Fitness: A Home Workout

Looking for a typical "home workout?" Our fitness expert Alexandra Allred, is a former member of the US Women's Bobsled team, is an accomplished martial artist, and continues to teach kickboxing while juggling her career as a full-time writer and mother of three.

These workouts are for a woman who has been given permission by her doctor to workout and is a person who has taken 2 to 3 aerobic classes a week. Please keep in mind that this particular program was designed for an intermediate exerciser!

"Alex suggests" that beginners must first speak with their family physician before working out then, take it slowly. Break the workout down in half. Even if you feel like you can do it all, go slowly. If the workout asks for 3 sets of 20, do 3 sets of 10. Only do half of the abdominal exercises suggested. This program was not designed for pregnant women. This is not to say they cannot do this but we must insist your OB/GYN is consulted before working out with this program. As always, Pregnancy.org wants to ensure the utmost safety for everyone.

LOWER BODY:Quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, calves and abdominals

Working from home you will need: hand weights (3 to 5 lbs.), stool and X-ray paper

walkingCardio warm-up: 1.4 mile walk with weights or 10 minutes kicks/jabs to music

Legs
Sliding squats with weights - side to side (approximately 20 feet): 3 sets
Slide to the right, slide to the left = 1 set
*This should not be a hurried exercise. Be sure to make nice deep/low squats in each set

Lunges with weights (up and back = 1 step): 12 steps / 3 sets
*Holding weights, let the hand weights hang loosely on either side of your hips. Take a step forward, making sure the heel hits first, rolling forward on to the toes. With a long extension of your leg, your back knee should stop a few inches from the floor - that's a nice low dip - People with bad knees should do side-to-side squats to avoid undue pressure on the knees - Keep head up, back straight.

*Pregnant participants - as you move into the third trimester, perform Side-To-Side squats rather than the lunges. This is a precaution as your joints are looser and we want to be knee and hip friendly.

X-ray paper:
Front kicks: 25 each leg
Back (Donkey) Kicks: 25 each leg
*What is X-ray paper? A target. If you cannot find a target (or a partner to hold the target) you can perform these kicks on your on, kicking the air. Be sure to keep the kick hip level. If pregnant, you may want to lower the kicks as you move along.

squatsLunges with weights (punching with each step): 3 sets
Sliding squats with weights (jab, jab, hook, hook with each slide): 3 sets
Wide stance squat (dip all the way down and hold for 15 seconds): 3 sets

Abdominals:
Bicycle maneuver: 2 sets of 16
*at the end of each set, try to freeze for an 8-second count, holding your opposite elbow as close to your knee

Throw downs: 2 sets of 20
*NOT FOR PREGNANT PARTICPANTS! On this exercise, hold on to a partners feet, a railing or the bottom of your couch for weighted resistance. While lying on your back, slowly lower feet down to the floor - do not let your feet actually touch the floor. Bring your feet back up, count that as one.

Full sit-ups with jabs (weights!): 2 sets of 20
*Cross-jabs with weights

Upper Body: Shoulders, triceps, biceps and lower back

Working from home you’ll need: hand weights, chair, X-ray paper

Cardio warm-up: ¼ mile fast walk, jump rope (10 minutes) or sparring

Upper Body:
Push up: 2 minute burn - as many as possible
Jabs with weights: count 50 jabs per arm
Hooks with weights: 50 each
Upper cuts with weights: 50 each arm Push-ups and chair dips

Remember the pyramid system. Start with 20 each. Rotate to 19, then 18 and so on.

Here is the order: First do the push-ups, then the chair until you are down to one. This is a fabulous way to burn the fat on the back of your arms! Again, move slowly. If you are unable to do this high count - remember this is a goal workout. Begin with a more reasonable number such as 10, then 9, then 8 and so on.

Jabs with weights: 25 each (First the right side, then left)
Hooks with weights: 25 each
Upper cuts with weights: 25 each

Final chair dips: hold left leg straight out, do 10 dips / 2 sets
Hold right leg out, do 10 dips / 2 sets

Abs/Lower Back

Superman Fly - both hands and feet up / 3 sets of 15 second holds
1. left arm/right leg raise
2. right arm/left leg raise
3. hands raised only, wait 15 second. Lower hands, then legs only

[That's one set]

What is "Superman?" Lying on your stomach, raise the proposed body parts. This is a great exercise for the lower back - one of the most neglected body parts!

Balance Holds

X-ray paper:
25 round house kicks WITHOUT setting down
25 front kicks without setting down
15 hooks

LOWER BODY

Working from home: stool or chair (or stair), weights, X-ray paper

Cardio-warm-up: 1.4 mile walk with weights or 10 minutes kicks/jabs to music

stepsLegs:
Step up (with weights) on step/chair, 2 sets of 8
Reverse squat with one leg of step/chair, 2 sets of 8
Reverse squat holding weights squat as low as possible, 2 sets of 8
Reverse squat switch to opposite leg

Lunge on step*, 2 sets of 8
*alternate feet. If done correctly, should be exhausting.

squats with weights, 2 sets of 8

Pyramid:
Using chair, leg up on side to the count of 8, switch sides to 8 count. Then 7, then 6...

Floor work
Knee-to-chest kick, 2 sets of 16
Circle kick, 2 sets of 16
Opposite circle, 2 sets of 16
Heel Kick (forward kick), 2 sets of 16
*the HARD one

X-Ray:
Front Kicks 10, 12, 15, 20, 15, 12, 10
Back Kick 10, 12, 15, 20, 15, 12, 10
Front/Back Kick Combo 10, 12, 15, 12, 10 (Each Leg)

Abs:
crunchesCrunches on floor/feet up on chair, 2 sets of 16
Knee-up, 2 sets of 16
Knee-up: Sitting on the chair, bring knees (together) up toward your chest.

Weighted ab crunches (holding weights), 2 sets of 16

Copyright © Alexandra Allred. Permission to publish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.