Your upper body takes a pounding as a new mum, and one of the things I don’t skimp on in my pregnancy fitness, pregnancy Pilates and Mummies and Buggies classes is shoulder and arm strength work.

Today, I’m going to share my top tips on preparing your arms for the real-life workout they’re going to get as a mum:

PRACTISE USING YOUR “BABE IN ARMS” MUSCLES

THE number one thing to do now, particularly if you’re pregnant and you’re reading this in preparation for motherhood, is to start carrying things in your arms – now!

If you realise that you ALWAYS carry objects like your gym bag, handbag, purse etc over your shoulder, or in your hands down by your sides, you are NOT working your upper body that effectively.

Do you travel a lot for work and trundle a suitcase behind you from venue to venue? Or, have you had your baby and you transport your baby around in their buggy?

Yep, well as soon as you add the word “convenience” IN to the equation (that’s the wheels on your suitcase/buggy there), you’re taking OUT natural body movement and muscle use.

Strengthening your biceps is easy – you just need to practise carrying more things using your arm muscles.

And, let’s face it – holding objects with your arms is pretty much mimicking the very action your body and baby is going to ask of you, isn’t it?

It actually seems so simple until someone points it out to you, huh?

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Expecting a baby and want to prepare your body for labour, motherhood and beyond?

Here are 3 easy exercises that are essential for every pregnant women to perform, at any stage of pregnancy.

Grab a resistance band for this workout, set your timer for 45 seconds work, and 15 seconds rest.

Get the heart pumping, tone muscles with weaken and stretch muscles which need releasing.

If you’re pregnant and want to learn more about how to align yourself, keep aches and pains at bay and decrease your symptoms of back and pelvic pain, click here to book your space on my next Pregnancy Pilates course in West Bridgford, Tuesdays at 6:15pm.

If you’re pregnant and want flexible attendance – never fear – my Bump to Babe pregnancy fitness classes allow you to start whenever you’re ready, and flexibility to switch classes if you need to.

Suitable for any stage in pregnancy, and a heck of a lot of fun – my pregnancy fitness classes offer you cardio, toning, Pilates, pelvic floor, stretching and relaxation, and if you miss a week here or there – it doesn’t matter.

Bump to Babe pregnancy fitness classes are held on Mondays at 6pm in Lady Bay.

If you’ve had your baby recently and want to know how to adapt movements and care for your newborn baby, check out my Mummies and Buggies (indoor) postnatal buggy classes.

And, at ClaireMockridge.com, you’ll also find Your Pelvic Matters: a labour-preparation, pelvic pain and pelvic floor rehab class suitable for women at any stage of pregnancy, and past their 6-week postnatal check.

Going on a long car or train journey here sometime soon to visit family and friends over the festive season?

Do you suffer with back and hip pain from sitting down, stationary for such a long time?

Ok, I have some great tips and stretches for you to do at the services or whenever your scheduled break is.

Try them out, and let me know how you get on!

Pilates is a brilliant form of exercise which helps you improve your posture, tone and strengthen your abdominals and back, increase flexibility, challenge your balance and coordination, release tension and help you de-stress after a hard day. What other session offers you all of this in an hour?

Find out more about my beginners or improvers Pilates classes in Nottingham here.

Are you pregnant? Bump to Babe Fitness and Pregnancy Pilates classes are every busy pregnant woman’s answer to staying fit, active and healthy throughout their pregnancy.

You can come along and exercise at any stage of your pregnancy, right up to full term, and the best bit is – you’ll be giving your unborn baby the BEST start in life.

Been performing traditional pelvic floor exercises with little to no results?

Check out Your Pelvic Matters pelvic floor exercise class for a full-body approach to pelvic floor rehab to help you get the muscles that support the pelvic floor working better.

When it comes to exercising during pregnancy and after birth, I’m a pretty big advocate for it, as you know.

Exercising during pregnancy provides not just you, but your unborn baby with many benefits.

And, one of the best things you can do as a new mum is workout safely after birth, because it not only makes you feel better about yourself, but it sets a great example for your newborn baby too, doesn’t it?

Today’s article is two-fold, as it’s aimed at:

  1. staying fit during pregnancy and,
  2. losing the baby weight after birth.

I’ve narrowed it down 5 top things you need to be doing to increase your fitness level and burn fat, so here goes:

1. INTERVAL TRAINING
One of the BEST forms of exercise to increase your fitness level and/or melt fat fast, is interval training.

I do interval training in ALL of my prenatal exercise classes, Pilates and Mummies and Buggies classes.

I even run a hot and sweaty, ‘next-step after baby’, higher intensity level class here.

If you’re wanting to NOT have to clutch your chest every time you walk up the stairs because you’re getting out of breathe, maybe a bout of interval training is what your system needs, huh?

Interval training is bursts of higher intensity, followed by lower intensity exercise, training the heart, lungs, arms, legs and core.

Think of it as a full-body workout which is over and done with quickly.

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What's better when sick: movement or bed rest?At the time of writing this, I’d just come back from a short 4-day break in Malta (great weather and scenery) and because planes, trains and automobiles were involved in the journey there and back, I’ve been exposed to germs from countless air conditioning units.At the time of writing this, I’d just come back from a short 4-day break in Malta (great weather and scenery) and because planes, trains and automobiles were involved in the journey there and back, I’ve been exposed to germs from countless air conditioning units.

To be fair, it was first time this year I’d been unwell *touches wood*, so I can’t really complain, eh?

If you haven’t known me long, I can tell you now, whenever I get sick – it always – without a doubt – affects my voice.

I teach 10+ pregnancy, postnatal and mainstream Beginners and Improvers Pilates classes per week, and up to 6 personal training clients too.

Exposure to germs is part of my job being in contact with people and babies (which seem to just be tiny little carriers of big loads of germs, huh?).

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Exercising during pregnancy and after birth can be a bit of a confusing topic.

On one hand, you want to make sure you’re not over-exerting yourself, causing yourself injury and/or doing harm to your unborn baby (if you happen to be pregnant reading this).

And, if you are pregnant with your due date in sight, and/or postnatal wanting to burn off some excess fat, you need to get a bit warm and sweaty for exercise to make a real impact on your muscles, heart and lungs.

The ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) suggests pregnant women work out for a minimum of 20-30 minutes per day, on most days of the week.

And, pretty much the same guidelines apply to postnatal women after you’ve had your Doctor’s check, depending on the type of birth you’ve had and other medical issues.

WHAT INTENSITY LEVEL SHOULD I BE WORKING OUT AT?

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I have something very special to announce with you!

 

Today marks the 10th birthday of my Bump to Babe Pregnancy Fitness Classes in Nottingham.

 

In celebration, I’m offering you a 50% discount off my Pilates on a Page Home Workout Sheets – FOR ONE WEEK ONLY!

 

OFFER ENDS: MONDAY 7 AUGUST 2017!!!

 

I honestly don’t quite know where the time has gone, to be fair!

 

If you don’t know me, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Claire Mockridge, an Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert based in Nottingham.

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Why you need to do squats pregnancyIf you come along to my pregnancy exercise or mum + baby workout classes, chances are, you’ll come across me demonstrating, and you doing a squat.

 

Why do I have you perform this exercise so frequently with you?

 

Well, it’s for the health of your pelvic floor.

 

You probably weren’t expecting that to be my answer, were you?!

 

Apologies if you’re eating right now…  Maybe pop that food down, ok?

 

I don’t actually prescribe Kegels very often to my pre/postnatal clients, and haven’t done for 3+ years.

 

Rarely, if ever get you doing one in a classroom environment, mainly because it’s difficult for me to tell from the outside, if you’re doing them from the inside.

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How to carry baby without neck painIf you’ve been to any of my pregnancy exercise or mum + baby postnatal workout classes, you’ll hear me say something repeatedly throughout the hour you’re with me:

‘Relax your shoulders’

When you’re training with me during pregnancy, I try my very hardest to strengthen your arms and shoulders by doing lots of upper body exercises – in correct alignment – to prepare you for motherhood and beyond.

In my postnatal classes – the same rule applies, but unfortunately by the time you’ve got to me with your new baby – sometimes, lots and lots of bad habits have set in.

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Are you expecting a baby?

Pregnancy can really play havoc with your back, huh?

If you have a birthing/swiss ball at home collecting dust, and you’d like to perform some simple, safe and effective stretches on it, watch this short video.

If you’re looking for a pregnancy exercise or antenatal Pilates class in Nottingham, and want to meet other mums-to-be, then you’ve come to the right place!

Bump to Babe Fitness and Pregnancy Pilates classes are every busy pregnant woman’s answer to staying fit, active and healthy throughout their pregnancy.

You can come along and exercise at any stage of your pregnancy, right up to full term, and the best bit is – you’ll be giving your unborn baby the BEST start in life.


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