Kelsey Taylor, Wellness director/Personal trainer, Angie’s List:
We’re going to have Lisa demonstrate a squat for prenatal exercise. You notice that she’s got her feet a little bit more than hip width apart. She’s going to kind of keep her hands here, on her quads, so that she can insure her balance. We have a stability ball placed behind the back. She’s going to go down and back up. Notice that she keeps her head nice and high in a neutral position as she comes down and back up. This is going to strengthen the legs.
Prenatal ball squat:
Feet hip width apart & forward
Hands on quads for safety
Place ball very low for support
Perform 3 sets of 15
Next, we’re going to demonstrate the cat and cow. We have Lisa in the quadruped position. She’s going to slightly bring the hips back just a little bit, so the knees are aligned with the hips, and [move] the hands back just a little bit so that they are just underneath the shoulder. This is a good stretch for the back and it also helps to stabilize the core. So, we’re going to have Lisa exhale as she does cat, and she tilts the pelvis in. And cow—notice that’s she’s got a pelvic tilt on each exercise.
Prenatal cat & cow:
Knees underneath hips
Hands beneath shoulders
Relieves stress on lower back
Next, we’ll have Lisa, while she’s in the quadruped position, demonstrate the bird dog which is going to strengthen her core. It’s a good way to get a little abdominal work for the pregnant woman. You’ll notice, again, in the quadruped position, that the knees are just under the hips, and the hands are just under the shoulders. Slowly, Lisa is going to lift her left leg and her right arm, and she is going to extend them out. Hold, 2, 3 and back down and switch to the opposite.
Lift leg high
Extend and reach
Keep knees wide
Think long & lean
Next, we’re going to have Lisa demonstrate a hip bridge. Notice that her feet are hip width apart, and her knees are bent and hands are down to the side. The hip bridge with strengthen the glutes, the hamstring and the core and can also help to prevent breech birth. We’re going to have Lisa slowly lift her hips. She’s going to hold that position, and then she’s going to do a pelvic tilt. It naturally shows the child which way to come down and turn itself around, if he’s in the wrong position. And then she’s going to squeeze the baby, hug the baby, and you notice that it tightened up just a little bit there. She’s going to hold this position and then she’s going to slowly bring it back down. Now, if we want to get a little more advanced: we’ll have her lift, pelvic tilt, squeeze the baby, now slowly bring your hands together underneath and squeeze.
Prenatal hip bridge:
Directs baby to correct own position
Keep arms straight
Next, Lisa is going to demonstrate the perineal stretch here on the ball. This will prepare the body to give birth to the baby. The perineum is in the undercarriage of the body. What we are going to do is make small circles. We’re going to start going around and around on the ball there. Reverse the circle, and then go forward and backward. We going to have you do a bit of a pelvic tilt when you’re doing this. You should feel a bit of a massage.
Sit near center of ball
Check proper foot placement
Use pelvic tilt during forward/back
Prenatal exercise tips:
Don’t start new strenuous regimen
Be mindful of body temperature
Always be able to hold a conversation
Any discomfort or spotting? Stop and consult physician