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I’m back with more pregnancy-approved exercises! All of these can be done if you aren’t pregnant, but are especially great for preggos since you aren’t in danger of falling on or crunching your bambio.

While these exercises have worked wonderfully for me, please remember to consult with your doctor and get his okay to exercise during pregnancy — every woman and every pregnancy is different and may have different restrictions!

I thought about including photos of me doing these to make the motions and positions a little clearer, but then decided that would be too embarrassing, so I hope I described them well enough so you can do them too!

1. Wall Push Ups — great if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe doing traditional “girl” push ups (on your knees). You can do these two different ways to work different parts of your arm. Face a wall, standing about a foot away from the wall. This may be more or less depending on your height and comfort level. Your arms should be straight, but make sure your elbows aren’t locked. Bend your arms, with your elbows going wide — away from your body — and then push yourself away from the wall. You can also do this with your elbows tight against your body, sort of going in towards to your armpits.

2. Modified Chops — You can actually do these non-modified for a while, but the modified will be good later in pregnancy. Lay on your side, with the more “cushiony” part of your hip bearing most of your weight; if you are doing modified, you do not need to do this. Your bottom arm should be down, supporting your upper body weight, but be sure not to lean into the arm — stay as upright in your upper body as you can. Your top arm should be up, fingers pointed to the ceiling. For modified, lift your top leg up as you bring your arm down, so your arm and leg meet, making a sort of chopping motion. If you are not doing modified, lift both legs together. Make sure you this on both sides — modified or not!

3. Spiderman — There is a much, much harder way to do this (in a full plank, with plates), but I only do the hand-and-knee version now. Get on your hands and knees, and pull one leg out to the side and crunch it up towards your elbow — your other leg and hands should remain on the ground. This works your oblique muscles,  and staying on your hands and knees helps your balance.

4. Genie Turns — You can do these with our without a stability ball, but doing them on a stability ball will give you an increased ab workout since you need to use those muscles more to balance on the ball. In a seated position (on the floor or on the ball), position your arms across your chest, like a genie, then turn to one direction as far as you can while still keeping your hips facing front and pulse three times. This is another great excercise that works your abs and obliques!

5. Leg Crunches — This is another great hand and knee excercise! In the same hand and knee position as Spiderman, take one leg, pull it under you towards your chest, then pull it out towards the back and then out to the side, in the Spiderman motion, back to the back, then back in towards your chest. This will work your abs but will also really work your glutes!

Other great excercise options include walking and swimming — both are low impact and are great for your baby! Of course, these are only a sampling of things you can do while pregnant. And remember, what you are able to do safely will change over the course of your pregnancy — by the third trimester you shouldn’t be doing any exercises that have you on your back for any length of time, so crunches will be out! Hopefully these are 5 great exercises you can do throughout your entire pregnancy!

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worksformeLast night, I canceled my gym membership. I felt bad doing it, but it had to be done.

I’ve been going to aerobics classes taught at my church and become friends with the instructor. While I’ve done the gym on my own for several years (and lost over 20 pounds working out on my own), GROUP CLASSES KICK THE GYM’S BUTT!

I thought I wouldn’t like group classes, that I would be too focused on what other’s were thinking of me, or that I wouldn’t be as “good” as everyone else, or even that I wouldn’t get as good of a workout as I would on my own.

I was so, very wrong. I love group fitness because I have five ladies who I can count on to be there, every day, and who ask me where I was when I’m absent, and CARE. And I can talk to these ladies about the pain I’m in from yesterday’s workout. And man, nothing beats working really hard on an excerise, feeling like you might die, or at the very leas, pass out, and when you are finally released, hearing a groan from every other woman in the room.

UPDATED TO ADD: There are some other great benefits I thought of too! You work in a small class, so the instructor gets to know you, know your body and can really help push you to do things you didn’t think were possible. You benefit from the experience of someone who is trained and certified to help people excercise! They also know about anatomy, and they know several excercises that work the same muscles. If an excercise doesn’t work for you, they can help you find one that does! And, with all that excercise-knowledge you can’t get stuck doing the same things every day. For me, the best part is that I’ve lost 4 pounds since January!

Community exercise really works for me. Oh, and Works for me Wednesday has moved! Check out all the new tips and tricks at We are THAT Family.

A little while ago, a new gym opened in our area. I’d been wanting a gym membership, but figured they’d all be too expensive for our budget. This particular gym charges $10 a month. Yes! So now I can go work my tail off in a shiny new gym. I still have to motivate myself to get there though! So, I decided to make a chart for me to track my exercise (I used Microsoft Publisher, but Excel would be just as effective). Then I thought, “Oh boy, I haven’t bought any new clothes since I quit my job working retail. I could really use something new!” I combined something I wanted (new clothes) with something I needed (more exercise), and created a chart!

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I picked four items I would really like to have: a new top, a new pair of pants, a new dress, and a new pair of black boots. Then I thought about how hard I needed to work for each item. I decided after 25 days of 30 min or more of excercise I would have earned the right to purchase a new top. After 35 MORE days (a total of 60 days) I would be able to purchase a new pair of pants, after 50 MORE days (110 total days) I could purchase a dress — hopefully a size smaller dress! Then, after 100 MORE DAYS (for a whopping total of 210 days) I could earn a nice pair of knee-high, black boots.

By this point, I plan to give up the rewards and stick to just monitering my days. My hope is that by the time I reach 210 days, going to the gym will have become a habit, and something that’s fun for me. But for now, I’ll stick to rewarding myself for exercise. At the rate I’m going now, I figure I’ll have finally earned those black boots by 2010!

Just a 20-something girl living on the East Coast, trying to figure out life. I'm a wife and mom to two. I'm trying to rediscover my love for long walks, yoga and pilates. But not hiking. I still don't like hills. I was raised at the beach, but I don't like the beach. I like to look at it, but I don't like to swim in it, I'd prefer a pool, thanks. I'm just trying to become the best person I can be -- the woman God wants me to be. That's easier said than done!

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Contact me at longbrakeliving@gmail.com - I'd love to hear from you!

Hubby is my all-time favorite guy. A perfect mix of serious, sarcastic, laid-back, handy and nerdy, he is the perfect complement to me. I love his strong work-ethic and the way he always loves and supports me through everything. Some of Hubby's favorite things include: hiking, Virginia Tech football, woodworking, and his family. When I married him in July 2007, I had no idea what an amazing journey we were headed on, and how I could come to love him so much more each day.

Our oldest, Colton, is three years old. He is equal parts sassy and hysterical. He loves all things train, car, bus, truck, and machine related. He has a penchant for made-up words and loves to be the clown of his pre-school class. Our younger son, Nathan, was born this May. He is pure joy and full of smiles! He is such a blessing and a perfect fit for our family.