This workout is designed for any pregnant or postpartum woman. But all may partake of the workout. You will find that it is on the easier scale but nonetheless it is about doing the work and being present for each rep and taking the time for yourself.
15-30 minutes of brisk walking, swimming or any cardio that will bring your HR to a range of 120-140 bpm.
Transverse abdominal contractions: inhale and as you exhale feel yourself drawing the baby toward your spine. Hold that and keep breathing fully through the lungs while holding the transverse in contraction. If you are early in pregnancy or any postpartum can do this on your back, if it is uncomfortable I recommend standing against a wall. Use a mirror to see the contraction, belly will pull in and up. 2 rounds of 10 reps.
Big belly breath: opposite of drawing the belly in and up. Push the belly out as big as you can make it, hold that and start to breathe. Again, stand up if lying on your back is uncomfortable but focus on maintaing the shape and size and the belly while breathing full inhales and exhales. 2 rounds of 10 reps.
Half range squat x10 I always like to start here and make sure I am properly engaging through the feet, legs and upper body. It is a great way to warm up the legs, and as you progress through the ten reps you can start to increase the range of your squat.
Full range squats x15 optional to add weight here the purpose is to keep weight through the feet, especially in the heels while the big toe maintains contact with the floor. Work to push hips back and keep abdominals engaged with a flat back. Always use a mirror, especially when you are pregnant. Resist the urge to lean into your flexibility, this exercise is about increasing your leg strength, not dropping into a stretch.
Loaded carry: this can be a grocery bag, a small weight, or even a pair of kettle bells. I want you to think about carrying your child, so if there are a lot of stairs in your home or to get to where you live then you should be walking up the stairs with the weight. If not, you can add stairs but it is about maintaining posture while holding the weight. Vital for the transition to motherhood, you want to feel lifted through the joints, in control of your breath and focused on your alignment. I recommend starting out with 5-10 lbs and building from there. If you already have your babe, I would suggest trying to lift heavier than they are, so you are introducing the weight into your body while you have full attention on your positioning. Go for time, start at two minutes and build from there.
Band Pull Apart: you will need an exercise band for this. Depending on the thickness of the band, position your hands so you can open your arms and the band will touch your breast bone. Retract your shoulders back and down, straighten the arms out in front of you and pull the band so your hand line up with your shoulders. 2 rounds of 15
Side plank hold: go for time, start at 30 seconds and build up to 90 seconds. You can modify this with both knees down, pulled slightly forward. Another modification is to start on all fours, keep right hand and right shin down and extend the left leg, rotating open to the left side to stack shoulders, hips and feet. Or both legs are straight and stacked in the full side plank position. Choose what works best for you and make sure you are feeling the tricep, lat, oblique and gluteus minimimus engaged. Work to increase time, however if you are pregnant, it is more about engagement, hold and rest when needed.
To finish your workout
Couch stretch: Place either shin against the wall, with the other leg depending on your flexibility you will bring the knee in front of the hip, or stepping the opposite foot into a lunge position. From there you can lift the chest up, engage the glute of the shin that is against the wall and hold this stretch. Focus on breathing into the quadricep, front of the hip and even into the abdominals. Go for time but try to aim to hold this position for at least two minutes.