Top 4 Training Tips for Pregnant Women

Guest blogger and fitness expert Stella Ann Borland totally inspired us with her barefoot journey through pregnancy, sharing her bump-friendly workouts and glowing technique tips.


Exclusively for VIVO, she's put together her 4 favourite training exercises for pregnant women.


About me and why I love Vivobarefoot 



Hi, I'm Stella. I'm a mum of two young children and I've practised for the past 3 years as a fitness coach with Fitness First in Richmond, Australia with a keen interest on improving movement through corrective exercise prescriptions, including injury, rehab and pregnancy coaching.


I've been a fan of Vivobarefoot for a number of years, simply for the effortlessness design and practicality. They are extremely comfortable and stylish, allowing my feet to move freely in multidirectional planes; a key attribute for the type of training I coach and do personally.



Why I was focused on staying fit through pregnancy


Prior to discovering I was expecting my second child, I was training 4-5 times a week, so my body was primed for the 9 month journey ahead! Coupled with a diet rich in natural whole foods, sleeping adequately and spending plenty of time outdoors, I reduced a lot of the ailments most mothers-to-be experience, especially during the final trimester.


My focus and commitment to exercise and a healthy lifestyle helped for a comfortable pregnancy, reduced stress & anxiety, created a calmer state of mind and body as well as increased blood flow and circulation to baby.



4 exercise tips/tutorials 


Here are my top 4 exercises to practise during pregnancy.


Before commencing with each exercise, it's important to apply muscle contraction to these key areas- pelvic floor muscles, abdominal muscles and gluteus muscles. This helps stabilise your hips, improves your movement control & muscle activation and it also allows for better balance & improves skeletal postural alignment.


It's important to breath throughout the exercises, exhaling on the effort part of each movement. Remember, it's important not to overexert yourself and always train within your own personal limits and capabilities. 



Exercise 1- Barbell Sumo Deadlift



Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Hinge at the hips into a partial squat position, maintaining a neutral spine. Overhand grip the bar, with hands shoulder width apart. 


Lift bar up, finishing exercise in a standing neutral posture. This exercise is great for developing stronger muscles for both back & inner thighs. Your I'll also improve lower back muscles and abdominal muscles.

If you are a beginner, start with a light barbell load and reduce the sets and reps.



Exercise 2- Plank Push-Ups 



Start with hands slightly wider than shoulders, hips slightly lower than shoulders. Knees behind hip line and toes on the ground.


Lower chest to the ground, maintaining a neutral spine. This exercise focuses on strengthening the upper body, increasing muscle strength across the chest, shoulders as well as all layers of the abdominal muscles.


Regress by placing hands on an elevated height (the higher the less intense the workout. Progress to full plank by lifting knees off the ground and stabilising on toes. 


Exercise 3- Dumbbell Lateral Lunges



Start with feet hip width apart, elbows tucked into sides while holding dumbbells close to chest. Step out laterally, placing foot slightly turned out on the ground.


Finishing with a squat, keeping chest lifted and look straight ahead. Retract leg back to start position and repeat.


This exercise will strengthen your inner thighs & gluteus muscles. You'll also increase stability of connective tissues in and around ankles, knees and hips. 


Increase intensity by pushing laterally on a roller plate. Regress by reducing lunge distance & dumbbell load



Exercise 4- Dumbbell Single Arm Snatch



Start with feet slightly wider than shoulders to allow comfortable hip hinge for you and baby.


Squat down and reach for dumbbell. Place other arm out or on the base of your lower back for support. Draw the dumbbell towards chest, flexing at the elbows and complete movement with a press above your head.


Place dumbbell down and swap arms, repeating the exercise again. This exercise is fantastic as a wholebody exercise that can increase strength and power especially around shoulders, arms and chest.


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