Core And Pillar Strength for the Pregnant Client

8 May

By Jenny Burrell BSc (Hons), Founder of Burrell Education (
Specialist Pregnancy and Post Natal Fitness & Therapy Education

This information is intended for use by the specialist Pre/Post Natal Health and Fitness Professional.  If you are a mom, please seek advice and guidance from a qualified professional.  If you are a qualified professional, the following exercises are suitable for the LOW RISK PREGNANCIES ONLY.

1.  Resistance Band Deadlifts – Deadlifts….. but not as you know them! This version is still highly effective with a strong band and much more appropriate for the pregnant client that a 20kg barbell!  Ensure your band has a good level of tension before starting by wrapping it around the fist.  Good form protocols still apply – work with a ‘strong back’ and ‘drive through the heels and exhale as you rise’.  Really great work for the glutes, hamstrings, working the bend-to-extend pattern and fascia/musculature of the lumbar and thoracic back.  Great for off-setting upper body postural changes that typically occur during pregnancy.

2.  Flexi-Bar Plie Squats

The Pelvic Floor LOVES functional movement including wide-legged squats.  Add the extra challenge of gentle vibration via the Flexi-Bar to the WHOLE CORE.  Amazing work for the thighs, glutes, core including the all important Pelvic Floor and of course a wicked workout for the arms and shoulder….supersized multi-tasking – excellent for time-poor mommies.  Take care to coach regular breathing while the client is working.  There’s sometimes a tendency to hold the breath while concentrating on getting the movement right with the Flexi-Bar.  NB:  Not suitable for clients suffering SPD or any other type of Pelvic Pain Syndrome.

3.  Single Leg Sits to Chair/Bench

For my moneyand I hope yours too, the ‘Core’ includes the GLUTES TOO!  This single leg work targets both Glute Max and Med and looks so simple but is really challenging and highly effective (especially as the clients’ bump grows).  Keeping the glutes strong can help offset the drop into an anteriorly tilted pelvis, which is bad news for the lumbar spine and turns off the Pelvic Floor!!!

4.  ‘Draw The Swords’

The pregnant client is prone to developing Upper Crossed Syndrome due to changes in her centre of gravity caused by boob and belly growth.  Incorporating strength work for her Thoracic area to promote better posture is essential.  Use an appropriate weight, a cable machine or a strong dynaband both work well.


5.  Resistance Band Scap Retraction into Chest Opener

A great 2 in 1 exercise to give as homework.  Drawing the band wide at the front of the chest causes scapular retraction, strengthening those upper back posture muscles and then taking the band overhead opens up and stretches the often tight and shortenend pecs, anterior delts and biceps.  Brilliant use of time and highly effective!  PS just as valuable in the post natal period when moms spend lots of time in the feeding position.

Need to modernize your exercise prescription for your Pregnant clients?

The next Burrell Education ‘Modern Pregnancy Exercise’ REPs Endorsed CPD Workshop in London, UK.

 Friday 13th July, 2012 – Only 3 Places Left!

Visit for more details and securing your place.

Passionate About Pregnancy & Post Natal Health & Fitness Education FOREVER! 

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