The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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3. Step-out pliés Stand with your feet a little more than hip-width apart, knees relaxed, toes turned out slightly
and hands on hips. Contract abdominals so tailbone is pointing toward floor, rib cage lifted. Bend knees, lowering torso as much as possible without changing pelvis position. Straighten legs and pull right leg in toward left, leading with heel, until legs are together. Step out more than hip width with left foot, do plié and repeat pull-in with left leg. Continue to alternate stepping out to a plié, then bringing feet together. To modify: Second and third trimesters: Hold plié in lowered position and do a Kegel before straightening legs. Strengthens quadriceps and inner thighs.
4. One-arm lat row and extension Stand about 2 feet from the back of a chair, feet hip-width apart and left foot in front of right. Place left forearm on top of chair and bend forward from hips until torso is at a 45-degree angle, back straight, head and neck aligned with spine. Hold a dumbbell in right hand, arm straight and hanging down in line with shoulder. Palm should face in, wrist straight. Squeeze shoulder blades together and draw right elbow up and toward waist until it’s slightly behind you. Hold position; then straighten arm behind you. Bend elbow; then lower arm and repeat for reps. Change positions and repeat with other arm. To modify: First trimester: Do same exercise with torso parallel to floor. Weight: 5–8 pounds. Strengthens middle back, rear shoulder and triceps.
5. Shoulder combo Sit on the edge of a chair, legs hip-width apart, feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms hanging at sides, palms facing in. Squeeze shoulder blades together; then lift arms out and up to shoulder height. Slowly lower arms and lean forward. Lift arms up and slightly behind you,leading with elbows. Lower arms, sit up straight and bend elbows so dumbbells are at shoulder height, palms facing in. Straighten arms overhead without locking elbows. Lower arms so they’re hanging by your sides, and repeat entire move. To modify: Third trimester: Use a pillow to support your belly. Weight: 3–8 pounds. Strengthens shoulders and upper back.
6. Seated alternating curls Sit up straight against the back of an armless chair, feet planted on the floor and knees bent. Place a pillow behind your lower back if necessary for support. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms hanging down at sides, palms facing in. Bend left elbow to bring dumbbell up toward shoulder, exhaling while you lift. As the dumbbell passes the thigh, turn palm upward to finish the curl. Straighten arm, lowering to starting position, and repeat with other arm.
To modify: First trimester: Do the exercise standing. Second trimester: Do the exercise sitting on the edge of the chair. Weight: 5–8 pounds. Strengthens biceps.