A Year of Staying Fit | Fit Pregnancy

A Year of Staying Fit

It's the perfect workout: It keeps you strong while pregnant, prepares you for labor and helps you snap back into shape after delivery.

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2. REAR LUNGE WITH HIP LIFT AND CURL   Stand with feet hip-width apart, legs straight but not locked. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms hanging by your sides, palms facing in. Contract your abs so your torso is strong and centered. Take a step backward with left foot, bending both knees so right knee is in line with ankle and left knee points down (A). Straighten legs, extending left leg behind you to 45 degrees without arching your back; at the same time, curl dumbbells up toward shoulders (B). Lower foot to floor and lower arms. Do 8–10 reps on each side.
Recommended weight:  3–5 pounds in each hand. Strengthens quadriceps, hamstrings, buttocks, calves and biceps.

3. STANDING HIGH FLY COMBO   Face the back of a chair at arm’s length with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Holding chair for support with right hand and a dumbbell in the left hand, bend forward from your hips until your back is parallel to the floor and your torso forms a straight line from head to hips. Let your left arm hang toward the floor, palm facing in. Keeping abs tight, lift elbow directly up so knuckles are pointing down at the top of the movement (A). Lower arm to starting position, then bend elbow up and out to the side, extending arm in line with shoulders, and squeeze shoulder blades (B). Lower and repeat entire combo for 8–12 reps per arm.
Recommended weight:  3–5 pounds in each hand. Strengthens middle and rear shoulders and upper back.

4. PUSH-UP WITH LEG LIFTED   Get down on all fours with hands under shoulders, arms straight but not locked, knees under hips. Extend right leg behind you at hip height so you’re balanced on the left leg and your body forms one line from head to toe (A). Keeping abs contracted, bend your elbows, lowering chest to the floor (B). Press upward to starting position. Do 6–8 reps per side. Strengthens chest, front shoulders, triceps, buttocks and abs.

5.  BENT-KNEE CURL-UP   Lie on the floor faceup, knees bent, calves parallel to the floor. Place your hands behind your thighs (A). Press your legs away from you using your hands as resistance; at the same time, contract your abs and lift your head, neck and shoulder blades off the floor (B). This is a small movement; legs will stay bent. Relax to starting position and repeat. Begin with 8–l0 reps, building to 20. Strengthens abs.

6. ALTERNATE SINGLE-LEG REACH   Lie faceup on the floor and bend knees in toward your chest. Lift your shoulder blades off the floor, contracting your abs, and place both hands lightly on your left leg just below the knee. Keeping your shoulders up by using your abs, extend your right leg out in front of you at about a 45-degree angle as you exhale, bringing navel toward spine (A). Inhale and switch legs, exhaling as you do so (B). Continue to alternate your legs. Begin with 10 reps (1 side is 1 rep), building to 20. Strengthens abs.

 

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