Quick Workout for the Busy Mum-to-Be #2 {Work That Back and Biceps, Baby!}

Second trimester and the nausea is down, but the belly is OUT! Finding ways to adapt my workouts as my pregnancy progresses, my belly grows, and my stamina fluctuates, has been quite a challenge! Currently my schedule looks something like this:

Monday – 5km brisk walk, outside

Tuesday – 1-2km walk and Strength Training (Hamstring, Back and Biceps focus)

Wednesday – 5km brisk walk, outside

Thursday – 2km walk and Strength Training (Quads, Chest and Triceps focus)

Friday – 5 km brisk walk, outside

Saturday – rest/ walk/ home circuit

Sunday – rest/ walk

Normally I wouldn’t include so much cardio, but it just feels right for now. I found that I was avoiding exercise because I felt like I had to work really hard (as usual), but I just get out in the sun, walk fast, and enjoy it. I feel the sun is doing me good too! Some days I do break my schedule too, I’ll admit. Some days I’m just plain knackered. I’m just listening to what my body needs right now.

While you may be cautious about starting or maintaining an exercise routine, the simple truth of the matter is that it is going to benefit you to keep moving while you are pregnant. You do have to be careful, of course- but if you exercise smartly you’ll have a better recovery, you’ll feel stronger, and you’ll quite simply feel better about yourself as your pregnancy progresses. Pregnancy is not a disease, it’s simply a period of your life where you need to nurture for your body with a bit of extra love and care, because you are growing life.

Because I am currently pregnant, am a personal trainer, and like many of you other mothers-to-be out there had to wade through tonnes of information to find anything useful – I’m going to start sharing a series of quick and easy home and gym workouts for pregnant mums.


Today’s circuit requires some basic equipment: a dumbells and a barbell if you have one. You may have these at home, or at your local gym. If you don’t have a barbell, just use dumbells. I used 7.5 kilo (roughly 17 pound) dumbells, a 40 kilo (88 pound) barbell, a 20 kilo (44 pound) barbell, and a 15 kilo (33 pound) EZ curl bar. You use whatever weight you are comfortable with, and that you can go through the exercise with 12-15 times to reach about 80% of your maximal effort – no straining!

This whole workout took me 40 minutes with ample rest time, but if your stamina and endurance is high, you can probably do it in 30.

Now, before we start, here are some simple Pregnant Circuit Workout Rules:

  1. Make sure that at any point in time during the workout you are able to speak in sentences before taking a breath. If you can’t speak or are having trouble breathing, you are going too fast for a pregnant lady. Slow down and take a breather.
  2. Stop if you feel any cramping in the pelvic region, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, bleeding, or any other worrying symptoms or conditions.
  3. Definitely listen to your health provider’s advice regarding any exercise you are going to undertake.
  4. Make sure the room your are in is cool (and preferrably air-conditioned) so you don’t overheat, and drink plenty of water.
  5. For further instructions, see the workout page (though there is no warm up required for this circuit).

Work That Back and Biceps, Baby! Gym Circuit

Set A. Repeat set 3-4 times (not including 1-2 warm up sets), with 10-12 reps per exercise before moving onto the next set. 

A1. Barbell Bent Leg Deadlifts

Muscles: Hamstrings, Glutes, Lower back

  • Starting position: shoulders back, back straight, knees bent, arms straight (no slack) and on the outside of your knees, barbell level with shins. Make your legs as wide as you need to to accommodate for your growing stomach!
  • While keeping your back straight, quickly push up from the heels and thrust your hips forward, squeezing the glutes.
  • Slowly return to the starting position (to the count of 4) – all the while keeping your form in check – before quickly pushing back up (don’t stop at the bottom).

A2. Barbell Bent Over Row 

Muscles: Upper back, Biceps

  • Starting position: shoulders back, back straight, knees bent slightly, arms straight (no slack), abs tight.
  • Pull the bar (or dumbells, especially if your stomach is very big now!) up towards your ribs, letting the elbows glide past your torso. Squeeze the shoulder blades together.
  • Slowly lower down to the starting position – all the while keeping your form in check – before quickly pushing back up (don’t stop at the bottom).

Rest for 2-4 minutes at the end of each set (until your breathing returns to normal).

Set B. Repeat set 3-4 times (not including 1-2 warm up sets), with 12-15 reps per exercise.

B1. Dumbell Seated Shoulder Press

Muscles: Shoulders, Triceps

  • Set the bench you are using in an upright position, then sit with your back supported on the back part of the bench, and feet planted firmly on the floor, abs tight.
  • Start at the top of the position, arms straight, dumbells in line with your shoulders and your ears, palms facing inward, the black part of the dumbell facing forward. Keep your wrists in line with your elbows and shoulders at all times.
  • Lower the dumbells down until they touch the front of your shoulders – don’t stop at the bottom – and push back up to starting position. Counts for both downward and upward movements should be 2.

B2. Bicep Curls with EZ curl bar

Muscles: Biceps

  • Grasp the EZ bar on the angle where both of your palms are turned inwards slightly, and facing up. Start with the bar resting at your thigh.
  • Keeping your elbows firmly stuck into your sides (don’t move them!), curl the bar upwards until you can’t bend your elbow any further. Ignore the pace in the video below – go slowly down for 4 and then quickly upwards.

Rest for 2-4 minutes at the end of each set (until your breathing returns to normal).


For more workouts for home or for gym, visit my workout page

Also, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me!

{Featured @ Savouring Saturdays}

Connect with me to keep up-to-date with my most recent recipes and ramblings.

        _round_pinlove     Instagram      facebook      twitter-128     images (2)

One thought on “Quick Workout for the Busy Mum-to-Be #2 {Work That Back and Biceps, Baby!}

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s