Skill for Bub: Muscle Builder
Feel weightless while you work out by exercising in the pool.
Stay fit, healthy, and comfortable all nine months by making no-impact water aerobics and resistance classes part of your prenatal fitness regimen. A safe way to build balance, strength, and serenity, you’ll tone and stretch the areas that you’ll need most for birth, such as your legs and hips, as you gently exercise away the aches, pains, and swelling of pregnancy. (Say goodbye to sciatica!) Let a soothing sense of well-being wash over you as the water cradles your weightless body.
Start by swimming a few laps to warm up your muscles and build cardiovascular strength. Then try these two lower body moves:
Stand tall in shallow water with your feet hip-distance apart. Your arms should be at your sides. Using the resistance of the water, bend your knees into a squat position, as if you were going to sit down on a chair. As you squat down, float your arms straight out in front of you. (You may prefer to use light weights to increase the amount of resistance.)
Do not let your knees splay out to the sides or extend past your toes. Try to keep the arch out of your back as much as possible. Remember to breathe as you hold the position for a few moments. Return to the standing position and repeat 10 times.
Hold on to the edge of the pool. (You may have to hold on with straight arms to make enough room for your belly.) Using the water as resistance, slowly lift one leg straight out to the side. Raise it only high enough so that your ankle doesn’t turn out. Circle your leg straight out in back of you and slowly release down. Repeat the exercise on both legs for a set of 10.
Remember to stay hydrated. Just because you aren’t working up a sweat doesn’t mean your body can’t get thirsty.
Check your local pool club, such as the YMCA, for available prenatal pool classes.