When I was pregnant with my twin boys, I totally embraced the whole idea that my body was a temple. I devoted plenty of time to pregnancy workouts, and made sure that walking and prenatal yoga were part of my regular routine. I ate super-healthy for most of the pregnancy (until my insatiable need for banana pudding kicked in around 8 months). At the risk of sounding like one of those really annoying pregnancy-braggarts, I felt good during my pregnancy. I felt really good, with minimal discomfort, no back pain, an easy time sleeping, and a reasonable amount of weight gain. That’s no easy feat when you’re pregnant with twins! And I absolutely believe it was due to the low-impact pregnancy workouts I fit into my schedule.
The research backs it up. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant moms get plenty of exercise because it has minimal risks, and it’s been shown to benefit most women by managing weight gain and improving their overall health. According to The Mayo Clinic, exercise can also help alleviate pregnancy symptoms like back aches, constipation, and bloating; other benefits include boosting your mood, helping you sleep better, and making you stronger.
“I recommend that pregnant moms get at least 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week, if approved by their doctor,” says Yvonne Bohn, MD, a California-based ob-gyn, and co-author of the book Mommy Doc’s Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth. “Working the core especially helps to keep the abdominal muscles strong and tight and helps to alleviate the pressure that the growing uterus places on the lower back. Also, decreased weight gain, improved core strength, and overall fitness help during the hardest part of delivery, which is pushing the baby out.”
With that in mind, we asked founder of Beach Babe Fitness, Christina Sinclair, to come up with some amazing workouts for mamas-to-be. She had her first baby last year, so she totally gets it. These exercises will strengthen your back, your core, and your pelvic floor muscles. They’ll also keep your legs, arms, and butt strong and sexy.
Pregnancy Workout #1: Toning Your Arms
No weights are required for these arm-sculpting exercises, so you can do them anywhere, anytime — no excuses!
Pregnancy Workout #2: Squats
In addition to keeping your backside firm and sexy, squats can help open up your pelvis, and stretch the muscles, both of which will aid in vaginal delivery and help prevent tearing.
Pregnancy Workout #3: Strengthen Your Bum
Lower back aches and hip pain are a common complaint of mamas-to-be. This butt-boosting workout will help take the pressure off of those weakened areas.
Pregnancy Workout #4: Tone Your Glutes
Here’s another great routine that will strengthen your hips, and tighten your outer gluteus muscles, so you’ll look great and feel even better.
Pregnancy Workout #5: Yoga Stretches
Some simple stretches will keep your body limber, help you sleep, and boost your mood.