Now Available in Canada: New Activewear for Breastfeeding Moms


I’m an active person by nature. After my first daughter was born in winter 2017, I was back exercising fairly quickly. For months I tried to find good nursing activewear. Pickings were slim, save for a few camis sold in high street retailers. I ended up wearing a lot of super stretchy tanks and extra loose T-shirts that I could awkwardly maneuver around my breasts for a feed. Everything felt like a compromise in fit and function, and given I nursed my daughter for two years, it was a long time to be unhappy in my workout clothes.

Enter KOJO, a new-to-Canada, European-designed clothing brand for active breastfeeding mothers. KOJO was created by Jana, a mom of two, who envisioned activewear made of sustainable materials and combined with the comfort of T-shirts designed specifically for breastfeeding mothers.

The brand offers a wide variety of nursing attire including T-shirts and long sleeves, tops, sport bras, and even leggings in fun and stylish colours. All KOJO clothes are made from merino wool or modal, making them ideal for all kinds of all-season outdoor activities (running, hiking, jogging, cross-country skiing, walking, boot camps and more).

With my second daughter born this October, I jumped at the opportunity to test out this new line of activewear designed for breastfeeding moms.

When my shirt arrived in the post, the cold-weather appropriate Merino Ms. Browngray style, the first thing that struck me was the gorgeous warm sand and coral colour and the softness of the merino material.

I was hesitant at first about the use of merino—any wool tends to make my skin itch—but the shirt was soft and comfortable. I also learned that merino wool has excellent thermoregulatory properties, helping keep you warm without sweat, thus enabling you to breastfeed comfortably.

Given the amount of snow we had this week, instead of testing out my new shirt on a walk I wore it to a mom and baby yoga class. I loved how comfortable I felt, temperature-wise. Typically in yoga I fluctuate between being too hot (once poses start flowing) to being too cold (once baby needs to feed or you settle into Savasana). With my KOJO top I felt comfortable throughout the entire class without needing to grab an extra layer of clothing or pull up my sleeves.

One thing potential buyers need to be aware of is that the merino wouldn’t be suitable for a warm-weather workout—that’s where the modal fabric options would come in.

It was also simple when it came time to nurse my daughter. The cut is adjusted for easy, comfortable and discreet access to your breasts, and it is designed to make no limitations due to the size of cups and bra you are wearing.

KOJO also has options for other members of the family—a T-shirt for men, as well as onesies, tops, bottoms and hats for babies.

Bottom line: I loved this top. The colour, the fit, the softness of the material, and how I never felt too sweaty or too cold. I finally found a piece of nursing activewear that I genuinely enjoy wearing.

This post is sponsored by KOJO. The company did not review or approve this article.

Join us in August and November for our MomChat parties!

Let’s Chat  Back To School and the Holidays

Each MomChat week will run for 5 days.  The first day will be a Facebook party and the last day will be a Twitter party and each of the 5 days we will feature two of the MomChat sponsors on our social media pages. All sponsors will also be featured at the beginning of the week in our newsletter. Click here to learn how to become a sponsor.

Our fans and followers have 2 ways to win a prize from our sponsors; by answering one of our Facebook or Twitter party questions on the first and last day of the week!

If you haven’t been to a facebook or twitter party before, it’s easy! Just be online during the 1 hour party and answer each question as they are posted. If you are on twitter, remember to include the hashtag #MomChat18  so we can choose a winner from the responses.  We will choose each winner live during the party!

See you in August for the MomChat 2018 party!

Written by: Heather Lomax

Core strength is essential to feeling healthy and avoiding chronic sources of pain. Without it, a person’s spine and posture suffer; these sorts of problems can take years to correct as well.

If you’re having a baby, the muscles of your midsection will stretch and weaken to allow the baby to develop. But once the pregnancy’s over, this stretch doesn’t just correct itself; the muscles are shot from months of abuse. And chances are that you’ll feel it in your lower back when you hold your newborn.

But with a bit of hard work, you can build those muscles back and feel fit, strong, and ready to play with your baby.

The Problem: Damage is not simply confined to your mid-section, but the ligaments that connect to your pelvis also become strained, resulting in unilateral weakness in your body. One side of your lower back will hurt, and then the other knee. That lack of stability causes excessive stress to one area that’s supposed to be spread evenly.

How you fix it:

Walking

Right after your pregnancy, you’re not going to be in any position to lift heavily – especially if you’re suffering from pelvic stability issues. But one of the best things you can do is to simply walk.

Try to walk a healthy distance each day and focus on breathing through your diaphragm. Flex your core muscles as you exhale, and get that region accustomed to regular contraction again. Also, be aware of your posture – use your lower abdominals to stabilize your pelvis underneath you. This allows you a safe starting point towards rebuilding core strength that’s also functional in the meantime.

Pelvic Tilt and Bridge

These are a couple of strength-training exercises you can begin fairly soon after you’ve had your baby. If you’ve had a natural birth, you’ll be able to begin the gentle pelvic tilt exercise as soon as a week after delivery. The bridge pose will require a little more recovery time – at least six weeks.

With the Tilt, lie on your back with a pillow wedged under your hips and bend your knees with your feet flat and arms at your sides. Take a deep breath in, and then exhale, drawing your abs in and tucking your pelvis down. After a few weeks of this, you’ll notice an increase in abdominal strength and stamina.

The Bridge is similar, except you’ll tilt your pelvis up to the ceiling and raise your hips into a bridge pose with your feet hip-width apart. This will help to strengthen the muscles in your buttocks and lower back.

Planks

Once you’ve built up a small amount of strength, a neutral contraction like planks are a great second step. These can be done by either leaning on a couch or a medicine ball for an easy variation before slowly moving towards a flat plank on the floor.

Try to stabilize your shoulders and core while flexing your ribcage and pelvis to try to meet in the middle. Planks are easily adaptable to your current strength level because you can hold one for as long as you wish.

Leg Extensions

These exercises are best saved for a few months post-partum, as they’ll require the greatest amount of muscle activation. Single leg extensions will have you lying on your back while hovering one leg straight up and the other bent and stationary. Start out with five repetitions, and with every workout, build to 20+ on each side.

Once you’ve mastered this move, you can begin the advanced level. Here, you will lie flat on your back, with one knee raised and bent while the other leg is extended straight out. This will require a bit more core strength, as you’ll be holding up both legs without any other support, so listen to your body, and only move forward when you’re ready.

Diastasis recti is a common condition, but despite this fact, it can be a huge detriment to a woman’s self-esteem. And in today’s culture, the last thing a busy mom needs is another reason to feel anxious about her appearance. With a few simple workouts, you can get back to your pre-pregnancy body without worrying about how to fit it into your schedule.

Heather Lomax is a contributing writer and media relations specialist for Orangetheory Fitness. She writes for a variety of health blogs, and in her spare time, takes special interest in researching methods for achieving optimal fitness goals.

 

 

We had our first VIP Influencer event celebrating summer with our friends at Springfree Trampoline in their Markham, Ontario location on June 9.

It was such a great day with over 50 people jumping and having fun!  One of our influencers, Michelle Ferreri posted a great Facebook Live video from the event; check it out!

We had several people following the event ask us about the fun Comic Book Mod Podge Magnet station we had.  Click here to make your own! Buying the glass discs on Amazon is the lowest price for sure!

Don’t forget to mention #springfreeYYZ when you share your blogs and photos from the event!

Want to learn more about the Trampolines? Check out our past reviews Large Square & Oval Trampoline

 

 

Christmas is just a few months away.  If you have kids, buying more toys and “things” are just going to clutter your home in the New Year.  Give your entire family an active gift this year that can be enjoyed 365 days a year; rain or shine and even snow!  This is something that moms, dads, toddlers, little kids, big kids and everyone in between will enjoy.  What gift am I talking about?  A Smart Trampoline from Springfree™!  I dare any adult to hop onto a trampoline and not have fun and feel like a kid again.  It’s easy on the joints, great exercise and your kids will LOVE to get outside and have a jump with you.  My husband and I have headed outside to our patio after the kids have gone to bed and ended up jumping – it’s so fun and a nice way to burn off some energy (and calories!) before bed!

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We reviewed their 11 foot trampoline which a best seller and designed for large yards and children (and adults!) of all ages!  Watch their video on You Tube to get a better look at this awesome trampoline.

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What makes Springfree Trampoline different from a regular trampoline with springs?  Springfree Trampolines were re-designed from the ground up. It’s the only trampoline on the market that has engineered out all hazards on a trampoline with springs. I remember as a child, we had a neighbour that made you sign a waiver that their lawyer created in order to jump on their trampoline. That trampoline had pads that barely covered the springs and no enclosures.  Before we received the 11 foot square trampoline, we already had a Springfree™.  It was a bit smaller and to be honest, we purchased it because it was known as the ‘fancy’ trampoline.  I didn’t do much research before buying – I had just heard that it was the best.  We had friends that were surprised at the amount we were willing to spend on the trampoline and said they also had a fully enclosed ‘safe’ trampoline that was a fraction of the cost.  If you are planning to purchase a trampoline, I URGE you to watch the this video on what makes Springfree the safest trampoline on the market.  I think the image of the watermelon (think of a child’s head) falling from above onto a traditional trampoline verses a Springfree trampoline. It is very scary.  The cheap enclosed trampolines have the padding and netting for looks, but most of them really wouldn’t keep your child from getting seriously hurt.  Most trampoline designs only meet the bare minimum to comply with trampoline industry standards. By comparison, the Springfree Trampoline has a number of safety features:
– No springs (which gives you MORE jumping space!)
– No frame at jumping surface
– Flexible net with flexible rodsimg_3830

If you think your kids would actually jump on a trampoline, keep them safe and only buy a Springfree™.  Try visiting a local trampoline park, or a Springfree experience location, to make sure it is an activity that everyone loves.  If you decide that it is a investment that your family will love for many years to come, invest in the largest trampoline you have the space for.  We have a large backyard and love the 11 foot square.  We previously purchased a smaller oval Springfree™, which was fun, but the larger one is great for the kids and mom & dad!  I even zip in my 20 month old frequently and he walks back and forth and bounces for a long time.  We usually see tears when it’s time to get off as he just doesn’t want to stop jumping.

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Springfree trampolines can be enjoyed year round.  Customers who live in colder climates frequently ask us how to care for their Springfree Trampoline in the winter. The Springfree Trampoline is constructed from all-weather parts which provide peace of mind all year round. Construction includes a powder-coated galvanized steel frame, rust-free composite rods, a UV-resistant polypropylene mat and safety enclosure.  To protect your investment in the winter months simply clear away any heavy snow accumulations off of your trampoline with soft-bristled brush or broom. Do not use a shovel as it could damage the mat or enclosure net. Complete this simple task and rain, shine or snow your Springfree Trampoline will always be ready for jumping.  They are lots of fun in the winter and as long as you aren’t letting snow pile up and weighing it down, it is perfectly fine to keep up during the winter.  We had an early snow fall over Thanksgiving weekend and my kids played on the trampoline for hours!

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Our trampoline came with the new gaming system; tgoma.  tgoma® turns your Springfree™ into the first outdoor interactive digital game system designed for a trampoline.  The system takes games outside and makes them active!  With many games and apps to choose from – your entire family will love to discover a new way to play!  The tgoma was very easy to set up (see image below – those are all the steps to set it up on your tablet – only takes a few minutes) and my kids enjoyed looking through the games and interacting with them.

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There is also a Jump Fit option which makes keeping track of your exercising fun and easy.  You can track your jumps or even set goals to achieve.  I really like the Math apps; my oldest is in grade three and the app will ask a math question and then she has to jump on the correct answer.  It is a really fun way to learn!  The ipad sits in a little holder hanging off of the netting – this holder can stay out all the time.  There is also a tgoma battery pack that needs to be brought in and out with the ipad/tablet.  My kids (age 7 and 3) were able to manage the tgoma gaming system on their own, so it was quite straight forward.

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If you are planning to get the tgoma, I would highly suggest having your trampoline installed.  The tgoma requires sensors and wiring to be installed all over the trampoline, so it is a bit complicated.  The installers were right on time and had our old trampoline down and the new one up in under 75 minutes – it was amazing!  They are so quick and efficient and it enables your family to start jumping even faster.  We installed the last trampoline ourselves and while it wasn’t overly hard, it definitely took a while because we had never done it before.  The installers are experts!

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The other thing we didn’t buy with our last trampoline was the basketball hoop.  I wasn’t sure if my kids would use it.  My 3 year old puts all of the our balls from the yard into the trampoline and can shoot baskets for hours.  It is by far his favourite part of the trampoline.

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I love how Springfree really cares about their customers.  The service is outstanding.  They also stay in touch by email and send you things like a “Health Check” reminder to keep your trampoline safe and maintained.

 

To BUY, visit their website: http://www.springfree.com.  They are offering a great discount now until November 13, 2016 – you will receive free shipping and a free step, plus $100 off tgoma.

TO LEARN more about the trampoline features, visit: http://www.springfreetrampolinereview…

 

JOIN their Facebook community: http://www.facebook.com/Springfree

Send them a TWEET: http://www.twitter.com/Springfree

Happy Jumping!

 

 

Do You Have Diastasis Recti (You May Not Realize That You Do)? Most Traditional Core Exercises Can Do You Harm

Written by Ashley

This post is for all you mommy’s out there, and particularly the ones that might suffer from diastasis recti, or a vertical gap between your ab muscles. You see, I developed diastasis recti during my second pregnancy and I never really knew that it was there. Now that I know it’s there, I think it’s very obvious – but I think I just tried to avoid looking at my post-baby stomach for so long that I missed seeing it. About a year ago, however, it was brought to my attention by my doctor. She didn’t tell me what to do about it, but just said that it was very common and asked if it bothered me. Clearly it didn’t if I didn’t know it was there.

Let me back up and explain the condition first (taken from this website). Diastasis Recti, also referred to as Divarication of the Recti or Rectus Distension, is the separation of the Rectus Abdominis (or 6 pack) abdominal muscle from the Linea Alba (mid-line connective tissue) at the front of the abdomen. It doesn’t always return to its natural position after childbirth and can cause a pooching or doming of your stomach, sometimes making you appear still a few months pregnant. As well as the aesthetic concerns, diastasis recti is associated with a weak core (& pelvic floor), leading to a lack of strength & stability in the entire pelvic region & midsection. Untreated diastasis recti increases the likelihood of developing pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence, and low back pain. Over 1/3 of women will have a gap of two fingers or more after their first baby. After second or subsequent pregnancies, this figure is more like 2/3, especially if the gap wasn’t closed effectively after the first.

I’ve always blamed my little extra pooch I have on extra skin that just won’t go away after my second pregnancy. Turns out, however, that it is the diastasis recti that is causing the pooch. So, I did what I thought I should do: a lot of core work. But the problem hasn’t been getting better – in fact, I feel like it’s been getting worse. So naturally, I upped the core and ab work. And the pooch just wouldn’t budge.

And then…I had an epiphany. I finally did some research online, then talked to my dear friend who is a women’s health physical therapist who actually helps people fix their diastasis recti for a living. I’m actually feeling very stupid that I didn’t talk to her sooner, before I got hard core into the core work. Because it turns out that the exercises I’ve been doing have actually made the gap worse, not better. There are certain core exercises that will make this condition worse, which now explains why my pooch has gotten worse!

So I finally talked to my physical therapist friend and got a list of which core exercises I should do to help close the gap and hopefully ditch the pooch and which exercises to avoid because they make the gap wider. And it turns out most of the ones I’ve been doing are on the “bad” list. So in an attempt to help all you other mommies out there who suffer from this as well, I wanted to share the information so that we can all get our pre-baby stomachs back!

Movements to Avoid:

  • Crunches
  • Sit-ups
  • Backbending
  • Oblique twists
  • Planks
  • Curl-ups
  • Lying backwards over an exercise ball
  • Exercising on your back and knees
  • Carrying or lifting heavy objects
  • Deep belly breathing
  • Any activity that stretches or overly expands the abdominal wall
  • In general it is best to avoid anything that “jack-knifes” the body, by pivoting at the hip and placing strain on the abdominals. Examples of these movements are straight leg lifts or holds while lying on your back and similar Pilates or Yoga moves.

If you are like me, you look at this list and say. “s*#t, these are all of the core exercises I’ve been doing! Especially planks!” Personally, I love doing planks. But I guess that’s going to have to change, to these…

Exercises to Help Fix Diastasis Recti:

Learning to properly activate the transverse abdominis is key in diastasis rehab and is much more subtle than a rectus abdominis contraction. Feeling the lower abdomen just inside the front hip points, make a “shhhhhhh” sound and feel the muscles flatten under your fingers. Trans Abs work in synergy with the pelvic floor muscles and can be strengthened together. Activate both Trans Abs and PFM (kegel) and perform a diaphragmatic breath without allowing expansion of lower abdomen or pelvic floor.

Heel Slide with Belly Scoop

Begin by lying on your back with your palms facedown on the floor. Bend your legs to place your feet flat on the ground. Scoop the belly to perform a pelvic tilt. The pelvis should curve the body into a “C” shape. Slowly slide the right leg out to straighten it, stopping just before the leg becomes completely straight. Slowly bring the leg back in toward your starting position. Lower the pelvis to your starting position, rest and then repeat for five to eight repetitions moving the right leg. Rest and then switch sides to straighten the left leg instead. Repeat for an additional set.

Modified Crunch with Towel

Begin by wrapping a bath towel around you, with the ends of the towel held in your hands, hovering just over your belly button. Perform a modified crunch by activating your abdominal muscles to lift your head, neck and upper shoulders off the floor. Keep your head aligned with your body as much as possible—resist the urge to dip your chin toward your chest. Pull the ends of the towel closer to your belly button as you lift up—this helps to move your abdominal muscles back together. Repeat for a total of 10 times and then perform two additional sets.

Manual Reconditioning

Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Put your hands on your stomach, fingers pointing away from your head. Contract the abdominal muscles to perform an abdominal crunch that slightly lifts the shoulders off the ground. As you crunch up, push the abdominal muscles in and down—manipulating them to where you would want them to return. Slowly lower your head to return to your starting position. Repeat eight to 10 times and work your way up to completing three sets.

Pull-Ins

Lie face up on the floor with your head resting on a pillow and your knees bent with feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on your stomach on either side of your naval to support your abdomen. Take a deep breath in and, as you exhale, gently pull your belly button toward your spine to encourage the gap to close. Hold this position for 10 seconds then slowly relax. Repeat the exercise 10 to 20 times.

Leg Slide

Lie face up with your head resting on a pillow, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. With your pelvis in a neutral position and your lower back just slightly off the floor, pull your belly button into your spine and slowly slide your right foot out along the floor until your leg is straight. Pull your foot back toward your body and repeat the slide with your left leg. Perform 10 to 20 leg slides. Once you are able to easily do 20 leg slides, perform the exercise by keeping your sliding foot lifted 2 to 3 inches off the floor rather than sliding it along the floor.

Single-Leg Floor Touch

Lie on your back with your head on a pillow, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keeping your right leg bent, lift your right foot off the floor so that your thigh is perpendicular to the floor. Lift your left leg up to meet your right leg. Pull your belly button into your spine and contract your abdominal muscles . Keeping both knees bent and your right leg still, slowly lower your left leg until your foot touches the floor. Lift your leg back to the starting position. Repeat the floor touch with your right foot. Complete 10 to 20 repetitions with each leg. Once you are able to easily do 20 reps, perform the floor touch with both legs at the same time.

Splinting

Finally, splinting can be helpful, especially in more severe cases of diastasis. My physical therapist friend recommends the Better Binder Post-partum Support. There is also the Tupler Technique, which comes as a package (DVD, book, and splint) to guide you through the exercises. My physical therapist friend did this program herself and I think it’s the one I’m going to try. I need help and support and I think the guided exercises on a DVD will be good for me

Women are great with parenting and ensuring that household shores are done without any hustle. In most instances, women rarely have time for doing physical activities, going to the gym or committing to any workout plans. However, your busy schedule should not be a hindrance to ensuring that you exercise daily. This is because there are home workout routines that are aimed ensuring you keep fit even without visiting the gym. Here are the simple home workout routines that can make you look fit.

Hip Exercise

The hip exercise is done by lying on the back and bending your knees as your feet touch the floor; then the arms have to be spread outwards with the palm facing up. Thereafter, make the tummy small and tight and maintain your breathing. Repeat this exercise while lowering the back to the floor and back up. Once this has been done several times, you will experience a full body workout even without going to the gym.

Hip Exercise

Crab Crawl

Crab crawl is an exercise that involves moving backwards. To begin this exercise, you have to seat on the floor and place hands on the floor then lift your buttocks slightly. Then make slight movements with your hands and legs. This is home workout routine can be done for half a minute. It has significant effects on biceps, triceps and the hips.

Crab Crawl

The side plank

This exercise involves lying down by the side of the body then placing your arm on the floor. The arm has to be elevated and in line with the elbow. In this exercise, you have to maintain your position for at least 30 seconds. This exercise works on the core and the arm muscles.

Squats

Squats are part of the warm up exercises in most sports. This involves standing in an upright position then bent your knees as if you are taking a sitting position. Thereafter, lean the chest forward slightly and maintain that position for at least a minute. This exercise has to be repeated ten times.

Squat

Mountain Climbers

This exercise involves sitting in a push up position and ensuring that the hands are firmly fixed to the ground. Once this has been attained, then you have to make fast feet movements towards the hands. You can count the number of times you move your feet. The count has to be more than 10. Every woman should do this exercise especially if she wants to have leg muscle strength.

Chair Dip Exercise

This exercise involves a stiff chair. You have to sit at the edge of the chair with your arms adjacent to the hips. Then bend your elbows at an angle of 90 degrees and move up and down as your back is close to the chair. While doing this exercise, ensure that you maintain an upright head posture. This exercise works on the arm muscles and has an impact on the respiratory system.

Chair Dip Exercise

Superman Exercise

The superman exercise entails lying on the ground with your stomach then lifting both the arms and the legs slightly. This exercise is ideal for women who have back problems. This exercise can be repeated in a two minute interval for at least ten minutes.

Incline Push Up

This exercise involves taking a push up position with hands place on an elevated surface or a stool. The body has to be in a straight position and rigid. Allow the elbow to bend slightly on the outside and back. Apparently, the body has to slide down to an extent that the arms are below the elbow.

Guest Post by: Julian Hooks – Livening Up

Welcome to Week Five of Pregnancy & Newborn’s 6-Week Postpartum Fitness Series. Here are our goals for the week:

Whether you follow along with the video or use the step-by-step instructions below to complete the exercises at your own pace, know you’re making progress toward your fitness goals.

Mini-Jumping-Squats

EXERCISE 1: Mini jumping squats with rotation
10-20 reps

  1. Stand with your feet together under your body. Get started with a little jump up.
  2. Jump out into a deep squat and rotate your torso toward your right leg, as if you were doing a small oblique crunch with your torso. Think left side of your ribcage to your right hip.
  3. Using your butt to help power you, jump and land center with your legs under you. Think soft landing.
  4. Jump back up, landing in a deep squat, and rotate your torso toward your left side to complete the exercise on the opposite side.

Not ready to do any jumping? See the modification below.

Modification: Mini squats with rotation (no jumps)
20-30 sets

  1. Standing in a wide deep squat, rotate your torso toward your right leg.
  2. Instead of jumping, just stand up straight—your feet shouldn’t move at all during the entire exercise.
  3. Return to a deep squat while rotating your torso toward your left side.
  4. Feel like you are scooping your belly in and up as you stand back up.

Lunge-Side-to-Side

EXERCISE 2: Lunge side to side
10-20 reps

  1. Stand tall with feet wider than shoulder width apart. Your feet and legs should be parallel.
  2. Keep your feet stationary while you shift your weight to your right leg and butt, moving into a side lunge. Find a range where you can really feel your outer hip and butt working. Complete five small, very slow pulses.
  3. Press with your right leg back to your original standing position.
  4. Shift your weight to your left side with your weight in your heel and butt. Keep your left knee aligned behind your left toes. Using your butt and outer hip, complete five small, very slow pulses.

[good to know] This exercise can is safe for early pregnancy but should not be practiced during in the third trimester because of too much stress on the pubic area.

Combo-Lunge

EXERCISE 3: Combo lunge butt kick
10-20 reps

  1. Start in a lunge position with your right leg forward and left leg back.
  2. Use your right leg to push your body into a standing position.
  3. Kick your right leg back, squeezing your butt and hinging your body forward. Try to get your body parallel to the ground.
  4. Lunge through back to your starting position with your right leg forward. Repeat for 10-20 reps then switch sides.

Side-Arm-Reach

EXERCISE 4: Side arm reaches *
2- to 4-pound dumbbells, 20 reps

  1. Stand tall and keep a soft bend in your knees. Draw  your shoulders draw down and away from your ears, bend your elbows into your side, and face your palms upward.
  2. Feel as if you are reaching your arms out then up in one smooth slow motion.
  3. Pull with your middle back to draw your elbows back to your side.
  4. For an extra challenge after 20 reps, add 10-20 pulses at your end range when your arms are straight.

Straight-Arm-Pulses

EXERCISE 5: Straight arm pulses *
20-30 reps

  1. Standing in a slightly bent knee squat, sticking your hips back, shoulders down, and chest out.
  2. Slowly pulse your arms together behind your back, engaging your middle back, shoulders and triceps.
  3. For an added challenge, reach your arms up to shoulder height, adding full range of motion after you pulse for 10 more reps.

Repeat exercises 1-5 another one to three times before moving onto the stretch below. You can add more stretches from previous weeks as well.

Roll

EXERCISE 6: Roll down stretch
2-5 reps

  1. Stand tall, reaching your arms toward the sky while taking in a deep breath.
  2. Hinge forward, arching your back, softening your knees, and reaching your arms behind you to stretch your chest. Hinge forward as far as you can without rounding your back. Enjoy a low back and hamstring stretch.
  3. Round your spine forward, letting your head and neck relax. Reach as far to your toes as you can, take a deep breath, and then slowly roll up one vertebra at a time. Engage your abs and ensure your head is last to come up.

* Exercise is also appropriate for pregnancy.

Many pregnant and new moms experience low back and hip pain.  These simple release exercises using a foam roller can really help release the tension in your lower back and hips. As always be sure to discuss your workouts with your doctor and if something doesn’t feel good for your body, don’t do it!

Prenatal Foam Rolling to Release Your Lower Back VIDEO

Incorporate these releases in your daily workout routine. It’s best to do after you’re warmed up, ideally after you’ve done one of the prenatal workouts or squats with rotation. Then again if needed at the very end of your workout.

Keep up the great “work”outs mamas!

Knocked Up Fitness

Great Question! I get this all the time & of course I’d love to say “YES” but it’s not for everyone. If it’s not for you there are plenty of other types of exercise you can do during your pregnancy to keep you fit, healthy, help you prepare for labor & of course bounce back faster after baby.

Kourtney Kardashian Going For A Run Pregnant

Here are the guidelines I teach by:

ALWAYS… LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

*Check with your Doc to make sure you are cleared to exercise during your pregnancy*

STOP Exercise If you experience any of the following:

For more info:  Why You Should NOT Exercise During your Pregnancy

It’s less than a years time you may need to take a break from running. If your body’s telling you not to run then you shouldn’t. Running never felt good during either of my pregnancies so I resorted to lots of walking, elliptical and pilates.

More info on Exercising During Your:

Have fun staying fit during pregnancy, it’s well worth it in the long run :)

– See more at: http://knocked-upfitness.com/can-i-run-while-pregnant/#sthash.NmX0ERta.dpuf

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