Pregnancy Fitness is one of the pillars of a smooth pregnancy and a faster postnatal recovery. If you are unable to attend a prenatal fitness class, find below some simple prenatal exercises to do at home with equipment which you can easily find at home – water bottles, chair, dupatta / stole, towel, pillows.
Before you start any kind of exercise, get your doctor's approval on it. Due to a modified sense of balance, it can affect your form and cause injury. Hence, you must start slow with one set of eight repetitions on each side, working up to two to three sets of 16. Exercise at least thrice a week. Start with a 10 minute warm up and never exercise with cold muscles.
1. Squats: squats strengthen the lower body and take pressure off the lower back as your weight increases. Start slowly holding a sturdy chair or a wall with your toes and knees turned out to 45 degrees, pull your belly button up and in. Bend your knees, lowering your torso as low as possible while keeping your back straight. Straighten your legs to return to the starting position.
2. Lunges: lunges strengthen your hips, thighs and buttocks. Stand up tall, feet, hip width apart. Step your right leg forward bend your knee until it reaches a 90-degree angle, making sure your knee doesn't creep over your ankle.
3. Calf Raise: Step both feet up on a stair, allowing your heels to hang over the back. (Choose a spot near a wall so you can grab it for support.) Raise yourself up on your tiptoes, hold for a second or two, then roll your heels down slightly below the step. This exercise will strengthen the back of your lower leg.
4. Standing Push-Up - Pregnant women should stand facing a wall. Place the palms on the wall at shoulder height, slightly wider than your shoulders. Place your legs at a 45-degree angle to the wall. Bend at the elbows and do push ups a few inches from the wall. Return to starting position. This exercise trains the muscles of the Chest, shoulders, lower back.
5. Curl and Lift: Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair with your back straight, feet on the floor, arms at your sides. Hold a 1 litre bottle in each hand (if you don’t have weights at home), palms facing your body. Bend your elbows so your arms form a 90-degree angle. Then, keeping your elbows bent, lift the bottles to shoulder height. Lower your arms to your sides, then straighten to return to starting position. Repeat for repetitions. This will help strengthen your biceps and shoulders.
6. One-Arm Row: Using a sturdy chair, place your right knee on the seat, left foot on the floor. Bend forward, back parallel to the floor and place your right hand on the seat. Hold a 1 litre bottle in your left hand, arm extended down and in line with your shoulder, palm facing in. Bend your left elbow up so that your arm forms a 90-degree angle. Hold, then return to starting position. Repeat for reps, then switch sides. This exercise strengthens back, biceps and triceps.
7. Pelvic tilts: Lie on your back on the floor with knees bent, hands by your side, gently squeeze your hips and lift them up using your thigh muscles. This helps you release lower back muscles and strengthen deep abdominals to support the uterus.
8. Side-Lying Leg lifts: Lie on your right side, head supported by your forearm, right leg bent at a 45-degree angle and left leg straight. With your left arm hold a cotton stole /dupatta to lift your left leg to about hip height and repeat for reps. Switch sides and repeat for reps. This exercise strengthens core and inner thighs.
9. Child's Pose: Relax in child’s pose at the end by getting down on all fours, either on a mat on the floor or on your bed. If necessary, put a pillow or rolled towel below or behind your knees and or feet. Lean forward, extend your arms in front of you and rest your forehead on the floor or a pillow. Keep your spine long and your neck relaxed. Hold for as long as you like.
For more details about various exercises and online sessions, please contact Seema Kazi Rangnekar @ Sama Birthing & Beyond
You can also view and book mom reviewed Prenatal and Birthing classes closer to your location
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