Pregnancy comes with its share of annoying complaints. But the more you exercise during pregnancy, the less you’ll find to complain about. There’s a case to be made for fitness for everyone, but in moms-to-be specifically, pregnancy exercise can: Fight pregnancy fatigue. Low-level tiredness plagues many women during the first trimester, then again late in the third trimester. It seems paradoxical, but sometimes getting too much rest can actually make you feel more pooped. And while you should never push yourself too hard when you’re pregnant, a little nudge can make a big difference in your pregnancy energy level. So take baby steps, go for an easy walk or pop in a pregnancy exercise video. You’ll be surprised at how peppy you feel afterward!
Nobody can attest to this better than Erika Boom who is a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE®) and a Certified Prenatal and Postnatal Instructor. In 2003, Erika opened the doors to Belly-n-Kicks™, the first and only studio in Miami that is completely dedicated to prenatal and post-natal exercise.
Here Erika shares a pregnancy workout to be performed two times per week and alternated with some cardio. She cautions to always get medical clearance from your OB/GYN before engaging in any type of exercise.
EXERCISE 1– One Arm Dumbbell Row (back and arms)
Place one hand and one knee on a utility bench; with the torso almost horizontal, maintain a flat back in a neutral spine position. With the hand that is not on the bench, grip the dumbbell using an overhand grip (with the thumb wrapped around the dumbbell) and extend the arm to the side. To initiate movement, bend arm at elbow and shoulder to pull the dumbbell upward until it reaches the torso. Extend the arm, following the same path used for the upward movement, performing the full range of motion. Do 2 sets of 15 reps each, rest 20-30 seconds in between.
EXERCISE 2 – Knee Push Ups (chest, arms and shoulders)
Come to a hands and knees position (quadruped) on the mat with your hands directly under your shoulders; fingers facing forward and knees under your hips. Engage the abdominals and pull the shoulder blades down your back. Reposition your knees as needed to create a straight line in your body from the knees, through the torso and out through the head. There should be no bend at the hips. Keeping the torso rigid and head aligned with your spine, slowly bend your elbows and lower your body toward the floor. Your elbows should remain close to the sides of your body or flare outwards slightly. Maintaining a rigid torso and head aligned with your spine, press upward through your arms. Do 2 sets of 10-15 reps, rest 20-30 seconds in between
EXERCISE 3 – Bodyweight Squats (legs, butt, hips and core)
Begin standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width and your toes turned out slightly. Your hands are by your sides with your palms facing inward. Keeping your back flat, hinge at your hips and shift them back and down. Your hips and knees bend simultaneously. Continue to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel or almost parallel to the floor. While maintaining the position of your back, chest and head and with the abdominals engaged, exhale and return to start position by pushing your feet into the floor through your heels. Do 2 sets of 15 reps each, rest 20-30 seconds in between
EXERCISE 4 – Dumbbell Reverse Lunge (legs, butt, hips)
Stand with the feet shoulder width apart, and hold a dumbbell at each side. Keeping the torso vertical, take a large step backward. Once the rear foot makes contact with the ground, move downward so that the knee of the rear leg is just above the floor. Ensure that the front knee does not move beyond the toes of the front foot. For each repetition, return to the starting position by following the same path used for the downward movement. Do 2 sets of 15 reps at each side, rest 20-30 seconds in between
EXERCISE 5 – Side Plank (obliques)
While lying on your side bend one elbow to about 90 degrees and rise off the floor. Keep the spine neutral and align the head with the torso. Hold the position for 20 seconds and repeat 2 times on each side
A resident of Florida, Erika Boom has been a staple in the fitness industry for over a decade. Born in Colombia and fluent in both English and Spanish, Erika is a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE®) and a Certified Prenatal and Postnatal Instructor. As a mother and fitness enthusiast, Erika has a unique connection with her clients that stems from her own personal journey toward wellness.