am a stay at home mom and former athletic trainer and group fitness instructor. I take pride in creating quality workouts that can be done in the comfort of your home or at the gym. Grit to Grace began as an Instagram account meant to encourage others in their health and fitness journey and has since evolved into a blog that includes fitness, fashion, and faith.
DO’s and DON’Ts
Because Loren is currently pregnant, I thought it would be fun to share 6 at home exercises that I believe are safe and effective for pregnancy. But first, let’s go over some do’s and don’ts:
- Consult your doctor. Ask them about your current fitness routine to make sure it is safe.
- Listen to your body. If an exercise causes pain or dizziness then stop the exercise immediately.
- Modify. If an exercise seems too intense then tone it down a notch. You can still get a great workout in while being safe.
- Check your surroundings. Be aware of any uneven surfaces that could cause you to lose your balance and fall.
- Keep moving. Don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to be lazy. Exercising throughout pregnancy has shown to help during labor and postpartum recovery.
- Hold your breath. This is a common tendency for people when an exercise is strenuous. Remember to breath through each exercise.
- Lay flat on your back while exercising. This has to do with the anatomy of the uterus and can potentially cause circulation issues. A simple solution is to lay at an incline instead.
- Jump. Again this has to do with anatomy. Your joints loosen some during pregnancy so we want to avoid potential ligament injuries by cutting out jumping.
- Be so hard on yourself. If you are used to working out for weight loss or to burn calories it may be hard to see the number on the scale go up. Remember that now the focus is on maintaining a healthy heart and strength so you can tote that sweet baby around!
With that being said, let’s get to it! I would suggest completing 3 sets of 8-10 reps of the following exercises:
6 At Home Exercises Safe for Pregnancy
1. Squat with band pull apart
To begin, stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips. As your belly grows you may have to widen your stance in order to make room. Squat your hips back and down like you are sitting into a chair. As you are sitting into your squat pull the band apart and squeeze your shoulder blades together. As you stand back up slowly release the tension of the band and return to your starting position.
2. Bird Dog
This is great for core stabilization. Place your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Raise one arm and reach it forward and raise the opposite leg until it is straight and in line with your back. Slowly bring them back down. Repeat on the opposite side. Loren even added these cuff weights for a little extra resistance.
3. Side Plank
This is a great alternative to abdominal crunches, which are not advised during pregnancy. Lay on your side with your forearm on the ground and elbow directly in line with your shoulder. Engage your core and lift your hips off the floor to form a straight line through your body. Hold for 30 seconds then slowly lower your hips back to the ground.
Optional: Lift and lower your top leg to work your outer glute and obliques.
4. Elevated Push Up
This allows for more range of motion when you have a big belly (it’s ok, you’re supposed to!). Elevate your upper body on a bench or even a wall. Walk your feet back until you are in push up position. Make sure your body is in a straight line and keep your core tight. Lower your chest to the bench then press yourself back up.
5. Wall Sit
5. Wall sit. This is called an isometric contraction which means the muscle is contracting without movement. Start by leaning your back against a wall with your feet about shoulder width apart. Slide your back down until your hips are parallel with your knees. Make sure your knees are directly over your ankles. Keep your shoulders and back connected to the wall. Hold for 30 seconds.
6. Modified Jump Squat
You can still get some great cardio from this movement even though we cut out the jumping. Squat down then explode up onto your tippy toes.