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Frequency and reps: Try to do this workout 2–4 times a week. Start by doing 1 set of 10–12 reps for each exercise, building to 3 sets. Rest 30 seconds between sets.
Warm-up: Do a rhythmic, limbering warm-up for at least 5 minutes. Include arm circles, shoulder rolls, low-back cat stretches, pliés, toe taps and marching. If you have stationary equipment such as a treadmill or bicycle, warm up at a low intensity.
Cool-down: Stretch the muscles in your legs, buttocks, back, chest, shoulders and arms. Hold each stretch for 20 seconds. Focus on breathing and relaxation while stretching.
1. Double Leg Squat Stand on the tube or band with feet hip-width apart, legs straight but not locked. Hold a handle of the tube in each hand and anchor your hands on your hips. Contract abs [A]. Keep body weight back on your heels as you bend both knees, lowering your body as if to sit down in a chair. Keep torso erect [B]. Straighten legs and resist the tube or band as you return to the starting position and do reps. Take 4 seconds for each phase of the exercise. Strengthens quadriceps, hamstrings and buttocks.
2. Split Lunge Stand with legs hip-width apart in a lunge position, right foot in front of left. Place the center of the tube under your right foot and hold a handle in each hand with hands at your hips [A]. Bend both knees, keeping right knee in line with right ankle and left knee pointing down [B]. Straighten legs and do reps. Switch legs and tube and repeat. Strengthens quadriceps, hamstrings, buttocks and calves.
3. Progressive Push-Up With feet slightly apart, stand approximately 12–15 inches from a wall or support, legs straight but not locked. Wrap the tube behind your back and under each arm; hold an end in each hand. Place hands on the support at chest height, shoulder-distance apart, arms straight but not locked. Choke up on the tube until you feel tension on it. Contract abdominals [A]. Looking straight ahead, inhale and bend elbows to bring chest toward the support [B]. Exhale and straighten arms. Repeat. Strengthens chest, front shoulders and triceps.
4. Seated Row Sit on the ground with knees slightly bent, toes pointing up. Wrap the tube around both feet; then grasp a handle of the tube in each hand, arms stretched out in front of you, palms facing in and wrists straight. Squeeze shoulder blades together and downward and contract abdominals [A]. Keeping shoulders and torso motionless, exhale and contract back muscles as you bend your elbows back and pull the band toward your waist [B]. Straighten arms to starting position and repeat. Strengthens upper and middle back, rear shoulders and biceps.