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Pregnancy Safe Upper Body Movements

Five pregnancy safe upper body movements that are perfect for mamas to be! This pregnancy safe upper body workout was developed by a certified personal trainer and can be done with minimal equipment at home or in a gym. Tips and modifications included!

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Hi to all the mamas and soon-to-be mamas out there! Welcome to part one of my pregnancy safe exercise series.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed me posting about the workouts I’ve been doing during pregnancy. Truth is, I’ve always enjoyed a combination of training my body through weight lifting and stretching out (or calming down) through my yoga practice.

two women in workout clothes

To be completely transparent, I found that it was pretty difficult to stay motivated during my first trimester due to the exhaustion, nausea and just not feeling like myself. I knew I needed something and someone to not only motivate and encourage me, but also to help me prepare for birth through strength training exercises. That’s where my trainer Rae Reichlin comes in!

Rae is the owner of Ladies Who Lift here in Chicago and an overall badass chick; we used to train together a few years back, so I knew she was the perfect person to reach out to in regards to exercise during pregnancy. Not only is Rae a certified personal trainer but she’s also certified in pre- and post-natal training.

Ever since I started posting clips of my workout videos on Instagram, I started getting questions about what types of workouts I’ve been doing throughout my pregnancy. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to partner up with Rae to share some pregnancy safe movements that you can incorporate into your workout routine.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be breaking these exercises down into upper body, lower body, core workouts and an informational Q&A with my trainer, Rae Reichlin, to provide as much information as possible regarding working out while pregnant.

Listening to your body

Reminder: the biggest takeaway from these videos and resources is to listen to your body and do what feels the best for you! What works for me may not be the best for you, so when in doubt be sure to consult your personal doctor and/or trainer before performing any of these exercises.

In this upper body series, we’ll walk you through five movements that are perfectly safe to do while pregnant as long as they feel good to you. Rae will carefully explain what each move is and why it might be a good one for you to try during pregnancy, but remember, if it doesn’t feel right, then you probably shouldn’t do it.

Equipment you’ll need for these pregnancy safe upper body movements:

The best part about these movements is that you need minimal equipment and space. You can do them almost anywhere. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a resistance band
  • a pair of dumbbells that you can pull and lift overhead (note: you may want a couple varieties of weight)
  • a mat
  • a stool or chair for any modifications

Watch our pregnancy safe upper body movements here:

Movements in this pregnancy safe upper body workout:

  1. Band Pull Aparts: these can be done from day 1 of pregnancy up until the final day if they feel good to you! These use a pulling motion to strengthen your upper back.
  2. Split Stance Row: with one leg back and one leg forward this pulling exercise with a band helps build balance and stability.
  3. Bent Over Row: these can be done with a single dumbbell and are great for modifying with a stool or chair to support your belly as it grows.
  4. Split Stance Tricep Extension: these work both core stability and your triceps, helping maintain good posture.
  5. Pushup to Plank Row: this movement is a bit more advanced and incorporates a push up and a row with each arm. As always, listen to your body before and while you try it.

Looking for my go-to workout clothes & gym favorites? See them in the Ambitious Kitchen shop here!

I hope you loved these pregnancy safe upper body movements! If you have any questions for Rae or myself please feel free to drop a comment below and we will get back to you. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Neither myself nor Rae are doctors. Please consult with your doctor if you have any concerns about working out during pregnancy.

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