The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Advanced SEATED TWO-ARM ROW Sit on a chair or stability ball with knees bent and in line with ankles, feet flat on floor. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, bend forward from hips as far as you can. Squeeze shoulder blades together and bend elbows back toward waist, keeping them close to torso, wrists straight. Straighten arms and repeat.
Intermediate BENDING ONE-ARM ROW Holding a dumbbell in your left hand, place your right hand on a chair seat and separate feet, right in front of left, knees slightly bent. Bend forward from your hips. Let left arm hang down in line with left shoulder, palm facing in. Squeeze shoulder blades together; then bend left elbow up toward waist, keeping it close to torso, wrist straight. Return to starting position and complete reps; then switch to the right arm and repeat.
Beginner STANDING ONE-ARM ROW Stand with right foot in front of left, hip-width apart. Hold back of chair with right hand and lean forward from ankles so your body is at a slight angle. With a dumbbell in your left hand, let arm hang straight down from shoulder, palm facing in. Squeeze shoulder blades; then bend elbow up toward waist. Straighten arm and complete reps; then switch feet position and repeat with your right arm.
4. chest press Do 10–12 reps. Recommended weight: 5–10 pounds in each hand. Strengthens chest, triceps and front of shoulders.
Advanced BALL PRESS Place a stability ball against the wall and sit with your upper back against it, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with arms extended in front of you a little higher than chest level, palms down. Squeeze shoulder blades together; then bend elbows back until they line up with your shoulders. Press dumbbells back to starting position, making sure not to lock elbows; repeat. Note: After the first trimester (week 13), this exercise should only be done in an inclined position. Lying on your back can cut off blood flow to your baby.
Intermediate INCLINE PRESS Sit in a chair with a
firm pillow or two behind your back so you are propped at an incline, knees bent, feet flat on floor, hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms extended just above chest level. Squeeze shoulder blades together; then bend elbows out and back until they are in line with shoulders. Straighten arms without locking elbows; repeat.
Beginner SUPPORTED INCLINE PRESS Do this variation exactly the same as Intermediate, but prop your feet up on a stool or step for additional back support.