Do you love watching your growing belly? Personally I loved my big belly and my pregnant body, that is, until the eighth month when I felt nothing but huge and uncomfortable.
To help keep up my love for my ever-changing body, I made sure that I exercised at least three times a week. Getting out and moving around made a big difference to how I felt about my body.
My favorite pregnancy exercises were brisk walking, the elliptical machine, and swimming. (I had to give up playing squash because of the quick changes in direction!) If you’ve read my book, though, you already know that swimming was definitely my number one choice—it not only helped with my overheating problem, but was excellent for toning my arms and legs; specifically, the deep water walking!
Nevertheless, I get a lot of emails from women complaining that they either don’t have a pool or that they can’t float. So, if the water is not your friend but you still want to look great (who wouldn’t, right!?), here are four great exercises to help you tone your arms and thighs.
(Note: please get the okay from your doctor before doing any exercise during pregnancy!)
Triceps Dips. Sit on the side of a bench or ledge, place your hands on the edge of the bench, fingers facing forward. Lift your bum off the bench and move it slightly forward. Dip down towards the ground and push back up again, only bending at the elbow, do not move your shoulders forward! And do not dip lower than your shoulder height! Repeat 12-15 times.
Triceps Kickback. Lean forward on a bench, placing your same hand and knee on the bench. Hold a weight in your opposite hand (can even be a soup can!), and bring your upper arm parallel with your body. Now only moving from your elbow, bend your arm 90 degrees and straighten it again. You should feel the back of your arm working (tricep area!). Repeat 12–15 times.
(Note: Please get the okay from your doctor before doing any exercise during pregnancy!)
Lunges. Standing, step one leg forward (big step), hold on to a wall or railing and then dip down to the floor and back up again, squeezing your bum and pushing through your heel. Do not let your front knee go past your toes. Repeat 12–15 times each leg.
Ball squats. Stand with your back to a wall, place the ball on the wall behind your lower back. Step your feet forward and place them shoulder width apart. Slowly sit down to your knee height—not below—and then push back up again. On the way up, focus on pressing through your heels—so you use those bum muscles, not your knees! Repeat 12–15 times. Do a kegel at the bottom so you get extra benefit!
Don’t fall prey to the belief that pregnant women can’t look and feel good—you absolutely can and will!
Originally published in Pregnancy without Pounds