This cycle of Mommy workouts is designed for women in the last six to eight weeks of their pregnancy. This can be a challenging time to keep up with physical activity. Your baby is experiencing rapid growth, and that means you are too. You might also be distracted with all the preparations and anticipation that tends to settle in at this stage.
As you can see in the videos and photos, I was in this stage of pregnancy while developing these workouts. I’ve combined several elements that were particularly helpful for me between 34 and 40 weeks:
- Strength and Conditioning: Primarily with the use of kettlebells and bodyweight exercises
- Practical, Functional Movement: Particularly in the form of long hikes and movement “challenges” that will help you move better on an everyday basis.
- Labor Preparation Exercises: Exercises to help with fetal positioning, strengthen the abdominal muscles, and build lower body endurance to prepare for the marathon of birth.
- Stretching and Mobility Work: Exercises to ease aches and pains that tend to crop up during this time
- Yoga and Meditation: Time set aside for you to collect yourself mentally and physically, by linking breath and movement
The strength and conditioning workouts tend to be short and simple and should usually take no longer than thirty minutes. That means you should exert as much effort as you can during the workouts – without overdoing it, of course. Toward the end of the cycle, you’ll notice an emphasis on walking and hiking, with a weekly long walk or hike. This is one of the best ways to prepare your body for labor. Feel free to jog or run as you feel comfortable during these sessions.
I’ve also included a weekly challenge. The challenges aren’t necessarily things you’ll be doing in the gym, but are ways to move better and more mindfully throughout the day. Not only will quality movement prevent a lot of pregnancy issues like sciatica and low back pain, but it will also translate into your workouts.
Enjoy this cycle of workouts and the last stage of your pregnancy.
Week 3, Day 3
Sit in Easy Pose for 3 breaths.
Move to Bound Angle Pose for 10 deep breaths. Try to open your hips as much as possible and gently press the knees closer to the floor with each breath.
Move onto all fours for Cat and Cow pose. Breathe deeply as you arch your back and look down at the floor, relaxing the neck, then lower your belly and look up at the ceiling. Repeat for 3 minutes, flowing from one pose to the other.
Move into a squat for Chopping Wood pose. Clasp your hands together and place them between your feet, with your elbows straight. Inhale and stretch your arms above your head, then exhale and lower them quickly in a chopping motion. Repeat for 20 “chops.”
End your yoga practice with a meditation from Gurmukh’s book, Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful. Return to Easy Pose and focus your gaze at the Third Eye point. With your hands in prayer pose, slide the left hand up until the right palm is just below the left wrist. Inhale “Sat” and exhale “Nam” for three minutes, taking long, leisurely breaths.