Daily Pregnancy Workout: 36-40 weeks

Woah! You read that right 36-FORTY weeks. This workout is approved for those who are counting down the weeks, days, and hours, until that new little life comes into the world!

While I sit here at 38 weeks, I will honestly say this workout tilts on the advanced side for me right now…but I adjust each move to be safe for my abilities that day.  Please listen to your body and avoid ANY movements that pull, tug, or strain.  The purpose of having a daily workout at this stage in pregnancy is to: 1. keep a healthy blood flow 2. reduce the length of inactivity (because there will be zero exercising immediately after baby) 3. maintain energy levels — So if accomplishing these goals looks like going for a walk…by all means enjoy your stroll. But if you’re out of ideas and exercising in your living room & pajamas sounds appealing – give this bump-friendly workout a try!

BACK LEG LIFTS (assisted) – 12 reps/side

Since you can’t lay on your stomach, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good it feels to be in a somewhat pronated position! Great isolation for strong glutes.

  • Use a chair for support.
  • Maintain a neutral spine: as back leg lifts, chest lowers to the ground.
  • Keep a short range of motion for each lift. Little pulses will do the trick!

STATIONARY LUNGES (assisted) – 12 reps/side

You may not need the assistance, but I found the prop to be helpful getting UP each time! Another solid exercise for the entire lower body.

  • Use a chair to reduce the weight load.
  • Stagger feet slightly off center for balance and joint alignment.
  • Keep back heel off the ground and drop back knee straight down.

SQUAT HOLD +HEEL LIFTS – 24 heel lifts

Take a traditional squat, angle the toes out, and get ready for the burn! This exercise increases stability and can be easily adapted for any fitness level. Simply adjust the height of your squat and squeeze with everything you’ve got!

  • Legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes angled out 45º.
  • Keep knees wide over the outer part of your foot.
  • Lower down until you’ve reached a comfortably challenging position. Alternate lifting heels off the ground.

LAYING INNER THIGH LEG LIFTS – 12 reps/side

Anything that can be done laying on your side is a thumbs up. Give your inner thighs some attention and it’ll pay off big time on D Day!

  • Lay on one side, starting with legs straight and stacked.
  • Bend your top leg and place that foot in front of the other knee/ankle.
  • Lift bottom leg off the ground and continue with reps ranging about 2-4 inches.

BENT SIDE LEG LIFTS (aka “fire hydrant”) – 12 reps/side

Hips feeling achy and sore? It helps to strengthen the muscles surrounding those weary ligaments and increase the blood flow to that area. Thus, the “fire hydrant” comes to the rescue.

  • Align shoulder directly over wrists and hips directly over knees (may open that angle slightly for extra belly room).
  • Lift leg out to the side, keeping your knee bent at a 90-120º angle.
  • Try not to rock to the opposite side to lift. Rather keep weight evenly distributed between your hands.

MODIFIED PUSH UPS – 12 reps

So this has morphed from push ups to pulse ups. The range of motion is reduced as you lower only far enough for your pretty belly to gently tap the ground.

  • Walk hands out so that tops of thighs are on the ground and lift feet up.
  • Slow and controlled, lower chest to the ground.
  • Exercise can also be performed against a wall if preferred.

AND AS ALWAYS…

End with 10 stomach vacuums and 10 kegals. For further explanation of these two miracle workers, click here and scroll to the bottom!

Care for more advice? I’ve got one more bit for you. Please…please…don’t compare your labor story to someone else. There is no one birth more beautiful than the other. If you have a “birth plan” and it works out that way, that is wonderful! If you have a “birth plan” and NONE of it happens the way you imagined, that is wonderful!  This is not the time to set unrealistic expectations of yourself (or of your baby). So go into the experience with gratitude, humbleness, and JOY! Love you!

See you on the postpartum side,

Emily Field

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