Don’t neglect your arms in your pregnancy workouts; you need to be strong to carry your baby! Strengthen with these modified pregnancy exercise moves in the gym or home workouts.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, spine in a neutral position – try not to curve your lower back.
Let your arms hang by your sides with the palms facing outwards.
Raise the weights towards your shoulders.
Return to the start position, maintaining control as your straighten your arms
Aim for 10-15 reps. Aim for two sets
FittaTip: ‘This exercise uses free weights – the exact weight you choose depends on what feels comfortable for you and what you were lifting pre-pregnancy. It’s better to aim for lighter weights during pregnancy and more repetitions to avoid putting too much strain on joints already loosened by relaxin. Always take extra care when using free weights when pregnant to prevent them from hitting your abdomen.’
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, spine in a neutral position
Hold the weight firmly and fully extend your arm to hold the weight above your shoulder, palm facing inwards.
Keeping your upper arm stationery, lower the weight behind your head.
Return to the starting position, using your triceps to raise the dumbbell .
Aim for 10-15 reps and repeat on both sides. Aim for two sets
FittaTip: ‘Keep your core muscles engaged, don’t let your spine curve inwards. Make sure the weight remains to the side of your head.’
Step forward and bend your front leg, keeping your back leg straight . Ensure the body is in a straight line from head to back heel. Place the hand on the thigh of your bent leg.
Hold the weight in your other hand, arm bent, weight at hip height
Extend your lower arm backwards until it is parallel with the floor.
Return to start position. Aim for 10-15 reps and repeat on both sides. Aim for two sets
FittaTip: ‘Engage your core muscles and maintain a firm stance with your legs to maximise the value of this exercise in pregnancy. Keep your body balanced by holding the weight in the same hand as your extended (straight) leg.’
With your feet shoulder width apart, spine in neutral position, hold the weights at shoulder height with palms facing forward.
Raise the weights until the arms are fully extended.
Return to the starting position under control.
For greater stability this exercise is just as effective as part of your pregnancy workout routine if you prefer to do your shoulder press seated on a bench.
Aim for 10-15 reps and aim for two sets
FittaTip: ‘It’s important not to let the dumbbells simply drop, maintain control as you lower the weights.’
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, spine in neutral position.
Holding the weights in each hand, let your arms hang be the side with a slight bend at the elbow so the weights come close together and gently touch. Your palms should be facing inwards.
Raise the weights out to the side, elbows slightly bent forward until your arms are parallel to the floor.
Lower the arms, maintaining full control until you return to the original position.
Aim for two sets of 10-15 reps
FittaTip: ‘Include this as part of your pregnancy workout to keep your arms toned and maintain strength in your upper body.’
Use these exercises as part of a complete workout that includes a safe pregnancy exercise warm up, strengthens your core, targets your legs and incorporates cardio exercise that increases your heart rate too!
When doing any activity when pregnant make sure you listen to your body and stop if you feel uncomfortable Always consult your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns.