Pregnancy Fit #1 -Protractor
Even though I have only one child thus far, I feel like a veteran when it come to embracing, loving and protecting the pregnant body. During the miraculous nine months of creation I developed an understanding of the woman's body in an entirely new eye opening way. As my hips, waist and clothing expanded, I no longer could judge my body by the pounds on the scale. Rather than focusing on gaining weight I was more interested in protecting my body and my growing child by strentheing the muscles that support a pregnant belly. Don't get me wrong, I was still up for a physical challenge. I needed the natural endorphin high of movement. I took many of the exercises from my repertoire and modified them for pregnancy. This particular exercise, called "Protractor", was one of my favorites before I was pregnant and became even more appealing once I started feeling the effects of weight gain on my joints, spine and muscles. It strengthens the muscles used to hold up the belly and aid in childbirth, such as the hamstrings, glutes, hips and obliques, as well as the back, shoulders, wrist and arms. This exercise targets all the areas you will need to hold and nurse a newborn baby. It is challenging without feeling precarious and may even work up a sweat. https://youtu.be/jVor0te1snk
Start with a one legged "cat/cow" move by beginning on your hands and knees, making sure your arms are straight and directly under your shoulders. Extend your right leg straight directly behind your right hip as though you were trying to stand on the wall behind you, keeping your heel up towards the ceiling. Open up the chest and look forward. Curl the spine, drop you chin to your chest and draw your right knee into your belly. Extend the right leg back behind you, open up the chest, widen your shoulders and gaze forward. Continue that same movement 3 times.
On the third leg extension, laterally rotate your right leg up and around to the right side of your right hip, keeping it as high as you can and rotating the leg and foot to face forward ( the direction of your head). Drop the right foot to the ground and lift it up as high as you can 3 times. Make sure that your left hip stays directly behind your left shoulders and doesn't pop out to the left. Once you lift the right leg a third time rotate the right leg up and around behind the right hip, brining it back to the original parallel position (inner thigh heavy and hamstring facing the ceiling).
Do the exercise 5 times on the right leg and 5 times on the left leg. Remember to breath. Once you're done sit back on your heels in child's pose and relax. Just remember you are a goddess and enjoy this very special time!