There are many benefits to staying active during your pregnancy. These include improved sleep, mood and energy levels, and it may even help with handling labor. It is important to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, and this is especially true when you are pregnant. If it fits into your budget, I also highly recommend hiring a personal trainer who can work with you to design a pregnancy program. There are certain exercises you should avoid during your pregnancy such as the flat bench press.
Here are five moves to tone and strengthen you upper body that you can do while you are pregnant as demonstrated by fashion casting director Beth Dubin. (Since taking these photos, Dubin has delivered a beautiful baby girl.) These moves work the shoulders, biceps and triceps and can be performed with different rep ranges depending on your program and what is right for you.
Stand next to the cable and position your hand around a single cable handle attachment. This is your starting position. Pull handle across your body squeezing the shoulder until the arm is almost fully extended while breathing out. Return to the starting position while breathing in. That’s one rep.
Start standing with hands holding the barbell approximately shoulder width apart, arms extended and palms facing away from the body. That’s your starting position. Curl the barbell upwards towards the shoulders, bending elbows and keeping elbows close to the body as you breathe out. Pause and lower to starting position as you breathe in. That’s one rep.
Using both hands, lift the dumbbell overhead until your arms are extended. (Both palms will be facing upward holding the weight with the thumbs looped around the handle.) This is your starting position. Keeping your elbows in and arms tucked near your head, lower the dumbbell behind you until your forearms and biceps make contact. The upper arm should not move. Return to the starting position while breathing out. That’s one rep.
Start standing with Dumbbells in hands in from of thighs, palms facing your body. That’s your starting position. Lift arms until Dumbbells are just slightly above parallel to the floor, keeping a slight bend at the elbows and upper body still, breathing out. Pause, and lower Dumbbells to starting position, breathing in. That’s one rep.
Start standing with Dumbbells in hands at sides, palms facing your body. This is your starting position. Keeping palms facing in, and elbows close to the body, bring Dumbbells towards shoulders while breathing out. (Keep upper arms stationary.) Pause and slowly lower weight back to starting position at sides, breathing in. That’s one rep.