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EXERCISE 1: SQUAT

Follow these steps:

  1. Stand straight with feet hip-width apart directly under your hips. Place hands on hips.
  2. Tighten your stomach muscles.
  3. Shift your body weight from your toes onto your heels.
  4. Lower down, as if sitting.
  5. Return to upright position by straightening your legs.

Repeat for 8 reps.

Benefits of Squatting
  • Increase pelvic floor muscle strength and prepare for labor.
  • Facilitate stronger birth positions.
  • A great looking butt!

If you have any pain when you perform a squat have your technique assessed to correct your form or modify the exercise reduce any discomfort.

 

EXERCISE 2: CHILD’S POSE

Follow these steps:

  1. Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels. Separate your knees about as wide as your hips. Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs.
  2. Lay your hands on the floor alongside your torso, palms up, and release the fronts of your shoulders toward the floor. Feel how the weight of the front shoulders pulls the shoulder blades wide across your back.
  3. Stay in the pose from 1 to 3 minutes. To come up, first lengthen the front torso, and then with an inhalation lift from the tailbone as it presses down and into the pelvis.

 

EXERCISE 3: STANDING CRUNCHES

Follow these steps:

  1. Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Draw your bellybutton into your spine.
  3. Tuck your pelvis slightly and bring your fingertips to your ears.
  4. Crunch forward and squeeze your abdominal muscles (just like you would do if you were lying on your back.)
  5. Release with control to complete one rep.

Repeat for 8 reps.

Benefits of Crunches
  • Support your pelvic organs and increase your control during labor.
  • Strong abs alleviate pressure your baby puts on your back.
  • A strong core supports proper posture to fend off lower back pain and help you recover more quickly after giving birth.

EXERCISE 4: REVERSE FLY

Follow these steps:

  1. Grab a ball or chair to sit on and weights you’re comfortable with lifting.
  2. Set your feet by the base.
  3. Bring your arms straight out to the side like wings.
  4. Pinch your shoulders together as if you’re holding a pencil in your upper back.
  5. Release arms down.

Repeat for 8 reps.

Benefits of Reverse Fly
  • Provides strength for lifting and holding your new baby.
  • Builds back and shoulder support for loading and unloading bags and baby supplies.
  • Stabilizes upper body strength to help make nursing more comfortable.

EXERCISE 5: KEGELS

Follow these steps:

  1. Find the muscles you use to stop urinating.
  2. Squeeze these muscles for 3 seconds.
  3. Add 1 second each week until you are able to squeeze for 10 seconds each time.

Repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times per session.

Benefits of Kegels
  • Decrease the odds of complications.
  • Keep hemorrhoids at bay.
  • Speed healing after an episiotomy or tear during childbirth.

Don’t do Kegels while you urinate.

 

By Diane Knutson
fitness coach and owner of Koko FitClub in Rapid City
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