The Daily Pregnancy Workout: 22-28 weeks

2nd trimester is in the books…less than 3 months to go for Field baby #2! The time is flying by and creeping along at the same time.  Staying motivated to stay active has been a challenge, so I welcome the peer accountability!

Now having gained a quick 24 pounds and carrying a 28 pound-20 month old…I’ve moved from the phase of “strength management” to “pain management”.  My lower back is a brick and my sciatic nerves are inflamed, so I’ve put all my energy towards movements that help alleviate these ailments.  Back issues are the most common in all adults, pregnant or not, so hopefully this super quick daily workout will be just the medicine you’ve been looking for!

Also, if you are earlier in your pregnancy or are simply looking for an additional workout option, check out The Daily Pregnancy Workout: 18-22 weeks.

Just 7 exercises!  In 12-15 minutes you’ll be finished and on your merry way with your day:

  • 25 squats
  • 12 rocking lunges per leg
  • 12 oblique leg lifts per side
  • 25 table top reaches
  • 25 push ups
  • 25 laying leg extensions
  • 12 side tricep push ups per side

And don’t forget…finish up with 10 *kegels & 10 **stomach vacuums!

SQUATS

A staple in every workout. Start out warming up the largest muscle group, your quads, to get the rest of your body ready for work!

  • Toes facing forward, feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart
  • Lower down through your heels keeping knees wide
  • Keep pace steady and quick to increase heart rate

ROCKING LUNGES

One of the best exercises for sculpting and lengthening.  Back leg is being strengthened in an extended position, so the quad stays long and lean.  As your back leg straightens, the muscles are packed at the top of your glute for a “perking” effect.

  • Simply keep the width from your squat and turn to one side. Adjust depth by walking front foot out a little further.
  • Lower down so that front and back legs are at a 90 degree angle.
  • Lift half way up to get in starting position.  Slowly rock the back heel up and back down.

OBLIQUE LEG LIFTS

It’s around this time in pregnancy that my core focus gradually moves to the obliques. Because guess what? There’s a baby in the middle.  This is 2 for 1 move because of the added balance component as well.

  • Shift weight to one leg, opposite arm starts up
  • As you lift your “free” leg, pull arm down
  • Elbow should meet right behind your knee, squeezing the space between your rib and hip

TABLE TOP REACHES

Time to give some attention to stabilizing the core.  I love what this exercise has done for my lower back, but it’s important that it’s done properly to be effective!

  • Position so that knees are directly below hips and wrists are directly below shoulders.
  • Lift right arm and left leg simultaneously, without rocking or twisting to one side. Pretend like there is a metal rod connecting your stomach to the ground.
  • Keep your back and neck neutral and avoid creating a dip in your lower back. Slowly return and alternate arms and legs.

PUSH UPS

Another cornerstone in your daily workout.  Performing push ups is one of the easiest ways to keep tabs on the progression or regression of your overall physical strength.

  • Rock forward until weight is on the tops of the quads, not directly on your knees
  • Lower chest to the floor keeping neck and spine neutral
  • Elbows bend back at a 45 degree angle.

LAYING LEG EXTENSIONS

Like the table top reach, this exercise is awesome for the lower back and strengthening the lower abdominals.  I find myself doing a few of these throughout the day to refresh tired muscles.

  • Laying flat on your back (if comfortable) bring knees up to 90 degrees.
  • Before extending, make adjustments to ensure your lower back is completely flat on the ground
  • Extend one leg straight out so heel is about 6 inches off the ground.  Return to starting position before extending the other leg.

SIDE TRICEP PUSH UPS

This workout ends with an upper body challenge! These are not easy, but I like any exercise that’s done on your side because you can continue doing them through the end of pregnancy.

  • Start on one side, with the floor side arm up by your ear. Legs are straight and hips are slightly hinged forward to help balance.
  • Take the other hand and place palm closely in front of your armpit. Be careful not to over turn the wrist in or out…but in a straight alignment with your forearm.
  • Bring the floor side arm up to your shoulder and push up. To modify, only return half way down and simply pulse the top half of the movement rather than going all the way down between reps.

Finishing up…

*Kegels: Your doctor, a friend, or a random internet site has probably already brought these to your attention.  Pretend like you have to go to the bathroom (or chances are you actually do), and squeeze the interior muscles to hold it in.

**Stomach vacuums: Stand with your back and heels against a flat wall. Inhale. As you exhale, pull your belly button towards your spine (not sucking in!…contracting). Hold for a few seconds and release. Take my word for it…this exercise is a MUST for the heath of your abdominal wall!

 Tip for success: Pair this workout with 2-3 inspiring songs to help round out the mood.  When your body, mind, and soul, get connected–big things happen!

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