Joanie Johnson, certified personal trainer and founder of Fit Pregnancy Club in New York City, says these exercises are safe for most pregnant women—provided you get your doctor’s okay.
Time: 10 minutes
Equipment: 3 – 8 dumbbell
Good for: Total-Body
Instructions: Start with a five minute warmup to get your heart rate up (march in place, step from side to side, etc.) For each exercise move, perform the reps as directed. Then continue to the next move. Repeat entire circuit more than once for a longer workout. Finish with a five minute cool-down and stretches.
Pump and kegel
How to: Stand up straight, with your hands over your belly. Slowly inhale using your diaphragm and release your core muscles. Then, use your ab muscles to hug the baby towards your body (imagine you’re trying to zip up a pair of pants that are too tight). gently lift your pelvic floor muscles at the same time. Inhale and release your abdominals and pelvic floor muscles. That’s one rep. Perform 20 reps, continue to the next move.
How to: Stand with your feet spread out, wider than hip-width. Point your left foot away from your body, and right foot forward. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms bent, dumbbells near your shoulders. Slowly bend your left knee as far as you can, without letting your knee go past your foot. As you do, extend your right arm to the ground, then away from your body, engaging your triceps. Return to start. That’s one rep. Perform 20 reps on each side. Continue to the next move.
How to: Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides, palms facing forward, and keep your back straight and chest up. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the weights toward your shoulders. Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position, straightening your arms completely. That’s one rep. Perform 10 to 15 reps, continue to the next move.
Lunge pulse with overhead press
How to: Stand with your left foot forward and your right foot a couple of feet behind. With a dumbbell in each hand, press your arm overhead as you drop into a lunge position. Return to start and repeat on the right side. Perform 10 reps on each side, continue to the next move.
How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in front of your chest, elbows pointing toward the floor. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat. Lower the dumbbell to the floor at the same time. Push yourself back to start. That’s one rep. Perform 10 to 15 reps, continue to the next move.
Side-lying leg extension
How to: Lie on your left side and place your left forearm on the floor. Bend your knees and stack your right leg on top of your left leg, with your left hip resting on the ground. Extend your right leg straight and behind your body. Return to start. That’s one rep. Perform 15 to 20 reps, then repeat on the other side. Continue to the next move.
How to: Lie on your left side and place your left forearm on the floor. Bend your knees and stack your right leg on top of your left leg, with your left hip resting on the ground. Rotate your right knee towards the ceiling, keeping your feet together. Lower your leg, keeping your hips raised throughout. That’s one rep. Perform 20 reps, then repeat on the other side. Continue to the next move.
How to: Sit with your hands stacked directly under your shoulders, fingers forward. Place your feet on the floor, knees bent. Keeping your arms straight, hover your butt above the ground. Bend your arms and lower your butt, stopping when you nearly reach the floor. Push yourself back up to starting position. That’s one rep. Perform 10 reps. Repeat entire sequence two to three times, as preferred.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com