Pregnancy is a beautiful thing.
It is also, to put it lightly, a very challenging thing.
Many women report gaining much more than just baby weight during their pregnancies, along with a whole slew of cramps and pains.
This why good exercise is doubly important during pregnancy – not only does it keep you healthy, but it’s one of the most reliable ways of dealing with weight gain and muscle pain.
So let’s look at 5 exercise moves that are perfect for pregnant women! (And, of course, make sure you consult your doctor before starting any exercise plan.)
Squats are popular for reason – they’re one of the best moves for strengthening your legs and glutes. This is important, since these muscles support a lot of extra weight during pregnancy!
Start by standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your thighs or straight in front of you. Then, lower your body as if you were sitting in a chair, going down as far as you can. Slowly raise yourself back up then repeat.
This move will help work out your glutes (which we think you’ll agree are important before, during, and after pregnancy). It will also help prevent lower back pain.
Lie down on your back and tuck your heels close to your butt, shoulder-width apart. Then push your hips up all the way while squeezing your glutes. Hold this for 3-5 seconds, then lower your hips back down. Repeat.
It’s tough to find a good core exercise during pregnancy, since pregnancy weakens and stretches your core muscles. Luckily, planks are a low impact way to keep your core muscles strong while also preventing lower back pain.
Start with your hands directly under your shoulders, slightly further apart than shoulder-width. Without locking your knees, make sure your head, neck, back, and legs form a straight line. Squeeze your glutes and hold for as long as you can.
Your leg and back muscles are super important during pregnancy – but don’t forget your arms! Standing bicep curls will help keep your arms and shoulders strong.
Stand with your legs hip-width apart and knees partially bent, dumbbells in hand. Starting in front of your thighs, curl your dumbbells up to your chest then slowly lower them back to your thighs. Repeat.
This is another great move that will help you maintain arm strength. Plus, it will help you maintain proper posture (which can be tough during pregnancy). Make sure you have your suspension cable set up for this one!
Holding the suspension cable handles, straighten your body like you did for the plank and lean back with your arms straight forward. Normally, you’d want to reach a 45-degree angle, but just get as close as you can. Pull yourself up until your elbows meet your rib cage, then lower back down. Repeat.