4 Balance-Building Pregnancy Workouts

pregnant-woman-yoga_Getty-482144315_4.jpg

Nearly any safe exercise for pregnancy will help with your stability—just be sure to keep at least one foot on the ground (no box jumps!) and slow down a little in dance cardio classes with complicated footwork. That said, these practices may give you more balance bang for your buck. 

Related: 5 Ways Pregnancy Affects Your Balance

Swimming

pregnant woman swimming GettyImages.com

In a pool, you don't have to worry about tripping, making laps a perfect cardio aternative to jogging, according to Lisa Druxman, a trainer in San Diego and founder of Fit-4-Mom. You'll work all the muscles necessary for balance: Abs, obliques, lumbar muscles, glutes and hip fexors stretch and strengthen simultaneously in this all-in-one workout. Plus, if your pelvis has been slanting forward on dry land, the lower-gravity conditions in the pool help you realign—which feels great and may train your pelvis to tilt less.

Barre

barre fitness studio GettyImages.com

Barre exercises engage and stretch hip flexors and the lower back. "Strengthening the inner and outer thigh muscles bolsters the joints to keep you steady," says Jennifer McCaish, owner of Dancers Shape, a barre fitness studio in Austin, Texas. Between leg lifts and pliés, you'll also activate the deep-set transverse abdominal muscles and improve your posture. Bonus: You'll have the barre to support you.

Related: The Prenatal Workout You Haven't Tried

Prenatal Yoga

pregnant woman yoga GettyImages.com

"Yoga is all about equilibrium," says Anne Rust, prenatal yoga instructor and co-founder of MamaSeeds, a fitness and health website for new and expecting moms. In yoga, strength-building poses are practiced on both sides, encouraging symmetry. And balancing poses will keep your rapidly changing body up to speed. Plus, yoga involves stretching, which encourages muscles to hug the joints in place, providing additional stability. "Don't worry if you topple over," Rust adds. "A growth spurt may throw you off one week, but you're likely to regain that balance the following week." Can't find a prenatal class but want to try yoga anyway? Look for class names that include "gentle," beginner" or "restorative" and avoid class names with "hot," "Bikram" or "Vinyasa flow;" also, skip poses that involve lying on your back or stomach and sit out any twisting moves.

Spinning

woman in spin class GettyImages.com

"Pedaling gives the hip joints a safe range of motion," says Francina Segbefia, indoor cycling instructor at Revolve Fitness, a cycling studio in Arlington, Va., who gave birth this January. Without a regular workout, your hip flexors tend to constrict, especially if you sit all day, and when they get tight your pelvis hitches forward—not something you need to exaggerate right now. Hopping on a stationary bike puts the hip flexors to work. Plus, you'll tone secondary muscle groups like quads and hamstrings, which also improve overall balance, Segbefia adds. Just skip out-of-the saddle moves to protect your knees.

Related: The Mom-to-Be's Guide to Spinning

Comments

Add a comment
close