The Upper Body Workout You Can Do Through Your Pregnancy

Prenatal fitness expert Lara Marq shares the perfect upper body workout for pregnancy

There is so much focus on the importance of core strength during pregnancy that the arms, back and chest can sometimes be forgotten. But strengthening your upper body will help your body carry the added weight and prepare you for carrying your baby once he or she arrives.

Here are three simple and amazing exercises that will target your entire upper body and are safe for any stage of your pregnancy. The sooner you get started the stronger you will be for the arrival of your baby.

Incline Bench Push Up

Stand facing bench or sturdy elevated platform. Place hands on edge of bench and your feet straight back on the floor—an elevated plank position. Arms should be perpendicular to body. Keeping body straight, lower chest to the edge of the bench by bending your arms and then push body up until arms are extended. Repeat 12 times.

Benefits:

This incline push up will give your growing belly enough space to lower down without getting in the way. This is an incredible workout for your chest and shoulders.

One Arm Dumbbell Row

Choose a flat bench and place a dumbbell on each side of it. Place the right leg on top of the end of the bench, bend your torso forward from the waist until your upper body is parallel to the floor, and place your right hand on the other end of the bench for support.

Use the left hand to pick up the dumbbell on the floor and hold the weight while keeping your lower back straight. The palm of the hand should be facing your torso.

This will be your starting position. Pull the dumbbell straight up to the side of your chest, keeping your upper arm close to your side and keeping the torso stationary. Breathe out as you perform this step. Lower the dumbbell straight down to the starting position. Breathe in as you perform this step. Repeat 12 times and then switch sides.

Benefits:

Leaning against the bench will give your back more support and allow you to perform the exercises even when you are not feeling your most energetic. This is a great mid-back strengthener.

Tricep Dip

Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or stable chair. Slide your butt off the front of the bench with your legs bent in front of you. Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.

Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the bench to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. Repeat 12 times.

Benefits:

Keeping your knees bent will allow you to lift your weight back up. You may straighten your legs for a greater challenge. This is a great exercise to strengthen the back of your arms.

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