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Pregna-Fit™  Strength training for pregnancy🔸 Nora Matthew, pre/postnatal specialist🔸 info@pregnafit.com🔸


Workouts during pregnancy should ideally be full-body so that you get the most bang for your buck when energy can be less available 😉

This workout I did at about 28 weeks hit glutes, chest, back, core, and some HIIT style cardio with battle ropes and only took about 20 minutes to complete 4 rounds.
I love lifting and getting a sweat on, so keeping my weights at a challenging level with very little rest time were two elements of workouts that continued to be important to me during pregnancy.

If I had between 10-30 minutes between clients, I either completed a challenging workout OR I had a snack. I was about 30% workout and 70% snack by my third trimester and that's ok!

Short, efficient, full-body workouts are what are included my brand new e-book, *Strength Training for Pregnancy*!!!! >>>NOW available for pre-sale on my Shopify site, this e-book is 25% off until its official release date, 9/24!
See link in profile to order! 💪🏼🤰🏼🏋🏼‍♀️

Stay Strong & Confident in every trimester with Pregna-Fit's *Strength Training for Pregnancy* e-book!

This brand NEW release (9/24) will include every element you need to safely and effectively plan and implement workouts for every stage of pregnancy.
Features: •Full body warm up, •Exercises to introduce in each trimester, •Common questions and concerns about exercise during pregnancy, •Step-by-step step instructional photos & videos on 60+ exercises •Featured bonus workouts include dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, and more, •Suggested weight ranges, proper breathing technique, deep core training, & much more!

This amazing new e-book has an exclusive pre-sale price of $74.99 ONLY before its release on 9/24! Once the book is released, the price will increase to $99.99. Act now to take advantage of this awesome discount!!

After over a year of planning, working, and piecing together, the Pregna-Fit E-Book STRENGTH TRAINING FOR PREGNANCY

I can't even tell you how excited I am to share this guide with you all.
Strength Training for Pregnancy will include: •Warm up for every trimester
•Trimester-specific exercises to guide you from 4-40 weeks
•Clear demonstration step-by-step pictures & tips
•Modifications and considerations for every stage and common injuries/pain during pregnancy •Free weight, Cable machine, Kettlebell, and Resistance band workouts •Bonus workout plans

The exclusive PRE-ORDER price is $74.99, which will increase to $99.99 from 9/24, the official release date.

All preorders will be available for download on 9/23 via exclusive download link.

Purchase link in bio!
#pregnafit #pregnancy #fitness #pregnancyfitness #strongpregnancy #strongmama #firstrimester #secondtrimester #thirdtrimester

Exercise programming during pregnancy should **not** be random. Your workouts can absolutely include elements of your pre-pregnancy routine, however, there are movements to focus on in order to best serve the changes happening in your body.
Here are two principles I prioritize when programming workouts for my clients and myself:

1. Maintain strength. I can't emphasize enough the value of being strong. Strength (and mobility) allows your musculoskeletal system to function well. As your body adapts itself to the physical changes of pregnancy, full body strength will play a huge role in preventing imbalances and issues like back pain, postpartum core issues, poor posture, and more.
Strength training also teaches your body to recover/heal from inflammation. Birth can be traumatic and it's very important to teach the body to heal itself. Having worked with hundreds of pregnant women, I can't tell you what a huge difference it makes to work hard to make recovery shorter and much more efficient. Good circulation, dense bones and tissues, and great range of motion will all aid in a faster recovery postpartum, regardless of how birth goes.
2. Train the core to stabilize the spine. We are SO caught up in being lean enough to have visible ab muscles that we lose sight of what the actual roles of the muscles in the torso have: to stabilize the spine.
I've heard time and time again (since NPR released the article about getting rid of the "mummy tummy" with one exercise 🙄) that we need to ISOLATE the muscle called the Transversus Abdominis or the TvA. Research has shown that you *can't* actually activate the TvA without the help of other muscles. And you also can't create a strong core by endless "pulling belly button to spine" exercises.
So how do you train the core during pregnancy? Keep the spine in neutral, exhale to stabilize, and keep great alignment (ribs over hips). The "belly button to spine" movement is actually DE-stabilizing the spine, according to spine expert and biomechanist, Dr Stuart McGill.
The core will activate in any exercise that involves stabilizing the torso. I love the tall and 1/2 kneeling positions, chops, pushdowns, and more featured ⬇️

What have we been up to in Pregna-Fit?? These mamas have been working on maintaining strength and endurance while preparing their bodies to cope with labor and recover from birth!
Challenging the body to work, recover, and build muscle during pregnancy (with appropriate rest days and modifications where necessary) have a direct impact on HOW mamas will recover during both the short and long-term postpartum periods.

Think about it: if you prepare your body for a triathlon, aren't you in a much better place to take on the challenge when the day comes? Labor and birth can have a very similar impact on your body to a big athletic event PLUS the addition of trauma to the core and pelvic floor in particular. Birth is so incredibly unpredictable, it makes a big difference to prepare for everything and anything.
Every mama is different in her needs for exercise, but in general, strength training is an efficient, challenging, and PROVEN way to ready yourself for the big day(s)! Check out these great exercises that have been part of summer Pregna-Fit classes! 🤜🏻🤛🏽💪🏼 #Pregnafit #pregnancyfitness #strongpregnancy #strengthttraining #strengthformoms #prepareyourself #strongmama

Ah what a difference a year can make. I can honestly say that this pregnancy has been the most exhausting of my 3 (probably because I'm working full time hours plus chasing a 4 and a 2 year old around🤷🏼‍♀️). My weight gain has been the same (currently around 28 lbs at 38 weeks) and all, thankfully seems to be going well with baby boy.

But I do have a confession to make: I stopped working out about a month ago.
In all 3 pregnancies, I've had Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD), characterized as Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP). This time around, it caused me to have pain with any split stance or single leg exercise as well as with any exercise that really required a stable pelvis. I've been seeing a chiropractor (practicing Webster technique) and that's been immensely helpful, but it definitely put a wrench in my workout routine. As I approached my last 6 weeks of pregnancy, with the increase of Relaxin (the hormone that surges in order to help our musculoskeletal system become more lax for birth), the discomfort and quick fatigue in my lower body has reached a point where, after training my clients, I don't have anything left for my own workouts.
That is a conclusion that I've felt very guilty about for several weeks and was reluctant to admit to myself, but you know what?

I'm only human. And that's ok. I've made a decision that's best for me and my situation. That being said, I'm definitely looking forward to rehabilitating postpartum.

I'm going to have a long road to rebuilding strength and stability in my post-pregnancy body. I am determined to give myself a chance to do that in a way that is nurturing and safe for my body, while I heal and expend most of my energy caring for my newborn and the rest of my family.
What the woman's body is capable of never fails to amaze me and I'm so grateful I can experience pregnancy and birth for myself while training other incredible women at every stage of motherhood.
With 2 weeks until my due date, it's now just a resting and waiting game, so bear with me on the social media updates, mamas! ❤️ #pregnafit #mamastrength #strengthformoms #strongpregnancy #strongmama #before #after #boymom #mamaof3 #pregnant #pregnancy

Breathing well is central to all Pregna-Fit workouts. Every exercise has an ideal time to breathe in order to allow the abdominals, diaphragm, pelvic floor to work best together. There are optimal and suboptimal ways to breathe during workouts that can DIRECTLY impact how you breathe during labor and birth.

If you can train your body to work well during well-executed exercise routines in which it is under stress (from load, intensity, etc.), your body will be MUCH more likely to cope well with labor and birth.
Here are a few tips from Pregna-Fit:

1. Learn how to diaphragmatically breathe: if you can correctly utilize your diaphragm, breathing is your body's natural mechanism to cope with pain and stress. Inhale through the nose, and visualize "sending" the breath down to the belly & pelvic floor, while keeping the shoulders relaxed. Allow the breath to fill the belly, then gently exhale through the mouth, "deflating" the belly like a balloon.
2. "Exhale on Exertion" means to breathe out during the hardest part of an exercise. For example, as you stand up from a squat, as you push up from the bottom of a push up, as you press the weight away from you on a Pallof Press, EXhale. The exhale will allow your abdominal muscles to best support your spine, as well as correctly activate the pelvic floor muscles to cope with the load it's shouldering (that may cause intra-abdominal pressure). This is especially important during pregnancy because the pelvic floor is already excessively loaded with the extra weight.

3. If possible, perform your movements in time with your breath. For example, do a slow(er) squat (with or without weight) and inhale all the way down to the lowest part, then exhale to stand back up. If this type of slowed exercise and breathing pattern is performed mid-workout, it can really help you to control your breathing and your body when it's tired and under stress, imitating labor.

4. Finally & most importantly, practice good breathing technique in order to help you COMPLETELY relax. Relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles is often counter-intuitive to those of us who work out, but MUST happen in order to efficiently push during birth. (Contd ⬇️)

👋🏼 👋🏼 I'm Nora, I'm the owner of Pregna-Fit and Strength for Moms, strength training programs for expectant and postpartum mamas. I am almost 34 weeks pregnant with my third [giant] baby. I became a Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM) in college after loving the D1 strength and conditioning program I was in for track (@pcathletics) and falling in love with getting strong.
Becoming pregnant with my first babe at 22 (2012) whilst living in Scotland and loving CrossFit (@crossfitglasgow) was a reality check in what I DIDN'T know about my body and pregnancy and what the optimal movements/exercise would be. This rabbit hole of information led me to where I am now, as a trainer of mamas, both new and seasoned.

Along the way I've become certified in pre/postnatal fitness (via various bodies), pre/postnatal Pilates, Olympic Lifting (@britishwl), and continued my education through the Integrative Women's Health Institute (@integrativewomenshealth) and Perform Better (@perform_better). I absolutely love reading about the LATEST on women's health (especially for my mamas) from Diane Lee @dianeleept, Julie Wiebe @juliewiebept, Dr Brooke Kalanick @betterbydrbrooke, and Jessie Mundell @jessiemundell, among many others.
I've built a business upon private and small group training of [primarily] mamas with the amazing Fitness Artist studios @fitnessartistsculpting and have also had the privilege of training moms from all over the world via my Pregna-Fit online training program (available by inquiry only). I don't think there's anything better than loving your career, living it (as a mama x3), and wanting to get better at it every single day.
I've recently finished an e-book about strength training during pregnancy and have sent it off for editing and formatting and can't wait to share it with all of you in September.

Thank you for following @pregnancy_fitness and @strength_for_moms! I'm always open to suggestions and questions for my social media pages, so feel free to get in touch or email me info@pregnafit.com 🙂💪🏼❤️

There is strength in numbers.

I know you see the hype, images, videos, and constant bombardment from social media about what a "fit mama" looks like. Fitting yourself into a mold (whether you are expecting your first or your kids are all grown up) does.not.work.
We live in a world where moms are expected to be everything and so much more. We wear a ridiculous number of hats and often are left without any time for ourselves.
Give yourself permission to be confident and strong, striving to actually love yourself no matter what. Hard work pays off, and I've come to believe that work is done within yourself much more than it's done in the gym.
I spoke to a mama recently who is "early" postpartum (just a few weeks) and she mentioned how hard it was to see her body in the state is was post-birth. YES. Of course. And there's nothing wrong with seeing your body as strong and vulnerable at the same time. We undergo the most significant changes (in every way) during pregnancy AND postpartum. And they're not always what we expect.
I want the mamas I reach to feel empathy and support, while also getting encouraged and pushed to feel better and gain confidence with every day that passes. The Pregna-Fit and Mama Strength community aims to provide that to every mama.

These pictured mamas, pregnant and postpartum, are some of the most incredible people I've ever met. It's been such a privilege to watch this community build day by day. Support, strength, and encouragement are my favorite elements of the Pregna-Fit and Mama Strength programs.
Taking time for yourself, even if it's 2-4 workouts per week can have an incredibly positive impact on your mental wellbeing.
Regardless of how mamas feel when they walk in the door, I'm confident that they will walk out feeling a part of something. This community is awesome.

I am immensely grateful to the mamas who've allowed me to work with them at some of the most pivotal moments of their lives and to those who continue to strive for strength and health by making Pregna-Fit and Mama Strength a regular part of their lives.
Together we rise.

#pregnafit #mamastrength #strengthformoms

What is "safe" exercise during pregnancy?
Ugh. I really dislike this question and what it implies. If you're not doing what someone considers to be "safe," are you potentially harming your baby? Yourself?
This ongoing conversation has evolved from addressing "low impact" vs "high impact" exercise to now addressing modern workout trends like CrossFit, weightlifting, and HIIT. Words of venom and blind acceptance alike have been thrown around and I'm simply ready to
Let's look for "EFFECTIVE" and "SMART"ways to prepare our bodies to have the healthiest pregnancies, labors, births, and postpartum recoveries possible.
Let's move our bodies to stay mobile, strong, and fit. Let's face it: pregnancy isn't easy. Birth isn't easy. And motherhood definitely isn't.

Preparation should be taken seriously, but there is also a huge element of surrender and acceptance that comes with the changes our bodies *must* undergo in order to create and nourish another human life.
Many of us are in the habit of fighting against our bodies for the vast majority our lives..always trying to achieve this elusive image of the ideal.
What does a "fit pregnancy" look like? What does it mean when people say you look like you "never even had a baby" postpartum? Is that the goal? What about those of us with stretch marks and pelvic floor weakness?
Let's advocate for ourselves to seek out information, to ask the necessary questions about movement and exercise during pregnancy, and to find the excitingly accessible information for postpartum rehabilitation and rebuilding for every part of ourselves.
Let's stop the constant, unforgiving comparison to others and work to understand what it means to prepare ourselves body, mind, and soul for what we are undertaking.

As the owner of Pregna-Fit and a mother of almost 3, I want to understand and help the women I work with to answer the question "WHY?" I started this journey over 5 years ago, and have been absolutely fascinated with the answers I've reached through reading research, studying recommendations, listening to experts of physiology, biomechanics and obstetrics and am proud to share it all with you💪🏼

Mamas!!! Let's talk "stability." Stabilizing the SPINE is a function of the core muscles and a central focus of training during pregnancy. Exercises like diaphragmatic breathing, chops, Pallof presses, carries, and single leg deadlifts (where possible) are ALL part of the scaled training of Pregna-Fit.
Pregna-Fit is about meeting YOU where you're at to allow you to have the strongest, most functional pregnancy possible, regardless of background. Moving is immensely important when preparing for labor, birth, and (oh yeah) being a MOM!

I haven't posted in a few days because I've been at the @perform_better 3 Day Summit in Providence, RI! It's been amazing learning about STRENGTH training, mobility, stability, functional core anatomy, movement, glute training, nutrition that WORKS, and so much more. It's been exciting to watch notable coaches like @bmarcello13 @backfitpro @bodybyboyle @rachcosgrove @lburtonfms01 @toddwright_coach @ericcressey and many many more!
Stay tuned for what I have in store for you in July!!! #pregnafit #pregnant #pregnancy #fitpregnancy #fitmama #strongmama #strongpregnancy #strengthformoms #fms #performbetter

A great workout does not need to be a long one! Pregna-Fit classes are 45 minutes, but the warm-up and finisher at the end are about 15-20 minutes combined and the main circuit is about 20-25 minutes.
As a mom, I've found that if you're always waiting for the perfect moment or the exact amount of time to get your workout in, it quite often doesn't ever happen. #truth
I had a small gap of time between clients, so I tried to move in several different ways.
I [clearly] love hip-powered, glute-centric exercises, so I did some heavier kettlebell swings, slightly lighter single arm swings, cleans, and presses, followed by some deadlifts, split squats, and windmills! It wasn't totally planned and two sets took me about 10 minutes with my 2-3 minute recovery in between.
Was I sweating? No.
Could I have used heavier weights or completed more sets? Yes ✔️
Did I focus on good movements with solid form? Yes ✔️
Do I plan to do longer workouts with more movement variations as my pregnancy progresses? Absolutely. 🤷🏼‍♀️ Sometimes it's not rocket science. Move your body well and you will reap the rewards.
#pregnafit #pregnant #thirdtrimester #strongpregnancy #fitmama #strongmama #kettlebells #swings

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