Pregnancy Pilates – Arm exercises

Today we’re going to focus on some effective arm exercises to do during pregnancy to keep the arms toned and strong for when baby arrives. You’ll thank me when you’re carrying a minimum of 3.4kgs extra around in your arms for most of the day!

As important as these arm exercises are, I’ve also included a great exercise that works the arms as well as the important upper back muscles. The upper back takes strain as the breasts increase with size during pregnancy, causing the posture to change to a more hunched over posture. Also, carrying baby as much as you will be doing will add to the amount of strain your upper back will take and how your posture will be affected. Therefore it is important to have strong supporting muscles of the back to establish good posture for all these challenging times when hunching over might just seem like the easier thing to do.

Pregnancy arm exercise 1: Offerings

Sitting on a ball, feet hip width apart, place a resistance band over your back (about where your bra strap sits). Hold onto the band on either side of your body, palms facing up with your elbows tucked behind you and your shoulders sliding back and down.

Arm exercise: Offering start position

Reach your arms forward in a scooping motion to shoulder height, keeping them shoulder width apart and maintaining soft elbows.

Arm exercise with resistance band

Think of leading with the elbows as you come back to the beginning position, shoulders down, elbows back. Repeat this 10 times. After you have done this 10 times, add on an opening of the arms to the side in line with the shoulders and not too far back. Keep them in your peripheral view. Repeat this 10 times starting with the beginning position moving into the scoop of the arms, then open the arms out sideways. Bring them back in front to the offering position and then lead back with your elbows to the beginning position.

Arm exercise opening

Pregnancy arm exercise 2: Rhomboid squeeze

Start standing, knees soft with 1kg weights in each hand. Arms are up at shoulder height out to the side with palms facing down.

Arm exercise Rhomboid squeeze starting position

Inhale to prepare, as you exhale, bring your elbows towards each other behind your back, turning your palms to face up. Watch that the shoulders don’t creep up towards the ears and that the ribs don’t pop out. You should feel like you are squeezing your shoulders blades together, working the muscles of your upper back. Inhale hold the squeeze and exhale return to the beginning position. Repeat 10 times

Arm exercise Rhomboid squeeze with elbows back                   Arm exercise Rhomboid squeeze profile

After doing these exercises, do a few shoulder rolls forwards and backwards to release any tension. Take a nice deep breath in, raising your shoulders up to your ears and then exhale and release the shoulders allowing them to float down away from your ears. Repeat this 4 times.

These are 2 simple exercises and if combined with your abdominal exercises from our previous post, done between 2-4 times a week, you’ll be well on your way to the strong arms, upper back and body you’ll need during and after pregnancy. If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comment box below and suggestions are always welcome!

Di

xxx

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