As a mobile personal trainer I love equipment that is super portable, easy to use and improves strength and mobility through all stages of pregnancy and postpartum. Check out my strength, mobility and resistance workout below that I created using the awesome equipment by Unit Nine.
Avoid aches and pains
Improving strength and mobility is a great way to avoid typical pregnancy and postpartum aches and pains. Many people think pain can only be reduced by stretching, however sometimes pain is not caused not from tightness but from weakness. This means mobility and functional strength training must be a focus and this can definitely start during pregnancy with safe and effective movements !
Bonus : Make sure you head to the bottom of this post to find out more details about how your can grab a 15% off special code for your own Unit 9 SWEAT PACK. Plus my #freebie download on Pregnancy and Postpartum Exercise Modifications !
Unit 9 Resistance Strength and Mobility pregnancy postpartum workout video
Please note : this above workout has been increased in speed so take your time when you do these moves by following the full mobility and resistance program below. Then refer back to the video above for movement reference.
Mobility and Resistance workout with UNIT 9 SWEAT PACK
Go at your own pace. Try not to rush this 12 step workout make sure never hold your breath when you feel resistance, always exhale on effort to protect your deep core and pelvic floor.
WARM UP :
1- Shoulder mobility with long resistance band – hold band in front so hands are wider than shoulders. Move both hands and band over head and back slowly – exhale as you rise. This is a great way to reduce should and neck pain particularly during postpartum when you have been nursing a baby for long period. Repeat 6 times
Glutes and Hips
2- Mini Band / Thera-band Crab walk – set the mini band above your knees, set your posture so it is stacked shoulder over ribs, eyes and chest up. Bend your knees and step 8 times sideways, return other side. Repeat this 2-3 times
3- Mini Band Tap Reverse – Band is still above knees. Stand tall, (use chair for balance especially if pregnant) supporting leg is soft -no locked knee joint, keep chest up and eyes up tap leg back and forward 8 times each side. Exhale as leg extends on the effort. Keep hips square, no twisting
Legs and Pelvic Floor :
Sit ups, crunches and planks need to be avoided during pregnancy and postpartum – learn here why. Also please avoid high impact moves like skipping and double-unders until you are ready here is why. Instead check out my skipping rope squats ! Did you know research has proven that if you breathe correctly during squats (exhale as you rise) this is one of the best ways to train your deep core and pelvic floor.
Performing a SQUAT that contracts the gluteals, inner thigh muscles and abdominals can result in simultaneous contraction of the pelvic floor muscles Bo.K 2004
4- Skipping Rope Squats – secure your Unit 9 skipping rope to a pole or stair rail. Set feet slightly wider than hips hold onto skipping rope and you squat down (ensure knees track towards toes / feet slightly turned out). Keep shoulders above hips, also you don’t have to drop your butt lower than your knees, especially if you end up dropping your chest forward and putting pressure on your lower back. Go at a slow even pace and exhale as you rise to activate and protect your core. Repeat 8 -10 squats
Deep squats are suitable when you reach your due date to help open the pelvis in preparation for birth. Join my Ultimate Pregnant Core Course to get your core birth ready and discover your abs better post baby !
5- Leg Slide Reverse – Place your Unit 9 sliders under each feet. Stand tall, (use chair for balance especially if pregnant) supporting leg is soft -no locked knee joint, keep chest up and eyes up slide 1 leg back and forward. repeat 8 times each side. Exhale as leg extends on the effort. Keep hips square, no twisting.
DEEP CORE TRAINING :
6- Pallof Press – is a fabulous anti-rotational core stability exercise for strengthening the deep anterior core muscles and improving spine stablisation. The Pallof press is extremely versatile and can be performed in a standing square stance, split stance, kneeling, and half kneeling position.
Secure your Unit 9 long resistance band to be positioned at chest height (standard position). Set your feet hip width apart and knees soft. Lightly rest the fingertips of your inside hand on top of the other hand. This grip takes the inside arm out of the equation and really encourages the deep core muscles to work much harder. When you extend your arms, the band and your arms should form a 90 degree angle, so position your body accordingly.
- Before you move into your pallof press take a deep breath into your belly, and as you extend your arms, then long exhale and actively tuck your rib cage towards your hips (close the space in your midsection), gently brace your core and lightly engage your glutes. Hold your arms in the extended position for 1-2 seconds before you bring them back to the starting position.
- As you bring your arms back in towards your body, stop when your elbows touch your sides. Don’t allow your elbows to bend to touch your side /anterior core. Many people make this mistake.
- Relax your arms so they do not dominate the exercise and ensure shoulders are relaxed away from the ears
- Again – exhale on the effort or resistance of the band.
This move can be a bit tricky to get the hang of. So don’t hesitate to reach out to me in my Facebook Group called #BFABSQUAD if you have any questions.
SWOLLEN FEET & ANKLE RELIEF :
7- Trigger Point Ball Roll – this is an awesome move to include at the end of your workout or if you have had a long day on your feet. Sit on a chair, with a nice tall posture and simple roll the Unit 9 trigger point ball (don’t worry it’s not spiky) under your feet. For a fabulous relief during pregnancy try keeping your ball in the fridge or freezer then rolling …ahhhhh it’s the best on a hot day !
FLOOR AND CORE WORK :
It’s time to get down on the floor (yep I know it can be a mission when preggers) grab your Unit 9 Sweat Towel and place it on the floor.
8 – Clams – set the Unit 9 mini band above your knees. Lie on your side, hips are stacked shoulders away from years. Toes stay together as you lift knees apart (stop if you feel pelvic pain). Exhale as your knees lift, inhale as you lower. This exercise helps strengthen your inner and outer thigh muscles (aductors and abductors). Do 8 – 10 on each side
9- Reverse Bridge – Mini band is still above knees. Roll over so hands are behind your and feet flat, hip width apart knees up. Exhale as you lift up onto hands and raise hips. Keep a gap between chin and chest. This exercise activates your arms, legs / glutes and deep core.
Roll over and repeat both sets of the above exercises.
RELEASE & BREATHE :
10 – Trigger Ball Calf and Leg release – imbalances happen up and down your body occur during pregnancy and postpartum. These often create perpetual overload and can lead to pain including SIJ pain and hip pain. Giving your foundation priority this includes your feet, ankles legs and pelvic floor with mobility moves can make a massive difference to imbalances, pain and dysfunction. As per the video the trigger ball calf roll together with the ankle roll above for some instant relief.
11- Thoracic Spine Release – this is a wonderful stretch to release and open up the back door to your heart or thoracic spine. This area in between you shoulder blades can get painful especially after long periods breastfeeding, holding a baby, sitting at a desk or leaning over a smart phone. If pregnant place a yoga block or pillow under your head for support as you do this stretch (see video above)
12- Core Breath – is an essential daily activity to include during pregnancy and postpartum. Connecting to your core breath will actually help you breathe your way to a breath your way to a better core. Find out full details about how to connect to your core breath here.
FREE EXERCISE DOWNLOAD AND UNIT NINE SWEAT PACK !
To ensure you continue to exercise safely and effectively during pregnancy and postpartum I have created a freebie PDF for you – pregnancy and post natal exercise modifications. The download includes 8 types of exercises such as burpees, toes to bar, skipping etc and the alternatives you can do during pregnancy and beyond.
Print it out and take it to the gym or add it to your current workouts ! Grab yours here.
PLUS – if you would like to continue your strength, resistance and mobility workout with your own UNIT NINE SWEAT PACK when you grab my Exercise Modifications PDF you will receive an email with an exclusive 15% code from Unit Nine.
Enjoy and stay fabulous !