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Don’t Let Your Pregnancy Take the Play Out of Exercising

June 20th, 2012

By Britny Fowler, Hyperwear Master Trainer


During pregnancy, there’s nothing like preparing with simple powerful gear. My SandBell workouts are uniquely perfect and functional for training for labor, post-labor, playing with my baby, and my total fitness needs.

As you’ll see in the video, I am in my third trimester. I teach high-intensity group fitness classes and personal train all day while baby boy kicks to the beat. I haven’t really noticed many issues or inconveniences until the last two weeks. All of a sudden, I can’t see my toes, I can’t bend over normally to tie my running shoes, and constant pressure of my son on my bladder makes me feel like I need to pee all the time — even when I don’t. And yes, my feet ache and my back started hurting this week.

Many of the things they warn you about on the “What to Expect” app on my phone really do ring true. Every client tells me the horrors of pregnancy, childbirth, and of course the aftermath on your time, relationships, and body. However, they all end with the same chorus “Oh, but it’s the best thing you’ll ever do.” At least, I have that going for me!

Truly, I’m excited about my baby boy. I’m thankful that I’ve had a very healthy, happy time so far. I call him baby boy because he doesn’t have a name yet due to his wonderful although uncooperative father. My husband says I’m the best pregnant woman ever. Apparently he’s heard a lot of stories about how moody, angry, and hysterical women get when they’re pregnant.  I have to agree. Other than a few minor hormonal episodes, I’ve been pretty level headed. How do I do it? I credit it to exercise.

All of that background to say this: exercise helps keep your sanity. Exercise gives you some control when you feel you’ve lost it all. Exercise is good for your little darling in the womb! Exercise makes your husband happy. Exercise helps prevent your ice cream habit. Exercise prepares you for BABY!

All I can imagine is the energy it’s going to take 24 hours a day to take care of this little human. I’ve seen clients with injuries from holding their babies. I’ve seen clients with injuries chasing, carrying, and picking up their children. Wow, did I even mention how much endurance and strength I imagine it will take for the birth? A very wise friend once told me that I’ll be fine because giving birth is like a marathon. I’ll need the legs, the stamina, and the mind for it. Marathon I’ve done. Birth will be new! So although I can’t currently run my Boston qualifying time, I can do goblet squats, SandBell bent over rows with rotation, SandBell step back lunges to single leg Romanian deadlift, and SandBell pushups to down dog.

Click to watch Britny's SandBell pregnancy exercises video!

Fun Exercises with the SandBell

SandBell Goblet Squat

  1. Stand with the SandBell in a squeeze grip at chest height with your feet shoulder or comfortable width apart.
  2. Hips move slightly back into a squat with elbows in between your knees.
  3. With chest up, drive through the heels to the top.

SandBell Bent-over Row with Rotation

  1. Hold one SandBell in each hand straight down in front of your thighs.
  2. Hinge at the hips, with knees slightly bent. Keep your back neutral.
  3. Bend your elbows pulling the SandBell toward one hip and  continue by alternating sides.

SandBell Step-back Lunge to a Single-leg Romanian Deadlift

  1. Hold a SandBell in each hand down by your sides.
  2. Take a big step back, bend both knees to 90 degrees and drive up through the front heel.
  3. Balance on the front leg while transitioning into a hip hinge, extending the back leg keeping a neutral spine. Keep the SandBells close to your shins.
  4. Engage the core and glutes to drive up to start position.

SandBell Pushup to Down Dog

  1. Start in a pushup position with the SandBell on the ground between your hands.
  2. Perform a pushup, grab the SandBell in one hand, press the hips back and reach the SandBell toward the opposite toe.
  3. Move back into the plank position and repeat on the other side.
I’ve found it makes complete sense to use my SandBells for training. I’ll be picking up a sleeping sack of potatoes and sometimes a flailing sack of potatoes and by training with the shifting weight of my SandBells and SteelBells I’ll be prepared. More immediately I need to train legs, stamina, and full body movement and strength for an easier delivery and recovery. These movements can be a part of your fitness routine to help circulation, decrease symptoms such as back pain, insomnia, nausea, swelling, and fatigue. Always check with your doctor first before starting an exercise program. If you currently exercise, keep your doctor in the loop on what you do so that you both of you can decide what’s best.

So far there have been days I’ve had to call it off earlier than desired and take it easy, and there have been days I’ve felt like a rock star. I always feel better after I workout, though. I highly recommend making a workout date with somebody, especially on the days you wake up and don’t want to work out. This keeps me successful, and what I realize each time is that I haven’t regretted a workout yet. I’ve only regretted how I felt the days I skipped. Get some SandBell action!

About Britny Fowler

Britny was a personal trainer featured in the A&E series “Heavy” as a trainer to clients facing extreme life-threatening health consequences as a result of their obesity. The show documents the experience of incredible life changing transformations during a six month treatment program.

Britny holds a BS in Sports Management from Texas A&M, and is a National Academy of Sport Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. She is a Level III Peak Pilates certified instructor and is Schwinn Cycle certified. She teaches group fitness kickboxing, strength and conditioning classes, and is a Hyperwear Master Trainer and TRX Senior Trainer. She also enjoys speaking presentations on health and fitness.

In her free time, Britny trains for and competes in marathons and triathlons. This year she has qualified for and ran in the 2012 Boston marathon.


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