Pregnancy Prehab Plan
- By Dr. Jenni Bruning Brown
- May 31, 2015
Bounce back from baby with athleticism and elegance.
For moms-to-be, making it happily through pregnancy can be like making it through a marathon. Training for pregnancy starts with a solid plan. Be proactive and listen to your body. Focus on the pre-natal phase, or preg prehab, to make bouncing back after baby a bit more of a breeze.
Build your core. Exercises that include spinal stability will strengthen the deep intrinsic muscles that surround the spine. Strengthening your core with simple plank variations will not only properly house your little one, it will also decrease any tension in the lumber spine (which means less low back pain for you).
[Try It Now]: Think of your abdominal wall as plastic shrink wrap. Activate your transverse abdominis as much as possible— it should feel like your navel is pulling strongly into your spine. Hold this sensation for 5 deep breaths, deepening it on each exhalation.
Do cardio. Building a healthy heart brings love to both your bod and your babe. Shoot for 3 hours of moderate cardio per week, and/or one 45 minute session of higher aerobic intensity. Cardiovascular activity during pregnancy decreases the risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
[Try It Now]: Lace up your fly kicks, throw on your favorite shades, and go for a walk (or, as we prefer it, strut). Phone a friend and maintain a pace that is quick, yet still allows you to have a conversation.
Strengthen your lower body. Build leg strength. Balance becomes challenging throughout pregnancy. Establish strong hamstrings and quadriceps to avoid pregnancy waddle and maintain healthy blood flow.
[Try It Now]: Find a wall in your home and start with your feet hip distance apart. Slide into a seated wall-sit position and hold for 30-60 seconds. Be sure your feet and knees are neutral. Maintain a connection between the wall and the back of your pelvis, rib cage, shoulder blades, and the base of your head.
Prep your pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor will be your MVP before, during, and after birth. Strengthening your pelvic floor now decreases pesky urine leaks and increases overall core power. If that’s not convincing enough, a well-conditioned pelvic floor ups your sex life for both you and your man.
[Try It Now]: Seated, standing, or lying down— create the feeling of stopping the flow of urine. Maintain this squeezing action for 10-20 seconds. Repeat 10 times each AM and PM. (You can also find times to squeeze this exercise in while reading, washing dishes, brushing your teeth, or even sitting at your computer).
Use these tips throughout all 9 months of your pregnancy. Always consult your doctor with concerns regarding exercise, and make certain your trainer or group instructor is aware of your budding babe. Your body needs attention now more than ever— condition with a proactive preg prehab approach that will having your post-natal self thanking you for years and workouts to come.