The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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pay attention Keep elbows within your peripheral vision to prevent overstretching the chest muscles in the lowered position.
3. SEATED BICEPS CURLS Adjust an incline bench so the back is straight, at a 90-degree angle. Sit with your back against the pad, legs separated, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and allow your arms to hang at your sides in line with your shoulders, palms facing forward [A]. Bend both elbows, curling the dumbbells up toward your shoulders [B]. Straighten arms and return to starting position. Strengthens biceps. Suggested weight range: 5–l0 pounds in each hand.
pay attention Make sure to not lock your elbows at the bottom of the move, and keep dumbbells in line with shoulders; don’t allow them to drift higher.
4. TRICEPS PRESS DOWNS Stand in a neutral position and grasp a high cable pulley with a short, straight bar attached, legs separated hip-width apart. Hold bar with an overhand grip, hands just shoulder-width apart, with your elbows bent and close to your torso so your elbows line up with your shoulders [A]. Maintaining this position, press the bar down toward your thighs [B]. Return to starting position. Strengthens triceps. Suggested weight range: 15–30 pounds.
pay attention Keep wrists straight, in line with forearms. Keep weight light enough to feel resistance in upper arms.
5. SPLIT LUNGES Stand with your left hand on a support for balance. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and place it on your right shoulder. Take a step forward with your left foot so your right heel is lifted and your torso is balanced between your legs, chest lifted, shoulders relaxed [A]. Bend knees so left knee is directly over left ankle and right knee faces the floor, with knee, hip and shoulder in a straight line [B]. Straighten legs to starting position. Do reps, change position and repeat with the other leg. Strengthens quadriceps, hamstrings, buttocks and calves. Suggested weight range: 5–10 pounds.
pay attention Keep torso erect.
6. LEG PRESS Sit on a leg press machine with a vertical back pad. Place feet on plate approximately hip-width apart, legs straight but knees not locked. Pull your belly in to stabilize your back against the pad [A]. Release the machine lock and, keeping body weight toward your heels, bend your knees toward your chest until knees are almost aligned with hips [B]. Press plate away from you by straightening your legs. Strengthens buttocks, quadriceps and hamstrings. Suggested weight range: –125 pounds.