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Workouts By Trimester

1st Trimester:

The 1st trimester is a time when your body is adjusting to all the hormonal changes. Not much has to be changed in your workouts unless doctor recommends otherwise. This would be a great time to purchase a supportive bra and refillable water bottle. Time your workouts for when you feel best.

It’s important to consider what level of fitness you were at pre-pregnancy. If you were exercising regularly before getting pregnant, you can still do most of the same exercises during the first trimester (stop immediately if you feel discomfort or pain). You may feel breast enlargement, feel extra flexible, and/or possible fatigue and lightheadedness. You heart rate may seem to go higher quicker so stop if you feel lightheaded or dizzy and move slower or possibly stop until it subsides.

During the 1st trimester I always enjoyed working my total body in one workout. On other days I would run, bike, or other forms of cardio. I always liked to split the cardio and weight training onto separate days in order to avoid overtraining or fatigue. And I continued this throughout my pregnancy.

 

Labor is a TOTAL body experience. From your breathing, abdominals, arms, legs, and stamina. The workout below is designed to challenge your entire body. During the next months at the belly grows bigger you will rely on total body strength to preform tasks that you never thought twice about opening a door, getting out of a cab, or getting out of bed. Start working those arms if you haven’t already!! And challenge your stamina. On days you feel good move quickly but safelty through the moves and add more weight or reps if you feel up to it and good doing it!

 

Sample Workout:

Total Body

  1. Squat to curl with dumbells or resistance bands

Muscles worked: Gluteus maximus and biceps.

  1. Alternating Front Lunge with lateral raise

Muscles worked: Gluteus maximus, quadriceps, and shoulders

  1. Wall sit with overhead medicine ball

Muscles worked: Gluteus maximus, quadriceps, and shoulders

  1. Wood chop

Muscles worked: Core (obliques), quads, glutes, and lower back

  1. Plank – row

Muscles worked: core, back, shoulders

  1. 15 jumping lunges

Muscles worked: gets your heart rate up as well as working quads and glutes

  1. Lateral Lunge

Muscles worked: Gluteus medius

  1. Plank/push-up

Muscles worked: Core, back, and shoulders

  1. Side plank with push-up

Muscles worked: Chest and obliques

  1. Face down opposite arm leg

Muscles worked: Glutes

2nd Trimester.

As you approach the second trimester morning sickness may start to dissipate. Avoid sit-ups and twists as they can strain the abdominals, which are already getting more stretched out than before. Instead, stick with exercises like planks and side planks to work the core. Avoid lying on your belly.

You may need to also gradually reduce the amount of weight you’re lifting because your center of gravity shifts with your growing belly, throwing off your balance, which could possibly lead to a strained muscle or fall. You may need to modify certain moves, like those with overhead lifting and pressing, which can put excess stress on your lower back and throw you off balance. Simple modifications such as lifting just one weight during an overhead press while the opposite arm helps you balance, or taking moves from a standing position to a seated one, can help keep you on track.

 

Sample workout Second Trimester:

Everything 2 times

  1. Squat, curl, overhead press

Muscles worked: Glutes, Biceps, Shoulders

  1. Chest Press on Stability ball

Muscles worked: chest and core

  1. Wall Sit

Muscles worked: Glute max and quads

  1. Bent over reverse flys with DB, cables, or resistance bands

Muscles worked: (Back Muscles) posterior deltoid, rhomboid and middle trapezius muscles

  1. Push ups

Muscles worked: (chest and arms/shoulders) Pectoral muscles, triceps, and anterior deltoids

  1. Alternating front Lunges with Dumbbells

Muscles worked: Quads and Glutes

  1. Dips

Muscles worked: Triceps

  1. Step ups

Muscles worked: Glutes and quads

  1. Side plank with dip

Muscles worked: Obliques and transverse abdominals (core)

  1. Side lying leg lift

Muscles worked: Obliques

 

3rd Trimester:

During the 3rd trimester everything may seem hard and shortness of breath may be at an all time high, this might be the time to scale back and move a little slower if need. You also may feel wobbly and swollen. If so perform exercise at comfort level and while standing on both feet or seated. Avoid bouncing or plyometrics this will add too much impact on the pelvic ligaments. Keep moving at comfort level when you can as this will help tremendously with your recovery process.

 

Sample workout Third Trimester:

Total Body

1-10  x 4 rounds

Everything 1 minute

  1. Squat over head press

Muscles worked: Glutes and shoulders

  1. Chest Press flat bench

Muscles worked: Pecs (chest muscles)

  1. Plank

Muscles worked: Transverse abdominals (core)

  1. Tricep rope

Muscles worked: Triceps

  1. Plank to push-ups exercise on knees

Muscles worked: Pecs (chest), back, triceps, shoulders

  1. Wall sit

Muscles worked: Quads and Glutes

  1. Bent over rows

Muscles worked: Upper and Mid Back

  1. Lower Back and Hamstring bridges

Muscles worked: Lower back and Hamstrings

  1. Incline push-ups

Muscles worked: Pecs (chest)

  1. Side plank 30 seconds each side or as tolerated

Muscles worked: Obliques and Transverse Abs

4 minute rest between completion of 1-10. Repeat.
***Remember to always consult a physician before embarking on a fitness program. Do exercises at comfort level, keep in mind current fitness level, and stop when dizzy/nauseous/pain etc occurs.

 

Labor is a total body experience and these exercises were picked to help maintain total body strength and conditioning.

Myth Buster

Top 5 myths about exercising during pregnancy and postpartum:

 

Myth #1: “You are not allowed to lift while you are pregnant.”

Answer: Provided you have a healthy, non-risk pregnancy there is no reason to stop every activity and especially strength training. Of course the level of intensity depends on whether you have strength-trained before you got pregnant, but we believe every mother –to-be can highly benefit from a well-rounded, supervised strength training routine in order to prepare her for labor and postpartum recovery.

 

Myth #2: “Exercising will decrease my breastmilk supply.”

Answer: Both of us trained hard while breastfeeding and we actually found that exercise UPPED our breastmilk supply. We firmly believe that a good sweat and releasing those endorphins during exercise will make you feel so invigorated that your body wants to release more of that breastmilk goodness for your baby. What is NOT advised, though, is MENTAL stress– we really encourage you to try and remain as carefree and as happy as possible!

 

Myth #3: “ANY fat will do to increase my breastmilk supply.”

Answer: The source of fat you use in order to “up” your breastmilk supply definitely matters! We highly encourage you to find natural, organic, whole food sources of fat such as Avocado, Coconut, Raw Nuts, Olives or Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Processed and fried foods such as French fries, Pizza and Burgers will not work in your favor.

Nourish your body and your baby with optimal nutrition!

 

Myth #4: My sweat will harm my baby during babywearing strength class.”

Answer: Your baby has plenty of room in your carrier to breathe freely and even if a drop of your sweat hits your baby it is definitely NOT a big deal. Just remember- you grew this very baby inside your womb and you pushed it out with lots of blood, sweat and tears involved. Those few drops of sweat will definitely NOT harm your precious baby!

 

Myth #5: “I can just do cardio after I have the baby to get my pre-pregnancy body back”

Answer: First of all: your body will NEVER be the same after pregnancy and delivery. Do not drive yourself crazy chasing after that same exact pre-pregnancy body.

Secondly: We want to emphasize the fact that we do not do these workouts for vanity. We simply KNOW that a well-rounded strength training program is what every new mom will benefit from the most in her everyday life. Having a strong body will aid moms to fulfill their daily tasks safely and effortlessy, and in our opinion that tops everything else.

MACAROON’S

MACAROON’S

2 cups + 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 agave syrup
3 tablespoons almond flower
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla seeds
As many carob or vegan chocolate chips that you like!
– blend the coconut, almond flower, salt in a food processor or bowl
-mix all together in vitamin + 1 tablespoon Carob powder and 1 small scoop Brewers yeast

Bugaboo

“Bugaboo-in’ round town”:
BYOBfit™ and Bugaboo have teamed up in order to present moms and dads with a unique stroller workout, which will challenge their strength and endurance alike. We are so excited about this new collaboration, and we cannot wait for everyone to join us on our weekly runs all over NYC with our amazing Bugaboo Runners.  “Team BYOBfit™” will also be participating in some races, so check our calendar and join in on the fun. First opportunity: “Miles For Midwives” 5k on 10/3. Check link above for more info and sign up today! The more the merrier!

Push Push!

Amaya Nina

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Our baby girl Amaya was due on 6/4/14. Since this was my first pregnancy, I was aware that going past the due date up to two weeks would be a very real possibility, so I did not put too many expectations on that actual date. I had been feeling great throughout my whole pregnancy, and I worked up until that day, so there was no real reason for me to believe that labor was about to start soon. Plus I had not felt a single “fake” contraction or “Braxton Hicks” throughout my pregnancy, so I wasn’t even sure what to look out for.

On 6/4 at 1:30am I felt “cramps” coming on followed by the appearance of my mucus plug in my toilet bowl. I laid back down and realized that the “cramps”, which I had now identified as contractions, kept coming back. And there wasn’t much time between each contraction (They came about 5-10 minutes apart and lasted for roughly a minute). After an hour of breathing through each contraction to the best of my ability, I called my Doula, Jax, to let her know that I was in early labor. She advised me to try and get some rest and take a bath since that would slow down the contractions. Since “resting” wasn’t really an option at this point any more, I took the bath she had recommended, but instead of the contractions slowing down they somehow seemed to get more intense, and being in that bathtub just made me feel helpless. So I climbed back out and kept going through contractions in various positions in the bedroom. My husband, Mike, didn’t seem to grasp the concept that I was indeed in early labor quite yet, so he was napping blissfully unaware in the living room. I didn’t feel like I ‘needed’ him at that point, so I didn’t bother waking him. I called my Doula back at 7:30 am to let her know contractions had not slowed down, the bath had not helped and that I would feel safer and better if she was there with me. She said she’d be on her way and that she was going to be there within the next hour. That made me feel more secure, and I knew I could go through another hour of early labor by myself. The contractions still kept coming 5-10 minutes apart at 1 minute long and they had never really slowed down after they had started hours ago. At around 8:30 am Jax showed up at our home and immediately posed as a tremendous resource of help and support. She would massage and squeeze my back and feet, coach me through the correct breathing during the contractions so I could save my energy, and she reminded me constantly to keep hydrated in between contractions. I would sip on seltzer, iced water, Coconut water, iced Gatorade and unsweetened Iced Tea – however the mood was striking me. Overall I felt quite nauseous and it was hard to even get a few sips down. Jax kept offering me to try and eat something, but the mere thought of food made me even more nauseous. I did manage to chew on a few micro-bites of plain bagel but that was it. I could not get anything else or anything more down. Jax didn’t press the issue on food so much but she did always “force” me to stay hydrated (very important!!) and consequently she also reminded me to pee every hour. I hated the “having to get up and pee” part because a) I never even felt the urge to pee and b) It always triggered another (extra) contraction, which I had to endure sitting down on the toilet (not comfortable at all). Speaking of “getting up”- after hours of early labor in my bedroom, we decided it would be a good idea to try and walk around the apartment. At first, it seemed like such a huge task for me because I felt exhausted from hours and hours of contractions, but once I was on my feet I really appreciated the healing powers of movement. I would walk around leaning on my husband, Mike, circling my hips and stretching my legs and for each contraction I would just sit on the birth ball and lean over a table or the couch. The birth ball was an amazing tool since it allowed me to stay upright, work with gravity and still circle my hips throughout contractions. At around 5pm I was pretty ready to go to the hospital (Birthing Center), but we opted against leaving quite yet since we would have been faced with crazy rush hour traffic. Yes, traffic gets really bad in New York City, and when you’re in labor the last thing you want is to be stuck in traffic in someone’s cab. So I continued early labor until about 7 pm when my husband finally called a car service. I was truly terrified of the cab ride there wondering how I was going to get through contractions during the ride, but I also knew I just had to trust in myself and rely on my strong support system I had surrounding me. Jax walked downstairs with me, holding me while Mike was carrying our “Go Bags” for the Birthing Center. Right before I was about to get into the car, another pretty heavy contraction hit, so I just leaned over a mail box on the sidewalk and let it happen as best as I could. Pretty sure I horrified a few pedestrians walking by in the process but whatever- I was in my “let’s get shyt done” mode and I definitely wasn’t my “social self” any more. Finally, I crawled into the cab (which was a minivan btw) and decided to kneel on the seat and hang over the ledge backwards. Sitting down was just NOT an option at that point. The driver unfortunately was one of those “slam on the break, hit the gas pedal really hard” type of drivers so that Jax had to hold me for the entire car ride (which temporarily paralyzed her arm she told me later) since I was not able to wear a seat belt in the position I had chosen. Also, for some miraculous reason the cab driver thought it was a good idea to drive through TIMES SQUARE instead of taking the FDR, which of course meant major traffic and constant stop-and-go. I am more pissed about that now (in hindsight) than when I was in the actual moment because my focus was solely on getting through these contractions successfully in the car. It was sort of absurd, though, to go through a contractions and see bright lights and disco balls and Disney characters while peaking out the back window. When we finally arrived at St. Luke’s Roosevelt, I crawled out of the cab and immediately a really strong contraction hit me. So I hugged the closest pole (sign) I could find and leaned on Jax to get through it. My husband managed to take a picture of that moment, so enjoy that gem!

About 3 hospital staff members came running towards us with wheel chairs but Jax refused to let me sit in a wheel chair. She made me walk. I know it was the WAY better decision to keep me engaged, flexible and mobile but at the time I really wanted to punch somebody. At first we had to go to “Triage” on the 12th floor, which was supposed to be an assessment of how far I was along in my labor and to monitor baby’s heart rate. However, triage was packed with pregnant women, who I also horrified with my very advanced labor at that point. Jax and I immediately “slow danced” our way out of that waiting room and just hung out in the hallway while Mike was filling out paper work. Then Dr.Schulina, who was going to be my doctor for the delivery, came up to us and said I would be admitted to the birthing center directly. I could not believe my luck because that really never happens -according to everyone I have talked to. The angels were definitely on my side in that moment! As a “bonus present” Dr.Schulina forced me to walk down a flight of stairs to the Birthing center instead of taking the elevator. It wasn’t pleasant but I got it done. Labor is really all about “just get’er done”. Arriving in the Birthing center’s room was almost like “coming home”… I knew I had made it through the longest and hardest parts, I knew I had arrived safely at the final destination, and now it was time to do the remaining work. This was truly a glimpse of hope that this could be, indeed, all over within a few hours. (It was about 8:30pm at that point- 19 hours into it!). Upon arrival in the Birthing Center room, Dr. Schulina checked my cervix and announced that I was 6cm dilated. 4cm’s to go!! I can do it!!

When they monitored baby’s heart rate, they said I was lacking hydration and that I needed to drink an entire bottle of Gatorade in order to bring baby’s heart beat up a lot. So, after every contraction, Jax “force fed” me Gatorade, which made me so nauseous at certain points that I spit it right back up. But I was determined to get hydrated and to get my baby’s heart rate back up, so I could stay in the birthing center. I really did not want to go to “Labor and Delivery” upstairs so a little vomit here and there was well worth the effort. I immediately loved the vibe of the birthing center. Since the Gatorade didn’t really seem to work as fast as they had hoped, they did something else for me which rarely happens in the Birthing Center: they gave me an IV in order to provide proper hydration and to consequently bring Amaya’s heart rate back up. This worked like a charm, and I was able to mentally relax since they would let me stay, and I could just continue travelling down the road I was already on without any interruptions. The contractions became more and more intense, and another check of my cervix revealed that I was 8cm’s at this point. I had gotten into a very effective routine of circling my hips on the birthing ball between contractions and getting into the “slow dance” position with either Jax or Mike during my contractions. Since my water had not broken yet until this point and Dr.Schulina needed to make sure there was no meconium (baby feces) in it, she decided to break my water. Before I could get worried about whether this was going to hurt or not and how exactly she would do this, I already felt a ton of warm fluid running down my legs. It was all clear fluid, which was a great sign and allowed me to continue without any further interventions.

In order to progress labor further, Dr.Schulina made me switch up my position again, and next thing I knew I was on all fours on the bed between contractions and in a lunge type of position (right leg forward) during contractions. The new position really helped me progress a lot, and finally I was told: “After you go pee one last time, you can start pushing”. I do not recall this next part personally, but Mike told me after they had said that, I literally sprinted to the bathroom to pee. It was the only time he had seen me move quickly and with extreme urgency throughout the whole laboring process. I guess I was beyond ready to push!

Once I returned, I got on the bed on my back, grabbed my legs with each contraction and started pushing as hard and as efficiently as I could. Thank goodness for strong abs and for knowing my body well. Dr.Schulina was very happy with the progress I made with each push, and honestly it felt good to push through contractions instead of just waiting them out. It gave me a sense of being truly “pro-active” about this last part of my labor. I could feel my baby moving down more and more and entering the birth canal. With each push, I was told that “a lot of hair” was appearing and disappearing again. I felt a great sense of excitement and an even greater urge to push as hard as I could. Each contraction allowed me exactly 3 pushes (10 seconds long), but with the last one I could feel that if I would add just one more fourth long push, she would be out. And it was exactly like that. I felt the “ring of fire” as she entered the world, and all I heard was the doctor yell “LOOK DOWN!” and my baby was brought up to my chest immediately. It was 00:55 am. She had passed meconium (poop) on her way out, so both her and I were covered in her green baby poop as she laid on my chest and took her very first breath. I can’t really describe that moment because it is so beyond amazing. There really aren’t’ any words for it. My senses were so extra high in that moment- I smelled everything, I heard everything, I felt everything and most importantly my heart had never felt happier. To know I had just birthed a healthy, beautiful baby girl was all I needed. It was a special and unique bonding moment where we just looked into each other’s eyes in admiration after having been acquainted exclusively through the womb for the past 10 months. I will never forget how this moment felt. Truly magical! Eventually, Mike cut the umbilical cord, and I passed my placenta. Dr.Schulina finally also checked me for any tears, and luckily it turned out there were no tears whatsoever. What a relief!

Now it was just time to enjoy my new baby and my little family, and although I had been laboring for the past 24 hours I was oddly awake and extra energized in those hours after the delivery. Nurses checked her length (19.4”) and weight (7 lbs 8oz.) and it was a truly magical time to just gaze at her in admiration and hold her tight. Lots of wonderful skin-to-skin action for both, mommy and daddy!

 

The next day, the nurse who had attended Amaya’s birth told me the following: ”You were a really unique case. I’ve never seen someone with such a funky playlist and I loved it instead of the slow, relaxing music everyone else uses. You were also the only woman I’ve ever seen dance and smile in between contractions. The place you were able to reach in between contractions amazes me.” And that just sums it up.

 

All in all, I would say that my entire labor experience was very , very positive. Yes, it was long and intense, but in the end I got exactly what I wanted: a drug-free, epidural-free, no-intervention, all natural birth in a fabulous birthing center surrounded by people I truly trust and adore. And most importantly, we are now blessed with a happy, healthy, beautiful baby girl named Amaya Nina in our lives. <3

 

Augustine Julian

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Always expect the unexpected.

I was always planning on sharing my first labor and birth experience, but I certainly did not plan on writing about it in this context. I had planned on a natural vaginal birth for one, and though I had heard stories, thought maybe I’d be one of the lucky ones who was into the hospital and nursing within several hours. Motherhood, as it turns out, cannot be planned and executed the way many of us believe it can be.

At 8:30 am, Monday, September 29th, my water broke while I was on the phone with my husband. It was definitely a strange sensation, and as I told him what was happening, he joked that I must be kidding. I in fact, was not kidding, so off to the hospital we went, arriving around noon. As it turns out, I was not dilated! Which happened to be just fine, because there were no rooms available; and weren’t, for upwards of six hours. At this point I began to realize that the picture the movies paint us of a woman being wheeled in, writhing in pain, carted off to the delivery room, and delivering a baby in minutes may, just may, be an expedited version of the process. The six hours were spent quite comfortably, (although anticipation was building), because I was not contracting.

Once I was finally admitted and placed into a room the doctor discovered that I had not yet started to dilate, which although not terribly unusual, required some intervention. I was informed that I would be given medication to help the process along, in an attempt to convince my body that labor was imminent and it should, in fact, start dilating and moving the process along. After two more hours the medication had apparently not remedied the problem, so two balloons, (yes, balloons), were inserted in an attempt to manually dilate the cervix. When I finally reached 4 centimeters, I thought Augustine decided he was ready to come after all; as he immediately dropped into the birth canal. As it turns out, I spoke too soon, because he seemed to be “stuck” in one position. Once again, I was at a standstill. I was given Pertocin at some point in the middle of the night to gain consistency in my contractions, which were sporadic at best. Augustine, meanwhile, was perfectly comfortable (so it seemed), lounging in the birth canal all the while. He wouldn’t budge, and when his heart rate dropped twice, I began to realize that the plan I’d set forth for nine months may change quickly, and started to mentally prepare for that. As I labored through the night, my temperature rose with a fever! Hm. Why wasn’t this in the handbook? I pushed from 9:00am through 2:00 pm with no movement on baby’s part. We had surpassed the 24 hour mark, and I was anxious to meet the new man in my life. Despite my best efforts, nothing was progressing, and on top of pushing actively for five hours, I developed a severe leg pain which impeded my ability to push any more at my maximum capacity. (Easy breezy, right?)

Enter the Doctor, who informs me my pelvis is so narrow that Augustine just would not fit past my tailbone. For the first time since my labor had started more than 24 hours ago, I cried. I cried from exhaustion, confusion, frustration, and a feeling of helplessness. The doctor and I agreed to thirty more minutes of pushing, maximum, but as my temperature rose to a hot 102.7, there was no time for that. It was time for an emergency c-section. To be honest, I did cry. I felt, briefly, as though my body had failed me. I could not hold on to my original plan any longer. As is usually the case however, I quickly snapped out of it. Whenever a situation gets tough, I have a tendency to regroup, and circle back to my original intent, purpose, or task. There is no need to cry here! The point of labor is not to stick to a specific birth plan, it is to deliver a healthy baby! When things get tough, the tough get going. And that’s exactly what I did. I quickly pulled myself together, had a brief “beast mode” pep talk with myself, and into the c-section we went.

It went seamlessly. My doctor was patient, exemplary, and Augustine Julian was delivered into the world at 4:17pm on September 30th, almost 32 hours after my water broke. Of course after a c-section, you are supposed to remain in bed I suppose, but my maternal instinct had already kicked in. I walked to see my son, and he was breastfeeding by midnight. Skin to skin, breast feeding, and initial bonding were incredibly important to me. I had already let so much go in terms of my plan, but I was determined to stick to that aspect of my schedule. As it turns out, Auggie was a pro, and the hours spent bringing him into the world essentially melted away.

It has been just over a week since I delivered, and already I understand that motherhood will bring challenges I may not be completely prepared for, but as long as I am flexible in my methods, I have no doubt it will be the most wonderful journey I have ever been on. Thank you to all who are a part of it!

Correct Placement of Baby in Your Carrier

We have been receiving lots of questions/comments/concerns about which brand of baby carrier is the best and the most ergonomic for your baby.

Here is our take on it:

blog_babycarrier
We love our Babybjörn “One” carriers for the workouts we do, but we encourage all of our class participants to find the carrier that works best for them and their babies. What matters most is that our babies are placed in the carriers correctly in order to avoid permanent damage to their hips (otherwise known as “Hip Dysplasia”). In the illustration above, we show you an example of unstable placement of baby on the left and an ergonomically correct placement of baby on the right. Notice how the same exact carrier can yield completely different results as far as baby’s hip placement goes. As BYOBfit class instructors, we will always keep a close eye on your babies’ positioning in the carriers during our workouts so we can all train safely and worry-free.

TRX – The Perfect Strength Training Tool for Prenatal and Postpartum Exercise

The TRX is a perfect option for the mom-to-be OR a new mom. During pregnancy, it’s important to maintain and/or build strength to off set any muscle imbalances that are taking place with the shifting of weight. The TRX allows the mom to continue to build strength in a safe effective way. The TRX handles offer some support, helping to guide the mom through movements that might otherwise be challenging because of a growing belly, altered balance from hormones, or abdominal strength changes. The TRX is ideal post-pregnancy for the same reason: the abdominals are still weakened and balance can still be affected because your pregnancy hormones stay in your body until up to four months after you finish breast feeding. Regardless of what stage you’re in, the TRX is extremely easy to navigate with the bonus of many modifications to fie a wide range of difficulties, body types and fitness levels.

1. TRX Wide Stance Squat
Squats are the main exercise that builds strong glutes (butt muscles). The glute muscles balance out the anterior pull on the sacrum (which cause the lower back curve). The lack of glutes or glute strength can lead to lower back pain, which pregnancy can already exacerbate because of the shifting weight. By doing your squats pre-pregnancy you are already helping your body for the future of what pregnancy has in store for you. It’s important to have strong glutes to help maintain a strong back, especially with a growing belly. This will also help post-pregnancy because all the added work carrying, feeding, and caring for new baby is front-dominant, causing tightening and over-use of the muscles in the front part of the body. By focusing on our back body we decrease the chance of injury and promote faster recovery. We like to use the TRX because the straps help support the mother throughout the times when balance might be thrown off due to hormones OR again the weight shifts from the belly.

2. TRX Staggered Stance Pushup
As we all know too well, whether you decide to breast feed or not, our breasts get larger when we conceive and even larger when the milk comes in. Maintaining strength in our pectoralis (chest) muscles can help with potential sagging in this area and, ultimately, postural issues and back pain.

3. TRX Seated Bicep Curl
Just as with anything else in life, it’s all about the work you put in beforehand. Sometimes, we don’t realize how much we will actually end up holding our children, especially as new moms. The amount of isometric (when you just hold a movement in place) bicep holds we do while holding children is CRAZY. We love the seated version of the TRX bicep curl because it strengthens that bicep muscle used to hold baby, and when you put mom into a seated position you are really concentrating on that muscle, taking everything else out of the equation (core, legs, back etc.).

4. TRX Seated Fly
The TRX fly works your mid-back region. This area is particularly challenged when we have our children, from growing breasts, to constant bending over and picking up, to just plain being tired and slouching. This move will help counteract these actions and strengthen the rhomboids, erector spinae, and teres muscles – all important back muscles that help maintain the integrity of your spine. You can do this move standing or move to a seated position, using a bosu as support, if a growing belly is making you uncomfortable.

5. TRX Standing Staggered Row
This exercise is also a perfect move to counteract the developing front load on a pregnant woman. The row works the back muscles that help maintain postural strength, something we always focus on with pre/post-natal clients. With so many changes happening, adding these exercises will help promote comfort while remaining challenging in the right way. The staggered stance also offers some added support if balance is an issue.