While each mother should work at her own level and pace, personal trainer Christin Tercek shared her routine for pre- and postnatal strength training. The series focuses on strengthening the hips, glutes and hamstrings, which help during all stages of childbirth, and shoulder-specific exercises, which prepare mothers for holding newborns. With a focus on lighter weights and higher repetitions, the series should be performed for three rounds of 15 to 20. Tercek recommends ending the series by stretching the hip, hamstring and glute regions, which are heavily impacted during pregnancy. Her stretch of choice is cat/cow.
Strengthens hamstrings, glutes and hips
Start with your feet wider than your hips and toes slightly turned out. Hold a light kettlebell at chin level, keeping the lats engaged. Shift the tailbone back, and drop into a squat with the chest lifted, weight in the heels. Driving through the heels, return to a standing position.
Place an elastic band around your ankles, and stand with a slight bend in your knees. While hinging forward and driving through the heels, pick up one foot, moving it a few inches to the side, keeping tension on the elastic band and your toes pointed directly foward. Walk for 8–10 feet, then reverse and go the other way.
Stability Hip Thrust
Strengthens hamstrings, glutes and core
Find a stability ball that allows for your legs to be in 90-degree position when your upper back is resting on it. Starting in a tabletop position, keep your hips level and cross your arms at the chest. Keeping the weight in the heels, drop the tailbone toward the floor, pause, and then raise your hips up toward the ceiling.
Low Elbow Row
Strengthens lats and posture
Place a resistance band around a sturdy anchor, and lean back slightly to put tension on it. Stand with a tall posture, keeping the shoulders back and down and your head neutral. With your elbows tucked in and wrists neutral, pull on the band, using a rowing motion. For additional upper body work, try another variation with the palms facing the floor and your elbows wide.
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