Sara Haley’s series on all things pregnancy continues today with her four favorite exercises for pregnancy! Remember to always talk to your doctor about which exercises you’re approved for during your pregnancy because it can change as your pregnancy progresses. These moves are great to keep you feeling strong and prepared for labor and delivery. Always remember to work at your own pace and comfort level!
What are the best exercises to do during pregnancy? I think I get asked this by every pregnant woman I know … and I’m so glad I do because it is so important to do the right pregnancy exercises. People joke that having a baby is like running a marathon. You train for a marathon, so you need to train for having a baby.
Here are my top five exercises for pregnancy — but the list really could go on and on. Number one isn’t listed, it’s core and Kegel work, which you can find in some of my other posts. Here are the remaining four. You’ll see that I use a chair to assist me and help modify the exercises, as I was over eight months along when I filmed Expecting More, my prenatal workout DVD. Do these exercises and you will go into labor and your postnatal recovery feeling strong and prepared.
Plié (Sumo) Squats
Squats are probably hands-down the best overall exercise you can learn to do correctly. Squats build strength in your legs. When you are pregnant you need your legs more than ever to help support your growing mid-section. Learning to do a proper squat can save you from back, hip and knee pain — all of which can also occur during pregnancy. In a plié squat you rotate out from the hips and use your inner thighs more than in a “normal” squat. This is important during pregnancy because eventually, when your bump is big enough, it will be more comfortable to rotate out from the hips. (Plus, you need your hips to open up more for labor.)
During pregnancy the chest and belly become increasingly larger over nine months. It’s no wonder that women complain of back pain during pregnancy, right? Your back muscles are the ones countering all the extra weight, so get it stronger with rows. I hate to rub it in, but during my nine months I never once complained of back pain in either pregnancy, which I attribute to lots of rows (and core work).