In order to prepare your body for pregnancy, Upside Motion recommends newlyweds to incorporate Pilates and Barre movements into their fitness routines. It is important to introduce exercises that help build strength, flexibility, and balance. These workouts can help keep the body agile, build stamina and tone the core muscles, which can help support the tummy and pelvic floor. Furthermore, it can improve spine mobility and work the side abs (obliques) to support the spine. Inner thighs are fundamental for a natural delivery too. Keeping your arms strong will also help to support your weight instead of collapsing into your body.
Side Plank with Stretch Bands
This workout strengthens the core muscles on both sides by adding some resistance (to spice things up). Place one end of the stretch band under the right knee and right hand, and press left foot against the stretch band while the other end of the stretch band is in the left hand. Bend and stretch for 8 times and repeat for 3 sets and switch side to start again.
Balancing on Foam Roller
Achieve better spine balance and strengthen your lower abs by using a foam roller. Spine and head in line and over the foam roller. Lift right leg up to a table-top position (90 degrees). Hold for one breath, and tap the foot down to exhale. Repeat for 8 times and switch leg.
Side Leg Lift
Feel like Ariel from The Little Mermaid with this workout step! It strengthens the oblique muscles on both sides, fires up the thighs and helps to achieve overall body balance. Get onto left side (hips on top of one another) with left arm flat and right hand firm onto the ground for support. Hold ball between both ankle joints and lift both legs up and down together for 8 counts without touching the ground, while applying a small resistance through the ball. Repeat for 3 sets. Switch to the right side and repeat steps.
Heel Squeeze Prone
Activate glutes and hamstrings without applying any tension to shoulders and neck. Lay flat on the mat, chest to the ground. Place and squeeze the ball between ankle joints and bend both knees, lifting the ball into the air. Repeat for 8 times, rest 10 seconds and start again for all 3 sets.
Practice balancing the body by extending the spine and working those quads with this Barre pose. Stand upright and firm on left leg to support the body while placing both hands outwards and on the bar. Point toes and extend right leg out onto the side. Return right leg to original position. Repeat for 7 more counts. Switch sides and repeat for 8 counts. Finish 5 sets for both sides.
Another balancing pose for strengthening. Stand by the side of the bar with both feet on the ground. Balance on the left leg while extending right leg to the back. Left arm is reaching long until parallel to the ground. To modify you can leave knee slightly bent. Stay in this classic ballet pose for 8 counts and return to original position. Switch sides and repeat steps. Repeat for 5 sets.
Plié in Diamond Shape
Tone and engage the glutes and hamstrings by squeezing heels together while tip-toeing and knees away from each other, forming a diamond shape pose. Stay for 8 counts. Return to original position. Repeat for 5 sets.
Plié with Ball
This workout helps to strengthen the legs and train body balance. Spine stays tall, neck long and keep shoulders down. Tip toe while squeezing the ball between knees as fast as you can without bouncing the body. Stay for 8 counts. Return to original position. Repeat for 5 sets.
Already a mum-to-be? Check out our 4-week Prenatal Pilates here!