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NOTES FROM DEANNA

HIIT Workout for Pregnancy – Ice Ice Baby Workout

HIIT Workout for Pregnancy | Ice Ice BabyThis was my workout for today, 32 weeks pregnant.

After a few days off I was ready to ramp it up again with a mix of strength training and intense cardio intervals. I was getting bored with 1 minute intervals and decided to go back to a circuit training formula. The further I get into my third trimester, the better just regular traditional strength training feels. But I don’t want to lose my endurance and power, so I threw the HIIT intervals in to keep things interesting.

(I didn’t have time to do the pics for this workout but didn’t want to miss another week!)

PSST – Follow me on Instagram for healthy meal ideas, workouts, motivation and my day to day pregnancy life! Username: FitToBePregnant

Workout Type

Circuit Training with sections of upper and lower body strength training, separated by 1 min of high intensity cardio “blasts” of three 20 second intervals each. There is 2 minutes of rest between sections to catch your breath and grab water.

Equipment Needed

Weekly HIIT Workout for Pregnancy - Ice Ice Baby Workout Weekly HIIT Workout for Pregnancy - Ice Ice Baby Workout

When I got to the cardio blasts, I just hit start each time.

Exercises

Pushups – traditional pushups

Bench Dips – Using a dip station, chair or bench, face away from the edge, putting your hands behind you onto the edge of the bench, about shoulder-width apart. Walk your feet forward until your arms are supporting most of your weight. The further out you walk, the tougher the dip will be. Bend your elbows and lower your body, using your triceps, until your elbows are at about a 90 degree angle. Push your body back up until arms are straight again, this is one rep. Don’t hunch your shoulders as you dip.

HIIT Workout for Pregnancy | Ice Ice Baby

Bent Over Rows– Stand with feet shoulder width apart, holding your bar, dumbbells, or sandbag. Lean over, keeping your back straight, and lift your weight up to your chest. Lead with your elbows, as if someone were pulling them up with a string.

HIIT Workout for Pregnancy | Ice Ice Baby

High Knees – run in place, keeping your weight over your hips, and get your knees up as high as you can. You may need to do “wide” leg high knees to accomodate your bump.

HIIT Workout for Pregnancy | Ice Ice Baby

Box Jumps -Using your arms for momentum, jump up on a sturdy platform, landing in squat, and jump back down. Be careful! I keep my box jumps low to the ground now, just a few inches up onto a block. If you’re not comfortable with jumping up, you can substitute quick step ups.

Skaters – Start in squat, jump to the left, landing on your left leg and keeping your right leg bent behind you, don’t let it touch the floor, then jump back to the other side, repeating that motion with your left leg behind you. The movement mimics that of speed skaters.

Deadlifts – Hold a barbell, dumbells, or sandbag at your thighs, arms straight and knees slightly bent. Bend forward from your hips (not waist), lowering weight to the ground, keeping your back straight, chest out, keeping weight close to your legs. Squeeze your glutes to stand back up. Use weight that is challenging enough to get your heartrate up but stay in proper form.

Squats – Hold dumbbells either at your shoulders or in front of you, wherever is most comfortable. Spread your feet to wider than shoulder-length apart, with room to accommodate your bump. Sit down into your squat, leaning back into your heels, keeping your back straight, until your knees are in a 90 degree angle. Don’t lean forward, and make sure your knees do not go past your toes.

Step-Ups with Weight – Holding dumbbells, step up onto a bench, step, or chair with one leg, step back down with the other leg. Repeat on the other side.

HIIT Workout for Pregnancy | Ice Ice Baby

Walkout – Stand with feet just wider than shoulder width apart. Bend over to put your feet on the ground, and walk your hands out to plank, then back in to your feet, stand back up. Repeat.

Military Press – stand w/ feet shoulder width apart or sit on a bench, weight at collarbone with palms facing away from you. Press weight up until arms are extended, then back down to your chin, repeat.

Standing Dumbbell Flyes – Hold dumbbells together in front of your *waist, elbows bent. Lift arms up to the sides, leading with elbows, until weight is even with your shoulders. Keep your core tight to stabilize the movement. Bring them back down, repeat.

*baby bump

Workout Breakdown

I start with a 5 minute warm up – dynamic stretching (stretching while staying moving, unlike static stretches where you hold the stretch), progressing to some jumping jacks and high knees.

*Note-For a true circuit training workout, try not to take a break until you have completed the sets — go straight from exercise to exercise until you reach your water break. Of course, you’re pregnant, so if your body says take a break, take one!

Strength Training Set 1

  • Pushups – 15 reps
  • High Pulls– 15 reps
  • Bent Over Rows – 15 reps

HIIT Cardio Blast – 1 min

  • :20 High Knees
  • :20 Box Jumps
  • :20 Skaters

Strength Training Set 2

  • Deadlifts – 15 reps
  • Squats with weight – 15 reps
  • Step-Ups with Weight– 15 reps

HIIT Cardio Blast – 1 min

  • :20 High Knees
  • :20 Box Jumps
  • :20 Skaters

Strength Training Set 3

  • Walkouts – 15 reps
  • Military Press – 15 reps
  • Flyes – 15 reps

HIIT Cardio Blast – 1 min

  • :20 High Knees
  • :20 Box Jumps
  • :20 Skaters

Repeat entire routine one more time.

End with a 10 minute stretching cool down. I like to stretch out my arms, then my hamstrings, my inner thighs, my quads, and then perform a few sun salutations. I also add in cat/cow to stretch out my back and hips, and end in child’s pose.

Modifications

For beginners or later in pregnancy:

Rounds – Do one rounds instead of two for a shorter workout

Strength Training – Use lighter weights or body weight only

Pushups – you may have to raise your hips a bit to accomodate the baby bump. Do pushups from knees or against a wall or bar.

Box Jumps – step up and down on the bench, or just hop forward and backward with no elevation.

High Knees – Do low knees, “low” jacks or jog in place instead

Skaters – walk the movement rather than hop to the sides.

Benefits For Pregnancy

Intervals – Learning to work in intense intervals prepares you mentally and physically for labor by getting you accustomed to intense work, followed by rest – just like contractions. HIIT work also improves your endurance, cardiovascular health, and builds muscle, all in a short period of time.

Anaerobic Strength/Circuit Training – Provides you and your baby with additional oxygen over the next 24-48 hours, builds and strengthens muscles and joints that can become weak and cause aches and pain. Regular intense exercise helps baby become accustomed to stress, which will help him tremendously during labor and delivery.

Cardio Blasts – improve balance and agility, gets the heart rate up to carry oxygen to the baby and the body, improves circulation, reduces swelling, and increases endurance needed for labor.

Deadlifts, Squats, and Step Ups – builds lower body, upper body, and core strength to support the uterus, strengthen childbirth muscles, and prevent back aches. Helps with balance as our gravity shifts as we grow. Squats are essential in preparing your body for childbirth by strengthening and stretching your child-birthing muscles, and also build core strength for supporting your growing uterus and stretching hip joints. Squatting also helps to prepare your perineum for stretching during the pushing phase of labor.

Pushups, Bench Dips, Rows, Walkouts, Presses, and Flyes – improves core strength and strengthens back/shoulder muscles, helping to reduce back pain and to support the uterus as it grows.

Bookmark this page for weekly HIIT workouts for pregnancy posted each week!

*The information contained in this website is provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as and should not be relied upon as medical advice. The information may not apply to you and before you use any of the information provided in the site, you should contact a qualified medical, dietary, fitness or other appropriate professional. If you utilize any information provided in this site, you do so at your own risk and you specifically waive any right to make any claim against Fit To Be Pregnant, its employees or representatives, as the result of the use of such information.*

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  1. smjanesko

    November 18th, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Hi! So I stumbled upon this blog looking for a circuit workout to use during my pregnancy. I am 21 weeks with my 2nd baby, and know from the first pregnancy that I need strength training to keep me somewhat fit and sane while I am growing this baby. I haven’t been through the whole blog yet, but want you to know that I have tried 2 of the workouts (with slight modifications for me)so far and they have been great! So, thank you for posting this blog. I am excited to try more! 🙂

  2. dds32

    November 20th, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Glad you found me! And that you liked the workouts 🙂

  3. Sam

    March 1st, 2014 at 7:37 am

    So glad I found this blog. I am 31 weeks into my second pregnancy and follow very similar workout and eating habits as you. I find myself in this third trimester eating more (cheating a it more too) and slowing down and this blog has revitalized and inspired me to keep going and pushing hard! I have used several of your workouts now and food inspirations and I can’t thank you enough for sharing all of this! Going to do this workout this morning 🙂

  4. Brooke

    March 14th, 2014 at 6:10 am

    Deanna,
    How inspiring to read about your successes maintaining a healthy and happy pregnancy and congrats on the birth of your son. I have a question for you concerning heart rate — there is a general thought that the body should not exceed 140 bbm during pregnancy, however my hear rate typically does exceed that just a touch. However, I never work out beyond the point that I cannot carry a conversation or push myself too hard. What are your thoughts about heart rate control VS listening to the way your body “feels” as a guide to safe workouts while preg?

  5. Deanna Schober

    March 14th, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Hey Brooke! I never watched my heart rate as far as monitoring it. My thought is that 140 seems like an arbitrary number-140 bpm for me at the time I became pregnant would happen during a warmup. Instead I focused on how I felt-making sure I was never lightheaded or dizzy, that I was never overheating, and that I was not experiencing any pain. I think that whatever you were used to doing before pregnancy you can continue as long as you watch out carefully for those signs and never push harder than your current capabilities. Those are my thoughts!

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