If you’re working with pregnant clients — or have experienced pregnancy yourself — you’re aware that pregnancy usually comes with its fair share of aches and pains. The hips, lower back, upper back and neck are all common locations for discomfort during pregnancy.
Luckily, as a coach, you can help your pregnant client decrease those aches and pains, and keep her body from feeling overly sore.
Below is a quick circuit of stretches and exercises I use with my clients. It isn’t be strenuous, but it helps to get the blood pumping and the body moving, and only takes about five minutes to complete.
You can use this circuit as a dynamic warm-up with a pregnant client — in fact, you could encourage her to practice it daily throughout her pregnancy. One or two sets through the exercises on most days of the week is sufficient, but especially on non-training days.
The only equipment needed is a bench, a couch, or a chair (make sure whatever your client is using is secured and won’t slide).
Disclaimer: As always, please make sure that your client has consulted with her doctor to confirm she has no contraindications to exercise during her pregnancy. These exercises are safe to do from Week 1 to Week 42, as long as your client is feeling comfortable doing them.
In addition to what’s demonstrated in the video above, you can have your client to the following to add a side stretch:
If your client needs to feel more supported, have her rest her belly on a bolster, pillow, or rolled up towel.
NOTE: If your client feels pain in her pelvis or she’s experiencing symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), skip this particular variation. You can have her try the stretch while standing facing a wall instead:
Instruct your client to get into a side-lying position with her head, hips, and heels in line, supporting her head with her bottom arm and stretch her top arm out in front of her.
NOTE: A common form break is to allow the hips to rock backwards. To prevent this, make sure your client is pressing her hand into the floor to keep her weight shifted slightly forward.
NOTE: Your client should be moving her whole body as one unit through the hip thrust. Her ribcage and hips should stay in line on the way up and on the way down.
Make sure your client is set up with good alignment, with her feet a bit wider than shoulder distance and a comfortable foot placement for you (this is often slightly turned out to the sides).
NOTE: Make sure that your client is squeezing her glutes as she stands, but doesn’t drive her hips forward to flatten her lower back. I cue my clients to “leave your bum behind you” at the top.
NOTE: Watch that her lower back maintains a gentle curve, but doesn’t arch as she raises her arms.
Struggling with the changes your body is experiencing during pregnancy? Feeling out of sorts? Worried your body won’t “be the same” post-pregnancy? We can help. We have put together this FREE Body Confidence Blueprint where you’ll learn:
Whether you’re a mom or mom-to-be struggling with these topics or a health and fitness professional helping your pre- and postnatal clients navigate these feelings, we have you covered. Select from these options below to receive your free blueprint to help you or your clients feel more comfortable in their bodies during and after pregnancy.