It’s essential you warm up before starting any pregnancy exercises routine, read our pregnancy workout warm ups here for a safe fit pregnancy
A warm up is an essential part of your pregnancy exercise whenever and whatever you do ….you can’t just expect your body to respond instantly when you start exercising. A good warm up will gradually increase your heart rate, increase circulation to your muscles, ligaments and tendons, raise your temperature and reduce the risk of injury. It will also help prepare you mentally and get you in the right zone for exercise. It’s even more important for exercise during pregnancy when a sudden burst of activity might wake up your baby too!
1. Ankle Rotations: Stand on one leg (hold onto something if you feel a little unstable); raise your other foot off the floor and rotate the ankle, pointing and flexing your foot. Swap legs.
2. Knee Extensions: Stay on one leg. Raise your knee higher, flexing your knee backwards and forwards.
3. Hip and body rotations: With feet hip distance apart and hands on your hips rotate first in one direction and then the other. Put your hands on your temples and rotate your torso from side to side. Get that bump swinging mammas (but gently of course!).
4. Warm up your arms: with your arms wide and straight flex your wrists up and down before circling your arms forwards and backwards. Cross your arms in and out in front of your body. Raise your arms and push your hands up towards the ceiling (or sky if you’re exercising outdoors!). Flex and straighten your arms.
5. Give your shoulders and good shrug, raising and dropping them to loosen your back, neck and shoulders. Then roll your shoulders backwards and forwards.
6. Reach arms across, up and down. With one hand on your hip, reach one arm up and bend over to one side – or reach up to the ceiling (or sky!) with one hand, bending over with the other arm sliding down your thigh. Make sure you do this on both sides
7. Get stepping! Step to the side and back adding a knee lift or curl with the opposite leg.
8. Get marching. A classic aerobic warm up! March on the spot, lifting your knees and swinging your arms. Make it more vigorous with a wide march stepping forwards and back, taking your feet apart and then back together.
9. Lunge to the side: lunge to each side alternatively, turning your body slightly. As you lunge push your opposite arm across your body.
10. Half jacks. Full jumping jacks are not a good idea when you’re pregnant but a half jack with your arms coming in and out as you step each leg out in turn is a great warm up exercise.
11. Heel digs. Tap your heels forward alternately. As you dig, bend the other knee and swing your arms forwards.
12. Toe taps. Tap your toes behind you, bending the other knee and curling your arms forwards.
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.
Follow this warm up with a workout for any stage of pregnancy, see the First Trimester exercises, Second Trimester exercises or the adapted Third Trimester exercises to stay strong and toned through your pregnancy.