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UnderReview: Belly Beautiful Workout

Patricia_BellyBeautifulIf you’re like me and paranoid about doing unsafe exercises while you’re pregnant, the Belly Beautiful Workout is for you. Not only is instructor Patricia Friberg well-versed in prenatal fitness, but she’s also eight months pregnant in the DVD so you know it’s safe to do during your entire pregnancy (as long as you’ve been cleared by the doc!).

The DVD packs a lot of variety in its 67 minutes. The segments include pelvic-floor work, a warm-up, upper-body exercises, lower-body moves, stretch, and relaxation, with a bonus information segment on diastasis recti.

During pregnancy, it doesn’t take much to warm me up, and this 7-minute segment does the trick. Heck, on a tired day you could even use it as a mini workout. There are plenty of squats, side lunges and static lunges, many of them incorporating  lifting the stability ball overhead. The full-body moves will get you warm from head to toe in a hurry.

The 15-minute upper-body work uses a 6-foot band to work your upper bod. I love how she incorporates sitting on the stability ball in the workout. Sitting on the ball, you work the triceps, biceps, upper back and shoulders. You also do some standing work, such as overhead presses with the band. These overhead presses were super tough, especially because my band was shorter than 6 feet, so I had to take breaks. You also get some push-ups in this segment, which are much tougher now.

The 11-minute lower-body segment is shorter than upper body—and thank goodness! Standard leg raises on all fours were a piece of cake compared to the side leg lifts using the ball for support. My hips were on fire doing leg circles and lifts this way. Pelvic tilts with the ball for support were great for the buns, and lunges get your heart-rate up while burning your legs and buns.

The 8-minute pelvic floor segment doesn’t just have you Kegel-ing for its entirety. Using a stability ball, Patricia talks you through a unique pelvic-floor strengthening segment before using the ball for support doing crunches. While you probably won’t break a sweat during this segment, your pelvic floor muscles will get a workout!

The stretch segment is a nice end to the hard work, with hip openers, side stretches for your obliques and neck stretches. Then there’s the 11-minute relaxation segment that is a great guided meditation. You get comfortable with pillows and go into a progressive-muscle relaxation guide, tightening specific muscles before letting them relax. A great stress reliever!

Although the music leaves a bit to be desired (it reminded me of the Wii’s intro music), Patricia is a great instructor. She encourages breaks and working at your own pace, which is helpful if you’re like me and are having a hard time realizing your capabilities aren’t what they once were.

FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Instruction: ★★★
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★
Music: ★
Fun Factor: ★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★1/2

Fit bottom line: A well-rounded prenatal workout DVD that will be a challenge, especially as you move into the later stages of your pregnancy.

Want to try the Belly Beautiful Workout yourself? Comment below for a chance to win it! We’ll give it to one lucky commenter. (U.S. residents only, please.) —Erin

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