pregnancy_fitness pregnancy_fitness

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Pregna-Fit™  Strength for pregnancy and postpartum🔸 Check out @strength_for_moms for more!🔸 Nora Matthew, pre/postnatal specialist🔸🔸

Hey mamas, want to have a STRONG core? Hint: stop doing crunches 😉 and start doing single-sided exercises. Pregnancy core training is all about STABILIZING THE SPINE. Great engagement of the core muscles (especially the deep ones like the transverse abdominus) comes with having to stabilize the spine by resisting tipping, swaying, twisting/rotating, flexing, extending, etc.! Challenge yourself and change up your routine by adding in these exercises.

Incline chest press is a great way to continue to get the AWESOME core work of the McGill Press (which is done lying flat on the back) by keeping the elbow wide and (when using a heavier weight 15-25 lbs) EXhaling as you press the weight away from your chest. Seriously, try it!

#pregnafit #pregnancy #fitpregnancy #strongmama #strongpregnancy #strengthtraining #mcgillpress #corework #spinestability

As a strength coach, I love split stance exercises (split squats, lunges, incline/pitcher lunges, etc) due to the various benefits that result from them (glute engagement, stability, single leg strength, etc.). However! It's super important to note that the changes that occur in the pelvis during pregnancy can seriously affect active mamas!
In my experience, about 50% of the Pregna-Fit ladies experience some sort of pelvic, hip, lower back, or pubic bone pain while performing split stance exercises, especially towards the end of the 2nd and into the 3rd trimesters, when tons of changes are occurring including weight gain, posture shifts, and the relaxation of various ligaments and tendons in the pelvis, along with the rapid weight gain of baby & fluid retention. While some mamas can comfortable continue doing split squats & reverse lunges, I am always ready to modify where necessary to an exercise where the feet are on an even plane like squats & deadlifts.
Something as simple as getting out of bed one leg at a time, slipping on ice, or getting up off the floor can sometimes trigger this discomfort. Listen to your body! If split stance no longer feels good, change things up! You will have plenty of time to get it back postpartum.
#pregnafit #pregnancy #strongmama #strengthformoms #strengthtraining #fitpregnancy #strongpregnancy #splitstance #pgp #psd

I'm thrilled to share with you a project that I've been working on for several months: Strength for Moms (@strength_for_moms ) is the official page to accompany my Mama Strength Training Program for mamas who are 4+ months postpartum. There are so many of you who've asked for strength training programs appropriate to follow after pregnancy. Every mama is different, but most who've trained through Pregna-Fit are ready to make a phased return to loaded strength exercises around 3-5 months postpartum.
I'll be sharing clips, pics, and tips from my group and private training sessions. I train mamas who are up to 4 years postpartum-- all different mamas from diverse backgrounds benefit immensely from well-coached strength training!
If you want to try strength training or get better and find some inspiration with your current routine, check it out! 💪🏼 #pregnafit #strengthformoms #fitpostpartum #postpartumexercise #strengthtraining #strongmama #core #glutes #push #pull #kettlebells #battleropes #sledpush #getstronger #livebetter

I don't typically post videos that are not my own, but I had to give a shout out to my amazing client down under @vegannette completing her Pregna-Fit Postpartum 8 Week Program! At about 6 weeks postpartum and she is on the week 2 exercises. @vegannette rocked the Pregna-Fit pregnancy programming throughout her entire pregnancy, had a great birth, and is now easing her way back into exercise by focusing on reconnecting her core and pelvic floor muscles AND completing bodyweight functional strength exercises such as squats, push-ups, rows, and hip hinges, many of which are demonstrated here!
The Pregna-Fit Postpartum Program is in the format of a PDF with links to video demonstrations for every exercise. It also teaches you how to self assess for an abdominal separation (diastasis recti), and gives weekly opportunities for reflection when you can check in with your own progress.
It's very important to continue to stay in tune with yourself and your body even with a newborn baby to look after! You can purchase the program on my website--link in profile!
#pregnafit #pregnancyworkout #postpartum #postpartumcore #postpartumexercise #strengthformoms #strengthtraining #strongmama #fitpostpartum

I hear lots of questions about laying on your back during pregnancy, especially as it pertains to exercise. The truth is that everyone is different! Some mamas are uncomfortable sleeping on their backs from second trimester, when they begin to "show" a bump, while others are comfortable lying on their backs well into the third trimester.
There is a difference, however, between lying flat on your back for an extended period of time and doing a MOVING exercise in a supine/lying position.
So, why are we told to avoid lying flat on the back during pregnancy? When your uterus, housing the baby, is much larger than pre-pregnancy, it, in addition to extra fluid, can put excess pressure on a large vein called the Vena Cava, that returns deoxygenated blood from the lower/middle body to the heart. If this flow is restricted, it can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, and disorientation. These symptoms are signs from your body to change your position.
Pictured here are two Pregna-Fit clients, both in their third trimesters. They were given the choice to modify the exercise to an incline position if they so desired. Both were perfectly comfortable and safe throughout the workout!
Also, it's important to consider is HOW you get up from the supine position. Whether in bed or working out, roll to your side and use your arms to get up rather than sitting straight up into a sit-up/crunch. This is way better for your abs! Oh--and don't forget to ask for help when getting up from the exam table at your OB/midwife visits!! 🤝
#pregnafit #pregnancy #fitmama #strongmama #strongpregnancy #hipthrust #glutebridge #glutetraining #pregnancyworkout #pregnancyexercise #fitpregnancy

I fell in love with kettlebell training after having my second baby. Now, at 20 weeks with my 3rd, I've been able to comfortably and safely continue swings, cleans, and snatches thus far in this pregnancy. These moves have allowed me to continue properly engaging my posterior chain muscles (glutes, hamstrings, and erector spinae among others), that tend to turn OFF during pregnancy due to a posterior pelvic tilt to make up for extra weight on the abdomen. Aka, tucking the bum which often leads to rounded shoulders and puts the core in a poor position.
Swings are not an exercise I typically program during Pregna-Fit classes (usually only private training sessions), mostly because I have mamas of all different exercise backgrounds and experience levels.
If you don't have the kettlebell swing down to a "t," try deadlifts, hip thrusts, and glute bridges instead to keep your bum muscles firing!
Here I'm swinging a 20kg (44 lbs) kettlebell for 5 sets of 10. For more info on kettlebell training, check out @_coach_karen_ !!

BELLY BREATHING. This is a perfect test of your deep abdominal muscles. Even during pregnancy when it seems like your ab muscles are gone, they are STILL working! The primary role of the core is to stabilize the trunk by working with the spine to keep you upright! The ab muscles work in tandem with the breathing muscles (like the diaphragm) to support your whole abdomen from top to bottom including PELVIC FLOOR. I've heard this analogy many times for the pelvic floor: picture a wet paper grocery bag with a melon in it, then jump up and down holding that bag. Will the bottom give out? Maybe yes maybe no, but it will absolutely be weakened under constant stress (like heavy weight and other movements that it cannot handle). So what's the point of all this? Abdominal muscle control goes MUCH further than looking great when you're not pregnant and lean. Pelvic floor control (including both properly engaging AND releasing or "letting go") is of immense importance during pregnancy and postpartum.
Belly breathing is a great exercise and always a part of the Pregna-For warm up. Inhale and fill the belly like a balloon--exhale and gently engage the ab muscles so that you are "pulling" your baby closer to your spine. Don't suck in! Exhale and use the core.

20 weeks is here already!! 😬 and believe me when I say that no one is immune to lack of motivation! I train pregnant and postpartum mamas every day and I still struggle to get in 2-3 workouts myself per week. My new philosophy is lift heavy (relatively speaking) for shorter reps and sets so that I can complete a challenging workout in 20 minutes or so (prone to less excuses). This is what I did today:
3 sets of the following:
1. Kneeling lat pulldown,12 reps
2. Bent over row, 6 per arm
3. Goblet squats with band, 12
4. Strict overhead press (seated for a better core position), 6 per arm
5. Single leg hip thrust 8 per leg
6. Hip thrust, 10 reps

Minimal rest between sets (20-30 seconds). (Note: My belly is definitely bigger at this point than I was with my last 2, but I feel pretty good! I'm very prone to tight adductors which leaves me with pelvic pain, but I've been in pretty good shape so far.)

The HIP HINGE is a very basic movement of extension and flexion through the hips, while maintaining a neutral spine position and slight bend through the knees. The hip hinge trains & strengthens the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and core, among many other muscles. It's SUPER important to properly continue hinge movements throughout pregnancy to minimize back pain, avoid tucking of the pelvis that can lead to disengaged glutes (hello sad postpartum butt 😢), and to keep the core strong and spine stable. This is especially important as HUGE postural changes take place during pregnancy.
It's also really important to consider the shifting that can take place in the pelvis and how that can (and will) affect stability and the ability to properly perform the deadlift. Lightening the load and even decreasing the depth (use a block or box) on any deadlifts is a wise consideration, especially in mid-late second and third trimesters. Maintain your hip hinge with these movements!

Need some new core exercises to change up your routine?? Try these 3, (all completely safe when performed correctly) perfect for every trimester.

1. Uneven cable bar press: this exercise is performed in 1/2 kneeling--and the same side of the knee that's down holds the cable weight. The goal is to press evenly with both sides and RESIST the rotation to one side. This is an anti-rotation exercise that should be performed with light to moderate weight (15-20 lbs), always exhaling on the hard part (the press) to activate the core. Switch sides and legs and repeat. (Think I took this one from @ericcressey 🙌🏼) 2. Upward Cable Chop: in 1/2 kneeling, pull the rope with straight arms up over your shoulder as you exhale whilst resisting any tipping at the hips and twisting at the core.
3. Finally, any of my clients will tell you I love the battle ropes! The tall kneeling position adds an extra element of hip/glute stability along with some great core work. Remember to breathe well during this exercise! 💪🏼

Suuuper excited about the release of my first Pregna-Fit guide for strength training during pregnancy!! 🤰🏼🏋️‍♀️ Stay tuned for more previews in just a couple weeks!

Diastasis Recti! Heard this buzz term during pregnancy and postpartum? There's lots of information out there (some accurate and some not so accurate), so how do you decipher all this talk about abdominal separation?? Check out my latest YouTube video just released today!! Link in profile.

Want to close your gap? Check out my 8 Week Postpartum Guide that safely takes you from the weeks following birth through your return to a full body strength routine. Includes weekly physical and emotional self-assessments including a video tutorial on how to check yourself for an abdominal separation. This can be found on my online store at

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