Prenatal Pilates Series: Upper Body Strength & Toning

Hi guys! It's Robin from The Balanced Life Welcome back to your next workout in the Prenatal Pilates series

Today's workout is going to be an upper body workout that is safe for all three trimesters, but of course I need you to listen to your body so that you do what's best for you Especially if you're further along in your pregnancy, your belly is bigger than mine, you may have to adjust things so that they feel right I am about halfway through my pregnancy – just a little past halfway – so I'm at the point where I'm feeling good, feeling strong I had a rough first trimester; I'm sure some of you can relate but it feels good to be back to exercising like myself again So for today's workout, you can go weight free – you don't need any weights at all – but if you'd like to up the challenge, feel free to use probably one to three pound (or five if you're really ambitious) hand weights

So these are weighted balls that would work If you don't have hand weights, you could use a can of soup or a water bottle, or a wine bottle Since we can't drink it we might as well use it in our workouts, right? It's totally up to you Maybe some days you want to do no weights, some days you want to add weight So regardless if you're using weights, put them aside and just rest your hands on your knees for a second

Take a few big deep breaths, so nice big inhale transitioning into your workout and as I always say, the breath is one of the most important things that you will learn in Pilates and get out of Pilates that will carry you through a healthy pregnancy So continue to breathe here, nice big inhales

and exhales Let's start to roll the shoulders, so inhale and exhale Good, just doing it to loosen up any of those tight muscles you may have, any postural things that are bugging you Just move those joints around

Let's go one at a time, maybe adding a little rotation of the rib cage here It's really just about moving As we get bigger and bigger, we get kind of stiffer and stiffer, so let that fascia and those muscles just move and stretch a little bit here, right? Good, take your right arm up, inhale

as you exhale, you're just going to come up and over to one side So you're just trying to get length and opening on that top side You don't really have to worry about getting down to the ground so much, think more up and over

Just opening up, let those ribs open, those muscles open, so that you can get some breath into those lungs It gets harder and harder the bigger we get, right? Other side, take a nice big inhale opening up the opposite side of the body, finding room to breathe Good, coming back through center

So with or without your weights – I'm going to go weight-free today, because I've already been doing some upper body stuff But if you want to pick up your weights, go ahead Take your arms to a T, keeping your shoulders relaxed, circle the arms forward, nice energized arms, so you're really reaching through your pinkies, reaching through your middle finger Good, reverse the circle back So really find that upper back connection, those upper back muscles Good, forward again for ten, nine, eight, seven – energy through those arms – four, three, two, one

Reverse it – nine, eight, seven, six, five – stay stable through your core, good – one From here, you're going to slice the air with straight armsand two, and three, and four – good – and five – get those shoulders down when you straighten those arms – and eight, and nine, and 10

Reverse it – open 10, open nine – and you've got it! Strong heart, really hit that Tthere you go – five, four, three, two, one You guys know mem if you workout with me regularly, we "talk to the hand" – we push, and push – really push through the other hand, you're going to feel the burn – for four – who knew, right? Five, six, seven, eight – two more – nine, ten

From here, bend the arms, gentle ballerina arms here You're going to squeeze your shoulder blades and back, shoulders and back, three, and four good, and five – try not to pop your ribs forward, just move the shoulder blades There you go – seven – keep your trunk intact, good – nine

Let's speed it up for ten – ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one Come to goal posts – reach up and pull an imaginary bar Good, reach and pull – real feel those shoulders slide down your back reach and pull – you're using your own resistance here

If you have weights, whoa baby, you feel this, don't ya? Five – I feel it now – six, good seven, eight, nine, and ten Good, relax and give your shoulders just a few rolls and shake out any tension that developed in your neck Nice job Okay, nice and warm, feeling those muscles already Go ahead and come on to all fours

You won't need your weights for this You're going to align yourself Shoulders over your wrists, hips right over your knees While we're here, let's do a few cat stretches, because it's really great for our bodies during pregnancy So take a nice big inhale

as you exhale, tuck your tail, round your back, drop your head Let your head just kind of dangle, feel that nice stretch to your back Lifting the belly into the body

And then when we come back through, just going into a gentle cow – so nothing too crazy; you don't want to put too much pressure on the the abdominal wall So just kind of think of lengthening and relaxing and getting that pelvis to move, more than you're thinking of dropping the belly down You don't want to feel too much of a stretch, or I should say too much of a pull

You'll feel a gentle stretch Let's round it up and just gentle here, so just enough to feel length and really what matters is to get that pelvis moving So we're going to do a little wag the tail, so you can imagine you're a dog, you're wagging your tail side to side This is just a great way to stay loose through the pelvis and lower back Good, all areas that can get kind of tight and creaky throughout pregnancy Alright from here, going into some push ups

On our knees, walk your hands forward Again based on your belly, you may need to do this up against a table, right, a sturdy table or half wall if your belly's too big We're going to go wide push-ups first So belly's pulling in, head is in line with your spine Elbows come wide to the side, push the ground away

Inhale down, exhale push Four, five – use your breath Good, when things get hard, use your breath

Remember that in labor too – things get hard, you use your breath Last twogood

Widen your knees as much as you need to, sit back into a child's pose or rest pose If you don't want to put your head down or it's not possible right now, stack your hands and just find a position that works for you and your body Relax into it, let your hips open up, and breathe And coming back up onto all fours, now doing tricep push-ups So find your personal position again Belly is lifting, this time your elbows stay right in by your side So these are much harder Inhale and exhale

inhale and exhale really push the ground away from you Just do as many as you can; I'm going to do four morelast oneoh, I'm losing it, you guys

Alright, knees wide, sit back, rest your head on the mat or stack your hands, and just relax into it here Take a few big deep breaths Okay, for our last tricep exercises, a couple of different ways you can do it The first is on the ground with your fingertips pointing back towards you or at least on an angle towards you, lifting your hips, and bending back Now the bigger you get, the harder that's going to be So another option would be to prop yourself up on, say a bed a couch or a chair

From here, keep your chest lifting and just bend elbow straight back and push upinhale and exhalethree, and four good, we're doing fifteen

six – keep breathing – seven, eight, nine – keep that chest lifting – ten – strong arms; we're going to need those strong arms to carry these babies around Good, last few hereand last one Good, and coming back down to your mat Nice job, you guys Find a comfortable position and if you want to prop yourself up on some pillows, you can do that Just place your hands on your belly here, kind of connecting with your baby

Close your eyes, relax your shoulders We're going to end with our deep breathing as we normally do So take a nice big inhale, feel how energized you feel after moving your bodyexhale, let all the air out Inhale big, just notice how nice that feels to get the blood flowing and to know that you're doing something good for your body, good for your baby, and taking care of yourself And one more big breath here Open your eyes, and you guys are done for the day

Nice job! Be sure to check out my other prenatal videos, and be sure to subscribe to my channel so that you're always notified when something new is posted And I'll see you back here on your mat very soon!

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