Staying Fit During Pregnancy

Posted by Ali | Wednesday April 13, 201125 comments

As many of you have emailed me to guess, yes I'm the anonymous Mommy-to-Be!

I'm expecting my first baby this summer and pleased as punch about that. Though pre-pregnancy, Trainer George was whooping my butt on a regular basis, the past few months I literally went home every night and sacked out on the couch eating ice cream and toaster waffles. As you can imagine, the effects have not been kind. 

Now that I'm in my second trimester I've started working out again, and asked George to share his top exercises and tips to keep preggers like me in shape!  Now I just have to commit to doing this 2 times a week and hopefully getting back in shape post-baby will be easier.

"Pregnant women need the strength to compensate for the postural changes and weight gain that occurs during pregnancy," says G2 Kinetics founder George Gianniotis. "These changes could put stress on muscles and joints and women that don't participate in a strength training program may experience back and joint problems from weak muscles that are not able to provide support. All pregnant women should consult their healthcare provider to be cleared for an exercise program, prior to starting."

Below, Trainer George gives his guidelines and walks us through the exercises he did with me.

Guidelines to follow:
- Stretching should be gentle (not maximum resistance)
- Avoid exercising in hot humid places
- Exercises 2 to 3 times a week, 2 sets, 12 reps
- Avoid competitive sports and activities
- Avoid laying flat on the back after the first trimester
- Avoid standing motionless for prolonged periods of time
- Stop exercising when you feel fatigue

This exercise program is good for pregnant women during their first and second trimesters.
Start with a 5 min warm up (walking), and stretches, and then perform the following exercises:

One Arm Row - Standing Get into slight lunge position. Support your spine by drawing your abdomen in.  Pull handle towards the body with your elbow down and draw back just past your side.  Do not bend at the waist.  Keep feet flat on the floor.

Arm rotation Start with feet wider than shoulder width apart. Rotate your body to the left as you reach up with your right arm.  Pivot your right foot. Repeat on the other side.

Axe Chop Start width feet wider than shoulder width apart.
Start with knees slightly bent, holding a weight with both hands.  Keep arms straight.  Hands start at head height.  Move the weight down and across the body.  Bring weight back up to the oposite direction.

Glute kickback Place both hands against a wall, facing wall.  Have feet pointing straight.  Keeping your left leg straight, kickback in a slow motion.  Complete 12 repetitions and repeat on the other leg.

Functional straight leg with rotation Place both hands against a wall, facing the wall. Flex one leg at the hip and the knee, while your back leg is straight.  Draw your abdomen in toward your spine.  Keep the rear foot on the ground while the opposite hip and knee flexed. Slowly move through your hips.  The inside part of your right ankle will be facing wall (on the right side of your body, and as you move your hips the inside part of your right ankle will be facing away from the wall on the left side of your body).

Calf Raises Place both hands against the wall, facing the wall.  Have feet pointing forward, and reach up on your toes, and hold.  Slowly come back to starting position.  Repeat.

Standing Chest Press Adjust cable arms to proper height as shown.  Stand in a stable staggered stance position  Align wrist and elbows as shown in starting position.  Start movement by pressing hands together.  Keep feet flat on the floor with knees slightly bent.

Lateral Raise Stand straight with dumbells at side.  Raise dumbells laterally.  Lower to starting position.

Tricep Pulldown Adjust cable and rope at proper height as shown.  Bend the knees slightly, and keep elbows close to your sides.  At the starting position your elbows should be bent at 90 degrees. Pull the rope down without moving your elbows (just the forearms should move).

For those of you who've gone through a pregnancy or are currently expecting, did you continue to exercise?
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on April 21, 2011  Ali de Bold  STAFF said:

Thanks for the sweet comments! I actually have to confess that those photos were taken a few weeks ago and I haven't worked out since! But I've been walking a lot. Kim, that's great low impact exercise and I have no doubt you'll be whipped into shape in no time!

on April 21, 2011  At home with Kim Vallee said:

You are still so tiny. It's awesome that you are so active.
I was not as dedicated than you. Walking and some cycling during the summer was the only exercise I did. I will restart to train tonight to lose the remaining belly that has not gone away and get back in shape.

on April 14, 2011  MaryD  662 said:

Oh, my!!!

Congratulations, Ali! You look great :D.


on April 13, 2011  Michelle Hsu said:

Looking forward to seeing you and Baby :)

on April 13, 2011  Ali de Bold  STAFF said:

@ Nora and @ MizzRobin - thanks so much!! It's a really exciting time for us :)

on April 13, 2011  MizzRobin  13,713 said:

Congratulations to you and Alex! You look fabulous!

on April 13, 2011  Nora said:


You are already the cutest lil mama ever.

on April 13, 2011  Ali de Bold  STAFF said:

@ Becky - thank you!!! xoxo As for your health goals, you are absolutely right. Stick with it! A lot of people say they don't like working out, but you can at least like the way you feel after a work out. I am very goal oriented and I love the feeling afterward that I've accomplished something. I also try to workout with very specific goals that go beyond "I want to be healthy". It's also, I want firm thighs and a perky butt. I want to be strong so I can defend myself., etc.

@ LaurenBlair - The top is actually something I've had for awhile but I was barely able to zip it up. This week I definitely wouldn't be able to wear it already. The pants are also Lululemon but they are ones that can fold over at the top so my belly isn't constrained. The store staff said it's the ones most pregnant women like.

@ Mamaluv - from behind you didn't look remotely pregnant even in month 9. So I blame you for my being unprepared for the rear weight gain. I'm laughing about the lawn mowing. You don't like his cutting pattern?? That's why we're sisters. Picky is genetic.

on April 13, 2011  mamaluv  STAFF said:

When I became pregnant with my first child, the extent of my exercise had been the 10 block or so walk to work from the bus terminal (I could have rode in all the way, but I wanted the exercise). I continued walking and even got off my connection a little earlier so I'd have to walk a little farther. On the advice of my doc, I did not add to my program in any way beyond that - it's usually not recommended to start something new once you're already pregnant.

In the months before I became pregnant the second time, I was working out 3-4 times/week at a gym, so I continued in my same program through the first 2 trimesters. In the 3rd trimester, I still walked and swam gentle laps (and far fewer of them).

During my third, I had a 1 1/2-yr old, so I was toting him around along with my ginormous belly. The only exercise I had besides that was I refused to give up mowing my lawn (push mower). Call me crazy, but that is the one chore I really love to do and even now I get irritated if my hubby does it for me (I don't like the way he makes his cutting pattern - fussy, I know).

Whatever you moms-to-be plan, just make sure your doc knows about it so he/she can ensure you're not pushing it too hard - for your own sake and baby's!

on April 13, 2011  LaurenBlair  128 said:

I'm agree with becky - CONGRATULATIONS! :)
P.s. that workout outfit is super cute - is it maternity?

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