So, you’re having a baby! Now that reality (and maybe a bit of panic) has set in, you may ask yourself what needs to shift and what can stay the same. An excellent place to start is by establishing healthy habits you can carry through the next 9+ months… and beyond! Enter Essentrics®!


How much you move can impact the health of your pregnancy and that of your baby.


We have all heard that eating for two means the nutrients you put inside your body will be shared with your developing fetus. But did you know how much you move or don’t move can also impact the health of your pregnancy and that of your baby? “Moving for two” means incorporating a fitness program such as Essentrics that will help strengthen the core musculature, provide an essential support system for your growing belly, and improve stability and balance throughout your journey.

We are meant to move every day, even while pregnant! Studies show that daily movement can minimize common aches and pains like back discomfort that can arise as your center of gravity shifts. Other benefits? Exercise can promote healthy weight gain and relieve stress. It’s also excellent preparation for the non-official Olympic sport known as labor and delivery!

As the body undergoes awe-inspiring (and sometimes head-scratching) changes, the mechanics of how we move will also need to adjust due to the influence of weight gain on our center of mass, the stretching of the abdominal wall, and ligament, joint, and muscle laxity due to the reproductive hormone relaxin – responsible for preparing the body for delivery.

Essentrics is touted as a safe workout partner during pregnancy because we focus on decreasing the stressful demands imposed on the body by incorporating low-impact, gentle and fluid movements. These exercises are easier on the joints, muscles, and connective tissue, thus reducing the risk of injury. While the majority of Essentrics exercises can be continued throughout each trimester, modifying and scaling back where needed can help increase the strength, stability, and physical adaptability as your body changes. Moreover, our routines can be easily modified, and our certified instructors can guide you on how to adapt the exercises as your pregnancy progresses.


It’s essential to listen to your body during this special time and consult with your obstetric provider before embarking on any fitness program.


Keep reading to learn our top prenatal tips for staying active, safe and fit during each trimester!


1st Trimester: Baby on Board

Short Workouts: Growing a baby is hard work! During these beginning stages, you may feel tired, nauseous, and lacking energy. The thought of undertaking any physical practice may feel daunting, but rather than taking an all-or-nothing approach, try to focus on going slower for a shorter period of time. A little bit of movement will go a long way at this stage!

Body Temperature: You may not see any visible change in the mirror yet, but this doesn’t mean things aren’t percolating. A good rule of thumb is not to become overheated at this stage; while this remains true throughout all three trimesters, it is essential during this time. Essentrics helps you feel amazing without overheating your body.

Lying On Your Back: In your first trimester, lying supine is still considered safe, so abdominal exercises and floor stretches lying down are perfectly fine… that is, if you feel up to them. Keeping your head above your heart is always a good idea, so if you feel any dizziness or nausea while lying on your back, place a cushion under your head to slightly elevate it, keeping discomfort at bay.


2nd Trimester: In Full Swing

Energy Boost: The second trimester is the sweet spot of pregnancy. You are probably feeling more like the old you – remember her? With renewed energy, you may want to make up for lost time when you weren’t feeling so hot by doing too much. Take advantage of these renewed energy stores but be careful not to push it (no pun intended).

Lying On Your Back: Your stomach is growing – and starting at 20 weeks, you will want to avoid lying flat on your back for an extended period due to the pressure placed on the vena cava. Not to worry though, Essentrics has a series of standing abdominal exercise routines that will strengthen your core muscles while improving your balance. Seated and barre/chair stretches will help relieve tension and back pain from your changing body.

Stabilize Your Joints: Focus on stability rather than flexibility. As mentioned above, the hormone relaxin is doing its job by increasing flexibility and softening the sacroiliac and hip joints to accommodate your baby passing through your birth canal. Therefore, when it comes to stretching and range of motion, less is more. Instead, keep the focus on creating stable joints by engaging the muscles around a joint as you lengthen will help to strengthen and stretch safely.


3rd Trimester: Any Day Now

Feel-Good Movement: The good news is you’re in the homestretch! But you may also be experiencing physical discomfort and fatigue once again. Essentrics is your secret weapon to get you through. Our gentle movements are very effective at relieving these symptoms and getting you back to feeling great.

Spinal Rotations: You may be feeling your baby much more at this point. A bigger belly also means it’s harder to move around – which will impact your range of motion, especially regarding the spine. A good rule of thumb when performing spinal rotations is to be gentle and recruit the hips to move in the same direction – this is a safer way to twist without incurring additional strain.

Balance: Remember that your balance will be off in the third trimester, so you may have to modify some movements during this stage of pregnancy. Our standing and barre/chair workouts will be your best friend!

Staying active with Essentrics® will improve the way you move, function and feel throughout your entire pregnancy and beyond!

Contributing Writer Lisa Mozo


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