I am currently 32 weeks pregnant and still making sure I can find the time for an effective and safe pregnancy workout at least 3x a week (ideally more!). I have probably been more strict with my pregnancy workout regimen than I was pre-pregnancy, as I definitely want to stay healthy throughout the 9 months and do as much as I can to ensure that I ‘bounce back’ post baby.
What is considered a Safe Pregnancy Workout?
Debates abound, but the overall consensus when it comes to a pregnancy safe workout is doing as much as your own body can handle, and knowing your limits. While I have definitely toned down the amount of cardio I do, I have amped up the strength training, even lifting heavier weights than I was pre-pregnancy. What’s my overall strategy? To focus on my arms and legs. Arms and legs are easier to tone than the core during these 9 months, and I think still give you a sense of ‘shape’, even if the rest of you is filling out. While I am not necessarily seeing physical results of more toned arms and legs during pregnancy (because you gain weight everywhere!), I can tell that I feel stronger, and know that after I shed the weight what will remain are defined arm and leg muscles.
What’s My Full Gym Workout?
So what’s my full gym workout? As I am also rehabbing my knee from surgery last year, I have been aiming to start my workout with 20-25 minutes of interval training on a stationary bike to get my heart rate up. Then I follow with one of the below arm or leg circuits, which takes about 20 minutes. Finally, I do a cool down stretch for at least 10 minutes to lengthen my tight muscles.
I have also been going to barre class 1x a week and aiming for 30 minutes of yoga 2x a week as well to stay limber.
Why this workout?
The best part about the below workouts is that you can do them from home! Buy yourself a set of 8-10 pound weights and do your best to nail the number of reps I’ve stated below. If you can’t do that many reps, thats ok! Start with a lower number and slowly work your way up. This workout is more effective with heavier weights and less reps than lighter weights and more reps. While I do believe in a well rounded exercise regimen, I can’t praise the benefits of lifting heavier weights enough to build muscle tone quickly. You will definitely be sore for a few days after completing this workout the first few times, but know that that is good, and that your body is changing. This workout is designed to not stress your abdomen or back, so you shouldn’t feel any stress in your core!
Both circuits are 5 exercises each, and are intended to be completed 3 times through. Here is the leg and butt circuit:
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Below is the arm and shoulder circuit!
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