This information is intended for use by the Pregnancy Exercise specialist. If you are a mom, please seek advice and guidance from a qualified professional. If you are a qualified professional, the following exercises are suitable for the LOW RISK PREGNANCIES ONLY.
1. Resistance Band Deadlifts - Deadlifts..... but not as you know them! This version is still highly effective with a strong band and much more appropriate for the Pregnant client that a 20kg barbell! Ensure your band has a good level of tension before starting by wrapping it around the fist. Good form protocols still apply - work with a 'strong back' and 'drive through the heels and exhale as you rise'. EXHALE ON EXERTION. Really great work for the glutes, hamstrings, working the bend-to-extend pattern and fascia/musculature of the lumbar and thoracic back. Great for off-setting upper body postural changes that typically occur during Pregnancy and a MUST in any modern Pregnancy Exercise programme.
2. Flexi-Bar Plie Squats
The Pelvic Floor LOVES functional/integrated movement including these plie squats. Add the extra challenge of gentle vibration via the Flexi-Bar to stimulate/integrate the WHOLE CORE. Amazing work for the thighs, glutes, core including the all important Pelvic Floor and of course a wicked workout for the arms and shoulder....supersized multi-tasking - excellent for time-poor mommies. Take care to coach regular breathing while the client is working. During Pregnancy Exercise, there's sometimes a tendency to hold the breath while concentrating on getting the movement right with the Flexi-Bar. NB: Not suitable for clients suffering SPD obviously!
3. Single Leg Sits to Chair/Bench
For my money and I hope yours too, the 'Core & Pillar' includes the GLUTES TOO! This single leg work targets both Glute Max and Med and looks so simple but is really challenging and highly effective (especially as the clients' bump grows). Keeping the glutes strong can help offset the drop into an anteriorly tilted pelvis, which is bad news for the lumbar spine and turns off the Pelvic Floor!!! EXHALE ON EVERY RISE FROM THE BENCH.
4. 'Draw The Swords'
The Pregnant client is prone to developing Upper Crossed Syndrome due to changes in her centre of gravity caused by boob and belly growth. Incorporating strength work for her Thoracic area to promote better posture is essential. Use an appropriate weight, a cable machine or a strong dynaband both work well. EXHALE WITH EVERY PULL OF THE BAND.
5. Resistance Band Scap Retraction With The Breath
Yep! The thoracic back should also be considered a part of the 'core'. A great exercise to give as homework. Drawing the band wide at shoulder height with the emphasis on scapular retraction is just great at strengthening those upper back posture muscles which ultimately helps to offset the changes in centre of mass and loss of alignment/optimal posture as the Trimesters progress. EXHALE AS THE BAND IS PULLED APART.