Quick and Easy Exercises for Moms-to-be
Expectant moms can very well exercise to keep themselves fit and healthy. As long as they get their doctor’s okay, they can reap the rewards of an active lifestyle. Not only is it a great way to relieve any stress and discomfort related to your delicate condition, it’s also good preparation for childbirth. Linzi Arellano-Co, Pilates instructor and owner of Pure Pilates Philippines, shares with us two exercises which are great for infanticipating moms. Linzi is currently 23 weeks pregnant, and is still as active as ever!
Exercise 1: Chest Expansion Stand tall with your heels together, toes slightly apart, with weight slightly more forward. Keep your neck long, eyes straight forward, and inner thighs drawn together.
Step 1: Raise your arms forward parallel to the ground. Step 2: Inhale deeply as you pull arms down and back, squeezing the shoulder blades and opening the chest and lungs. Step 3: Turn your head to the right then to the left, then look center again (holding your breath). Return your arms to the forward position as you exhale.
For the second set, just alternate the head turn by looking left first, then right. Repeat for three to four sets.
Linzi says, “This is a good pregnancy exercise even all the way up to the third trimester and specially post partum as we continue to breastfeed. As our weight increases and our breasts get heavier, most get a forward slump, slouch. Our shoulders and upper back start to round forward and we may start getting neck pains and upper back pains, so this is a great exercise to work the opposing muscles to keep our chests open and our backs straighter.”
Exercise 2: Angled Wall Push Ups Stand facing a corner and measure one arm’s length away. Legs should be parallel and open to hips’ width.
Step 1: Place one hand on each wall with heels of hands at shoulder height and wider than shoulders’ width. Step 2: Turn hands so that fingertips face each other. Step 3: Bend your arms and allow your chest to go near the wall without collapsing in low back (keep those expanding tummy muscles engaged!). Hold for a count of three and then push away until arms are straight again.
Note: Keep your elbows wide to the sides and shoulders low. Be aware of your blades drawing together as you bend and drifting apart as you straighten. Repeat three to five times.