Fit Bump: A Preggo Guide

Hi! Hope you’re all having a lovely week!

I wanted to start off by thanking everyone for your messages, posts and well wishes following my little announcement last week! Chris and I are so excited, and I am pumped to share this journey with all of you!

With that said, let’s talk about fitness and pregnancy. There is a TON of misinformation out there and I’d like to clear the air a little. Until pretty recently, the idea of exercise during pregnancy was seriously frowned upon. It was believed, by doctors and civilians alike, that working out could cause harm to the fetus and mother. Now, most of those scary myths have been broken including the following:

  • Never let your heart rate raise about 140 bpm
  • Lifting causes miscarriage
  • Abdominal exercises should be avoided at all costs

Here’s the truth. The 140 bpm myth is arbitrary and basically made up. Women that lift weights and stay active throughout pregnancy are more likely to have an easier labor, control weight gain more easily, and bounce back from pregnancy quicker. Abdominal exercises that include being flat on your back during the end of the second to third trimester should be avoided (as with anything flat on your back) due to strain on the vena cava, HOWEVER increasing core strength (including abdominal, back and pelvic floor) increase posture during and after pregnancy, and can make labor and pushing easier. (Source, Source)

FullSizeRender(2)

OK, so…now what? The general consensus is that whatever you were doing before becoming pregnant is safe to do once you are pregnant. That includes running, walking, weight training, swimming, pilates, yoga, crossfit, hula hooping, jump roping, and sitting on your butt (with permission from your doctor first, of course!). Pretty much anything that feels good is safe and that’s the big part to remember. It’s probably not a good time to start a new routine or increase the intensity of an old routine, though. For me, I had been doing a lot of HIIT with plyometrics. Now that I’m pregnant, my stamina is definitely decreased and a lot of interval training and explosive movements don’t feel good anymore. Right now, at 16 weeks, long, brisk walks, weight training and my TRX are feeling awesome.

That being said, here’s a great upper body TRX/dumbbell workout I did this week. The huge benefit of the TRX is that core stablization required to execute exercises correctly. For more TRX info, read this post.

Upper Body TRX Super Sets

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

Complete super set 3x with 15/12/10 reps per exercise. Rest 1 minute between sets.

IMG_8832

That’s pretty much it for me! Hope you all have a fabulous week!

xoR

_________________________

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, all posts are based on personal opinions and my own research. Please consult your own medical team before performing any exercises described here.

Advertisements

10 Minutes Abs: no crunches, no excuses

Hi Everyone! Long time no talk! Sorry for the radio silence lately, I’ve been crazy busy! Anyway, to apologize I have a brand new, 10 minute, no crunch ab workout for you all that I think you will love!

10 Minute Abs

Image-1(1)

This little workout is perfect as a finisher to your HIIT workout, steady cardio, or lifting sesh. And while we’re at it, let’s talk about those abs, shall we?

Actually, let’s talk about the core. The core is basically any muscle within your trunk region: pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, and the diaphragm. AKA your abs, pelvic muscles and back. The function of the core is to provide stability for your spine and thorax. A strong core is basically crucial for any daily activity including and a weak core can lead to a whole slew of problems including back pain and poor posture (both are things you do not want) source

The thing to remember about the core is that it’s really important to train all of the muscles, not just your abs. Training just abs (i.e. just doing crunches) can cause muscle imbalance, which again, is not good. So remember to train all angles of the core including abs, obliques, and back. Also, remember that the muscles of the core are just like any other muscle group. Muscles need fuel and rest to grow, so make sure to eat enough protein, carbs and fat before and after your workout and only directly train your core 1-2x/week. Oh! And your core should be engaged while doing any compound movement like squats and deadlifts, so adding those workouts into your routines will just increase your results!

Here’s some old posts on core work:

1.One Exercise to Rule Them All, 2. Abs, Abs. Abs, 3. Lift Like a Girl: A guide to heavy lifting

And here’s what my abs currently look like:

image1

And by current, I mean a month ago in Cancun. Currently, I’m wrapped in 16 layers of clothing because it’s still SO FREAKING COLD. Springtime, my ass 😉

Have a fab week!

xoR

 

Back to Reality: a Monday back workout

Wahoo! It’s Monday! How was your weekend? Super amazing? I bet.

Chris and I were so happy to have a weekend at home. Well…at weekend at my parents home, since we’re homeless vagabonds for 2 more weeks. We took care of lots of grown up homeowner stuff, which is awesome and makes the idea of moving into our new home much more real! We are also in the progress of refinishing our bedroom furniture with my dad…which is SO fun and messy and rewarding. I’ll post a little DIY blog later this week when they are all done, but I will have you all know that while I am possibly the least creative and handy person in all of Massachusetts, I am LOVING my dressers and it was ALL MY IDEA! (disclaimer: not my idea).

Anyway, on Saturday I went to the gym with my dad like old times and did the following back, bicep and core workout. Be forewarned: if you belong to a YMCA (specifically the YMCA that I currently belong to), someone may yell at you while doing twisting slamballs against the wall because you are scaring children on the other side of said wall. She will also make you feel stupid and will not respond to your glares. You also may need to find a new gym. #whoops. Complete each set 3 times excluding the jog, 8-15 reps per exercise, followed by the 5 min jog between sets.

photo 3

Slam Balls

Twisting Slam Ball: Stand with feet shoulder distance apart and parallel to the wall. Rotate torso and throw medicine ball with power toward the wall. Do not move your hips.

I’m super into back workouts, in case you haven’t noticed. I LOVE the look of a strong back on a woman (and a man, obvi), but in addition to looking hot, back muscles are way important. Back muscles, like the traps, deltoids and serratus, attach to your hips, abdominals, chest, shoulders, and neck. Therefore, strengthening these muscles can give you better posture, stronger core, more power for explosive exercises, and stabilization throughout your day. According to the NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, back pain impacts approximately 8/10 adults in the US, which is pretty crazy. Strengthening those muscles may help keep pain at bay, so give it a try and let me know how it goes!

In other news, I received pretty much the world’s best blogger perk last week: homemade ice cream delivery. If you haven’t heard of Scoopsies, then I am giving you permission to leave my blog and go check out their website right now. Seriously…could there be anything better? Homemade ice cream. Delivery. Adorable local owner. If you live in Cambridge, Somerville, Allston, Brighton, Newton, Brookline, and/or Watertown, then PUHLEEEEEESE go check out Scoopsies!

That’s it for me! Have a fab week!

xoR

Abs, Abs, Abs

Hello! Welcome to your late night Flex and Shout extravaganza!

I’m back! I’m healthy! My life is back on track! Phew 🙂

I realized today that I’ve never actually posted a full ab workout, which made me think about the last time I did an ab workout…which prompted me to do an ab workout because I couldn’t remember…whoops! So let’s talk about abs!

The abdominals are made up of 4 muscle groups: The transverse abdominus, rectus abdominus, external oblique and internal oblique. Even further, the “core” is made up of  muscles deep within the abdominals and back that attach to the spine or pelvis. These include the muscles of the back, pelvis, and abs. There has been LOTS of info floating around the interwebs lately about skipping straight ab workouts (like crunches) and opting for more core stabilizing activities like planks and compound exercises like squats. I believe that abs need to be addressed with a bit of diversity. I always stress the importance of activating the core throughout any workout, particularly during exercises that really require stability (think legs, chest, back). That being said, just like any other muscle group, the abdominals need to be addressed individually sometimes! Just an FYI: I am NOT saying we all need 6 packs. Hell…I have like a 2 pack. In order to get abs to show (especially for us ladies), body fat has to be SUPER low. For most of us normal humans and non-professional athletes, it’s not really realistic for us to maintain body fat that low. Plus, diet plays a huge part in the development of abs. Decreased refined sugars and increased protein and healthy fats tend to be more “ab friendly”. But here at F&S, we (I) think you should eat a well rounded, balanced diet (with lots of whatever you love ).

So with that, here’s my 1o minute, all angles, burns like hell ab circuit!

10 Minute Abs

complete each exercise for 45 seconds, rest 15 seconds between. You will need a medium weight kettlebell or dumbell

  • Windmill right
  • Windmill left
  • Flutter kick
  • Russian Twist
  • Pulsing crunch
  • Circle crunch
  • Leg lowers
  • Side plank right (with hip pulses)
  • Side plank left (with hip pulses)
  • Rocking plank

Easy Peasy, lemon squeezy! I did this circuit before doing a 30 minute elliptical HIIT workout that I found on pinterest. Make sure to follow Flex and Shout on Pinterest! I add lots of food, workouts, style, hilarity in addition to F&S articles.

Get out there and work dem abs!

xoR