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 6, Day 1
A. Workout #2: My Toddler Won’t Take a Nap
5 Rounds, 10 reps of each exercise (exercises with barbell/dumbbell/kettlebells also listed):
- Toddler Deadlift/Deadlift
- Piggyback Squats/Back Squat
- Piggyback Lunges/Rack Lunges
- Toddler Thruster/Thruster
- “Hipster” Squat/Goblet Squat
- Bicep Curls
(No rest between exercises, 1 min. rest between rounds)
B. Mommy Challenge, Week 6: Furniture-Free
This week, while you’re on the computer or watching TV, challenge yourself to sit on the floor instead of the sofa. You can also sit on a birth ball or do stretches or foam rolling. Going furniture-free will make you more mindful of your posture and alignment habits, which go a long way in encouraging your baby to assume the best position at the end of pregnancy.