Maintaining an active lifestyle during pregnancy can pose all sorts of challenges. From feeling sluggish and tired, to your ever-changing body practically fighting you the whole way, staying fit and keeping up with regular pregnancy workouts isn’t easy. At least it wasn’t for me!
Of course we all know that working out, eating right and keeping your body moving are all things that are great for baby, yet the nagging little voice in the back of your head (belly?) is screaming for nap time, ice cream and Netflix marathons. Now, I would never say no to a good Netflix sesh, but I knew that without some support and structure, my regular pre-maternity workouts had a strong chance of falling to the wayside on days when the call for carbs reigned supreme.
Not wanting to “let myself go” during pregnancy was a major concern, so I took action and decided that hiring a personal trainer was the best route for me. Not only did it force a bit of accountability, but this cardio and spin devotee needed a bit of guidance on how to modify pregnancy workouts in a way that was safer and less intense – while still being effective – as my body changed and grew. Jessica Gruen Anzalone was just the powerhouse I needed to get me there.
Not only does Jessica train moms, moms-to-be and non-moms alike, but is a mom herself. I really loved that for my personal journey. I knew she was able to relate from an experienced perspective and would push me while still totally getting my concerns, fears and issues — of which there were many. LOL!
There is so much going on with your body and I wanted to work with someone who could roll with the punches and modify as needed. Dealing with terrible heartburn? Yes, check. Round ligament pain? Yup, that too. Jess will modify on the fly to a workout that fully accommodated and lessened the aggravation of these pregnancy joys while still staying fierce and serving me a challenging, full-body workout.
Although we switch up workouts week-to-week, including different elements like kickboxing, pilates, TRX, and weight training, the fundamentals of strength and stretch are always there.
And, of course, FORM, FORM, FORM. Jessica is a form nazi and always reinforces how important maintaining proper form is to get the most out of our workouts. I had NO IDEA just how poor my form was until we started these pregnancy workouts together. It’s still a work-in-progress and I’ve almost completely stopped working out on my tip-toes… almost.
The summer has brought with it the opportunity to workout outside – yes, please! – and we hooked up this awesome full body circuit that you can do just about anywhere with some resistance bands or handheld weights.
JESSICA’S FULL BODY CIRCUIT
Always warm up with some light cardio and dynamic movements. We do 60 seconds of jumprope (or just mimic jumping rope in place), then 40 arm circles and 50 jumping jacks to get the heart pumping. Once you’re good and warm, you’ll move into the circuit:
- 20 weighted sumo squats (using 10 lb weights)
- Forward lunges, alternating legs (using 10 lb weights)
- 15 shoulder presses (5 lbs in each hand)
- 15 pushups (form is key, so drop to your knees for a full-range push up if necessary)
- 3 sets side steps with a fast shuffle back (8 squat side steps, 8 shuffles back, then go opposite direction)
- 15 bicep curls (5 lb or 10 lb in each hand)
- 15 tricep dips
- 15 on each side bird dog abs on the yoga mat
- Repeat twice more for a total body workout
When complete, don’t forget to stretch it all out for a solid 10 minutes post-workout.
Having the encouragement and guidance (and yes, a little ass-kicking, too) from Jessica has been amazing. On the days we can’t be together she sends me extra workout homework, healthy recipes, and a hefty dose of accountability since she, too, sees everything I’m eating and posting on Instagram just like you do. Totally busted!
I’m hoping staying strong and fit during my pregnancy will translate into an easier birth next month – fingers crossed. It certainly has contributed to an easier pregnancy and looking and feeling great thus far.
Now who wants to get together for a little rooftop exercise? We’re always looking for a few good fitness buddies!