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Five minute prenatal arm strengthening exercise


Pregnant woman exercising. Photo/nuturemamas

Most babies are born within the birth weight of 2.4kg to 3.8kg, but as tiny as these babies are, they demand attention.

For the most part, you will be doing a lot of lifting, rocking, swaying and dropping.

What this means is that those arms are really going to be doing a lot of work when the baby is here, so pregnancy provides the perfect timing to build some strength in our arm muscles: Biceps and Triceps.

Below are a few workout arm-strengthening workouts that are safe for pregnant women and can be done in five minutes.

Repeat this daily, or even twice a day and those arms will ready for the lifting to follow in subsequent months.

Some of these moves can be done sitting down, but if you would love a challenge, then stand and move around while you do them. Here are a few tips and precautions to guide you through the session

First, confirm with your doctor that you are fit to engage in this, or any other prenatal workouts.

If at any point you feel dizzy during this workout, stop and get comfortable on a chair, sofa, or bed.

Stay hydrated. Drink some water before, during and after your workout.

Engage your arms all through the workout, meaning hold your arm muscles tight and strong. Don’t just let it hang limp.

If you feel up to it, repeat the session to make it ten minutes or more, depending on your fitness level

Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, clench your fists, tilt your upper body slightly to the left, and continue to circle both arms around each other, first slowly and in a clockwise direction.

Form ten arm circles then start to circle in an anti-clockwise direction, ten circles too.

Take a quick break to stretch/loosen those arm muscles by shaking them outwards to the side and front, then tilt your upper body to the left and repeat the move.

Break and stretch again before repeating the entire workout, this time picking up the pace.

Do this at least three times, then pause and hydrate. If you stood all through the workout, this is a good time to sit and catch your breath.

Stand with your feet placed shoulder width apart. If you are up to it, bend slightly at your knee, but if you cannot, that is fine, just maintain an upright posture.

Clench your fists and hold them up to eye level, then one after the other, punch outward, but instead of going forward, take your arm and upper body slightly to the side, making sure your arm is as extended as possible to get a full range of motion.

Alternate the right and left arms counting each cycle as one. Do these 15 times, relax those muscles by loosening them and repeat the move two more times.

In addition to feeling it in the arm, you also feel it in your obliques, so this move gives you two for the price of one. Good bye love handles.

You need a pair of light weight dumb bells for this move. It won’t be half as effective without it.

A pair of 1kg dumb bells would get the job done, or 2kg if you can, but no more than 2kg, please. This will keep the weight well within the new-born birthweight range.

Stand with both feet apart or together, depending on which is more comfortable for you, and hold each dumb bell at your sides.

Then one arm after the other, slowly raise your arm all the way to your eye level (no more) and then slowly return to the position of rest.

If your arms are not engaged, this move won’t be effective so make sure the arm muscles are held tight as you do this.

Do this ten times for each arm, drop the dumb bells and stretch out those muscles, before repeating the moved twice or three times. If you can safely go faster, please do. Otherwise even slowly, you feel the effect.

You can also do a lateral raise of both arms at the same time. It is more challenging so you would want to get familiar with alternate raises before raising both arms together.

This is a move you can also try with your baby instead of dumb bells after your baby has arrived. With both variations, do not raise arms above eye level.

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