Having a strong core is essential to relieving lower back pain during pregnancy. A strong core is the foundation of a strong body. Our aquaBelly classes incorporate Pilates and Yoga low impact exercises that build core strength and a strong, flexible spine! Here are three of my favorite pool exercises that have helped me during my pregnancies and continue to help with the occasional lower back pain while I lift my 21+ pound babies!
Exercise 1: Back Extension
There are so many benefits to the back extension exercise other than just strengthening the back. Notice how the abdominal muscles are engaged throughout and are being stretched, the spine is engaged as well as the work of the arms and shoulders. What’s not to love about the pool version of the Flying Eagle?
Step One: Holding on to the pool bar or side with your elbows bent and chin almost touching the bar/side. Bring your knees up to the pool wall.
Step Two: Engaging your core muscles, gently extend your legs back (do not kick off the wall) and contract your low back muscles and glutes to extend your body, lifting your torso to the surface of the water.
Step Three: Hold for 3 seconds and gently return back to a knee tuck position. Repeat 20-30 times.
Exercise 2: Poolside Side Stretch
Stretching is such an important component of your workout routine. When you stretch underwater it allows you to move your joints and limbs using a wider range of motion and greater control as opposed to stretching on land. It only takes a few minutes to feel the benefits of stretching. You will improve flexibility, reduce injury and release tension.
Step One: In a standing position starting with your right side nearest the side of the pool, stretch your right arm out and grasp the side of the pool (do not place your entire arm on the side).
Step Two: Keeping your legs slightly open; raise your left arm so that it goes over your head almost touching the side of the pool, bend your waist to the right; , hold the stretch for 10-20 seconds and then return slowly to the initial position; repeat with the other arm/side until you complete 3 sets for each one
Exercise 3: Warrior II Pose
Building strength and stability and overall flexibility is an important component of the Warrior II pose.
Step One: Stepping out allow your front knee and angle to align.
Step Two: Focusing on your legs, elongate those muscles and get stable.
Step Three: Stretch both arms out to the side, feel your muscles being engaged and bring the shoulder blades back towards your spine. Hold this for 10 seconds and gently return back to a standing position. Repeat 10-20 times.
Did you know that 90% of our body weight is buoyant in the water? If you are dealing with excess weight, it is probably putting too much pressure on your knees and back, which is why the AAF recommends water fitness because your joints are protected from stress and strain. aquaBelly® provides a safer exercise environment for expecting women. All of our exercises are performed in the water allowing for less wear and tear on joints, creating a workout safe from injury as it is buoyant and nearly non-impact.
I thoroughly enjoy the parts of our aquaBelly workouts that incorporate ballet and pool barre. At the pool barre, we utilize ballet steps such as demi-plié, grand plié, and dégagé. At our pool barre, we utilize squats and grand Pliés, which are more natural in terms of standing tall and keeping our backs straight.
In addition to our barre exercises, we also mix yoga, pilates, hip hop dance, weight training and aerobic exercise to give you a well-balanced, full body fitness class each time you come. Our classes are conducted in the water and are based upon the ACOG guidelines for safe exercise during pregnancy and beyond.
Benefits to our baby:
So what are the best noodle workouts that focus on core exercises? An effective pool noodle workout while pregnant should be both safe and beneficial focusing on both strengthening and engaging your core during each trimester. Strengthening your core helps your body prepare for a healthy delivery as well as helping your body bounce back quickly post baby. So how can using a pool noodle help strengthen your CORE? As the picture demonstrates, we are using a pool noodle which is effective due to its buoyancy in the water. Once you submerge the pool noodle you are probably not aware of all the different muscles you are using to keep it from rising to the surface. In turn, you are burning calories and toning muscles at the same time!
A common question that women are always wondering is "What are a few safe core exercises I can do during pregnancy?". This featured exercise is both safe and beneficial focusing on both strengthening and engaging your core in a safe way during each trimester. Strengthening your core helps your body prepare for a healthy delivery as well as helping your body bounce back quickly post baby.So how can using a pool noodle help strengthen your CORE? As the picture demonstrates, we are using a pool noodle which is effective due to its buoyancy in the water. Once you submerge the pool noodle you are probably not aware of all the different muscles you are using to keep it from rising to the surface. In turn, you are burning calories and toning muscles at the same time!
Pre and Postnatal fitness is rapidly growing in popularity across the country. At aquaBelly Fitness of Lake Lanier, our pool used for aquatic fitness has a large flat floor with no hidden obstacles. The buoyancy of the water and the controlled temperature make it perfect for a variety of pre and postnatal fitness exercises. You can jog in place against a gentle current, use resistance bands, free weights, large noodle floats, or our unique aquatic exercise equipment. With the jets off, you can experience the benefits of resistance training and range of motion exercises including Yoga, Pilates, Ballet and Cardio and Strength Training.
Our pool also features stainless steel grab bars to allow for balancing and perfecting that perfect ballet posture!
aquaBelly® Fitness Blog
From workouts and healthy meals, fitness tips and fashion, to baby love—I'm excited about keeping my clients informed about their health, fitness and life on Lake Lanier! I am a certified pre and post natal fitness specialist, entrepreneur, wife and mother!