Pre-natal exercises should begin the minute you decide to have a baby or the minute the little pee stick delivers you the good news. The reason for pre-natal exercising is because that little munchin of yours, growing inside of you at an alarming rate, is going to put a lot of pressure on your lower back and hips.
Whether you’re already in shape or not, here are some targeted exercises I teach all my clients. These are exercises I have done myself, so I know they work. The best part about these pre-natal exercises is they can be done lying down. Making a baby can and will leave you tired, so the better shape you’re in the better the experience.
SIDE LYING CLAM
Lying on your side like a pregnant bikini model, rest your head in your hand. If you are in your third trimester, or have a huge belly like I did, you can place a towel under the side of your belly to give additional support.
With your top hand on your hip, lift your knee while keeping your feet connected. Your top hand is there to monitor your hips, keeping them still as opposed to rocking open as you lift your knee.
This is working your glute medius and external rotators, which are important for hip stability and strength.
ADDED CHALLENGE: Place a resistance band just below your knee for additional tension
QUADRIPED or BIRD DOG
I love this exercise for any back pain…pregnant or not. Keep your belly button tight and your eyes straight down in order to keep your spine neutral and supported from your tailbone to the base of your skull. Extend your right arm forward and left leg back.
Reach as if someone is pulling your wrist and ankle away from your body. Keep your hips facing down and abdominal pulling in.
REPS: 10-15 repetitions each side.
ADDITIONAL CHALLENGE: Hold each side for 10 before alternating.
Pressing through your heels, press your hips to the sky squeezing your booty.
ADDITIONAL CHALLENGE: Your growing baby naturally increases the weight pressed. You can advance to a single leg bridge by lifting one leg and pressing through one heel at a time.