Features: Weight training, yoga, Pilates, partner stretching
Run time: 100 minutes
Highlights: Designed by strength coach and mother of two Patrea Aeschliman, this program consists of six 15-minute segments (each with a tiny clock in the corner of the screen to help you keep track of time). The yoga and gentle stretching segment is conveniently designed to do with or without a partner. Bonus sections include exercises to improve posture and a postnatal ab segment, as well as breastfeeding information, Kegel exercises and detailed information on performing a self-check for diastasis recti.
Recommended props: Light dumbbells; exercise tubing; large stability ball. Optional: yoga mat, carpet or rug; pillows; two chairs; 2- to 6-pound weighted medicine ball
Why we like it: Aeschliman creatively incorporates weighted medicine balls, stability balls and resistance tubing into the workouts, and she pays close attention to proper form and trimester modifications. This DVD offers several different high- and low-intensity workouts to suit your mood.
Real mom's comment: "As a mother of five and a prenatal fitness instructor, I think this is a great DVD for moms who are new to weight training during pregnancy. It covers all the exercise basics and trimester modifications. I also found the countdown clock for each segment to be helpful." -- Bridget Cohen, West Hills, Calif.
Our favorite move: Posture Strengtheners
Lie on your right side with a 3- to 5-pound dumbbell in your left hand. Bend your knees and bring your legs slightly to the front, abs drawn in. Put pillows under your head, belly and between your lower legs for comfort. Place your left arm in front of your chest at an angle, palm down, and allow the dumbbell to lightly touch the floor. Slowly lift your left arm toward the ceiling, squeezing the muscles in your upper back, and pause (shown). Slowly bring the arm back down to the floor. Do 15 reps, then switch sides and repeat. Strengthens upper back, improves posture.
Visionary, 2004; 15tofit.com