Sara Haley is one of our favorite pre- and post-natal exercise specialists around here. She shares awesome, fun workouts with us and great fitness tips, too. Sara has a miles-long fitness resume, including being a Reebok Global Master Trainer and choreographing and starring in more than 10 fitness DVDs. She’s a certified trainer and certified Pre/Post Natal Exercise Specialist. Today, she shares her insight on working on core strength during pregnancy.
Now that you’re pregnant, I’m sure that you’ve heard the word “Kegel” once or twice. We talk about doing them but does anyone actually do them? It’s honestly silly not to, as it’s one of the simplest and quickest exercises you can do. Plus, you can do them anywhere! So why don’t women do them? I think it’s partly because they think it’s not going to do much (because it is such a small exercise), and I also think many women find them boring. (Please note: If you need to know how to do a Kegel, check out this video.)
If you’re bored to tears by Kegels, here are some of my favorite ways to mix them up.
3 Ways to Switch Up Your Kegels
1. Work for endurance: Start your timer for 10 seconds. How many Kegels can you do? (Gradually increase how long you set the timer.)
2. Work for strength: Start the timer. How long can you hold your Kegel (while still breathing)?
3. Add some weights: This is especially great for postnatal recovery, and will be a true test of your pelvic floor work. Try using some Kegel weights, like Lelo beads. Can you keep the weights in as you Kegel? As you walk? As you squat?
Keep in mind you only really need to do about 10 Kegels a day, and while it’s great to do them, there is no need to overdo them. We want those muscles to be very supple as well, so you can have an easy delivery.
A big thanks to Sara for sharing! And just like so many prenatal exercises are great for pregnancy, they’re also great for postpartum recovery as well, like these moves for a strong core. Just make sure you always have your doc’s approval! —Erin