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Monday, May 11, 2009

Strength Training

Certainly, continuing to run while pregnant is great exercise, and there are many benefits that running provides me at this point -- both physical and mental -- however, running is primarily a cardiovascular activity (although, there are also many strengthening aspects to it as well), and I've been reading a lot lately in my preggo stuff about the importance of strength training while pregnant.

Strength training is helpful during pregnancy for many reasons: it helps alleviate some common complaints, like back aches and legs cramps, that begin to crop up in the 2nd trimester, and it helps prepare you for labor (the ultimate strength test -- most women say that they engaged every single muscle in their body); and lastly, it helps prepare you for lugging that baby and all of her accoutrement around after birth. Personally, I have never been good about maintaining a strength training regimen alongside running, but I determined that this summer, since I have more time now, I would begin to incorporate more strength and flexibility training into my regular exercise routine.

So, after doing a lot of reading on exercises appropriate and helpful during pregnancy, I dusted off the handheld weights, busted out the yoga mat, and got down to business. Of course, the major impediment to this at-home routine is a little copper top dog who thinks that every time I break out the yoga mat, I am breaking out a very comfy place for him to settle.
So, after I bribed him with a bone, I endeavored through my planned routine. I began with a few minutes of yoga:

some modified sun salutations
modified child's pose
downward facing dog (which, to me, feels fabulous on my lower back, as well as on my legs)
and then, finally, tree pose
Feeling sufficiently warmed up and stretched, I then continued on to my planned strength training session with the following:

chair pose (yoga move that is a squat)
calf raises
bicep curls
shoulder press
and then some upper back rows
I look serious, don't I?

Then, I cooled off with some light stretching, and finally, a modified corpse pose. The whole routine took me about 30 minutes from start to finish, and it felt pretty good. I used light weights, and I focused on keeping my sets to 8 reps a piece. I would like to make this an established routine (2 days a week, maybe?) that I can incorporate with my running and (sporadic) pre-natal yoga.

Now, I'm off to the showers, and tonight we have bowling: Tonight is the position round for this quarter, and we're currently in 5th place, so it's completely possible that we could place in the top 5 this quarter! Wish me, and my other teammates, bowling luck!


Xenia said...

Criminey. You're kicking my ass in the strength training department and I don't even have pregnancy or anything comparable to use as an excuse.

Somebody give me a hand weight, STAT!

MN Mom said...

Boy that Scooter comes in handy when you need someone to take some darn good photos!

nwgdc said...

Any time I do yoga, I have a real tough time getting out of childs pose and end up skipping most everything else and going straight to corpse pose.
Not nearly as effective.

Casey said...

Copper-topped shorties love yoga mats. Not only are they soft, but they smell like your feet! :)

teacherwoman said...

Sounds like a great routine to add to your running! Wahoo!

Have fun with bowling tonight!

MCM Mama said...

Great routine! Hope you guys rock at bowling!

Erin said...

With bowling, you are already strong enough to hold that 10lb baby you are going to have. Just kidding! Strength training is good. I wish I had done more while pregnant cause Miller is a heavy baby and mother's nature inate instinct to cling to parents is not something he possesses.

Jess said...

Sounds like you've developed a nice strength and flexibility routine! Good luck sticking with it!

Anonymous said...

Hope bowling went well. Scooter is too funny. I think it is great that you are incorporating strength and yoga. Plus, they will be nice options once the heat really sets in.

Marcy said...

You weren't kidding those weights are dusty! I'm TOTALLY TOTALLY KIDDING! (You should see mine :-X :-X)

Marlene said...

I've been wanting to start a routine like that at home. Thats for the ideas!

Lily on the Road said...

When I break out the yoga mat, Lily my cat decides it is for her to do her yoga stretches on!!

OMG girl, you put me to shame, I need some of your motivation and Dayum, look at the tree pose!!

Wes said...

Gah! Another HAWT photo of Scooter with his shirt off... Geez... My dogs insist on sitting on my exercise mat when I put it down too. I hit them with the pillows until they find someplace less violent to sit.

sRod said...

Planks while you're preggo? How does that work?

Also, I love that you used the word "accoutrement."