On Thursday, the first day of my third trimester, I mentioned that I managed to get back into the gym to do some non-painful exercise (click here to see what I did). After a week of doing very little, my thighs were killing me on Friday (which is a good thing as I felt like I had finally done something!) and spurred on my success I decided I’d do another exercise DVD review – to see how well it fares as far as pregnancy exercises go now I’m a little less mobile.
I reviewed Davina’s Body Buff a few weeks ago when I was 25 weeks pregnant and blissfully ignorant of any pelvis problems lurking around the corner! Now that things are beginning to seize up a bit I was intrigued to see how I’d get on with a different one of Davina’s DVDs (variety is the spice of life after all!), High Energy Five.
When I first got this DVD, Alex (bezzie mate, used to live together and were business partners until the beginning of the year) and I were soooooo excited to get stuck in because there was a 20 minute aerobic section that promised to burn fat. A workout? In 20 minutes? Hooray! We did it, completely ignoring the warm up and down sections and boy did we regret it. Neither of us could walk for the next few days and our carves were still hurting a week later. So my first word of warning is whether you’re preggo or not, don’t let your excitement get the better of you – always do the warm up!
Much like Body Buff, this DVD is separated into 5 sections so you can put together your own workout. If you do one section (plus warm up and down, of course), it’ll take about 30 minutes, which is ideal for anyone pregnant who’s looking to do 30 minutes of exercise a day. Here are the sections:
- Warm up
- Pump (for the upper body)
- Abdominals *
- Cool down
*again, I didn’t do the abdominals section for obvious reasons but have done a lot in the past and it’s pretty good.
Friday – Pump and Boxing
Like I said, I was pretty spurred on after managing to go to the gym on Thursday so I did not 1 but 2 sections! This takes about 45/50 mins with the warm up and down.
The pump follows the usual 3 sections separated by 1-minute interval to raise your heart rate. For the intervals, I find that I can do ‘flick kicks’ (see first interval in the legs sections) and skipping on the spot quite comfortably. They have a low impact version, so it should be possible for you whatever your mobility, just tone it down if necessary. The arm exercises are not especially hard and I like doing them (again, time to get some heavier weights so it’s more of a challenge!).
I’d noticed, thanks to my new sports bra that is now too small… oh the shame, that my upper back is looking chubby. So, to follow on from the pump, I decided I’d also see what the boxing section was like. I remembered from doing boxing previously that I would always have sore muscles in my back the next day. It was great! It wasn’t too complex so my simple pregnancy brain could follow and there wasn’t too much jumping around. Plus, they combined some simple (non-pelvic painful) leg toning exercises as well. Next time I do it I’m going to use dumbbells to increase the workout my arms get.
All in all, it was a good workout.
Sunday – Aerobics
I was not looking forward to this as I hadn’t done it since doing it with Alex 3 years ago. I remembered it as being quite boring and repetitive. Turns out it is repetitive but it was really quite alright. I was able to do some jumping around and certainly finished the section with pink cheeks!
There were bits I couldn’t do, for example I didn’t want to do any spotty dogs or star jumps, so I just replaced it with the low impact version (half jacks) and when they do the jumping front, side and back (you’ll see what I mean when you do it), I replaced this again with half jacks. Also, because I knew I would be doing the low impact version for much of it I did the whole routine carrying some 0.5kg dumbbells in each hand, which worked out quite nicely to increase the intensity in ways that don’t hurt!
Monday – Legs
My beloved legs section – I mentioned in Davina Buff review that I love doing lunges but since my pelvic problem I found that I couldn’t do lunges anymore so I was expecting this section to be a pain in the arse. Literally. I’d prepared myself for doing some different exercises if necessary, for example, I’d found this exercise (see pic below) in this month’s Women’s Health Magazine, which doesn’t hurt.
With a bit of tweaking (for the front lunges, instead of alternating legs, which puts pressure on the pelvis to perform balancing duties, do 12 on one side raising up and down with feet fixed in one place, then 12 on the other side), it was actually alright. Even the side lunges were OK providing I didn’t stick my bum out too much or dip too low. In the last section, I couldn’t do the squat to kicks so I did squats to reverse leg lifts instead to work my bum (much the same as the exercise in the image above but without the step).
Warm up and Cool Down - I didn’t really like the warm up much when I first got this as I felt it was a bit drawn out. It’s actually ideal if you’re pregnant though because it’s not too hard core so you can comfortably mobilize yourself. I’m thinking that later in my pregnancy if I’m struggling with doing anything else I could at least do a couple of Davina’s warm ups back to back instead! The cool down is a nice one, particularly the sit down bit that is great for stretching the lower back (although bump is starting to get in the way). I find Davina says a few goofy things in the cool down that get on my nerves (I still love you though!). Just zone those bits out!
In my opinion another good one in terms of pregnancy exercises – the low impact versions of jumpy bits make it ideal and you still get a sweat on, and I think the boxing section is my new favourite going forward. Do let me know what you think and how you get on if you do get it!
NOTE: please do not do these or another exercises mentioned in this blog UNLESS you have OK-ed it with your midwife. Also, stop doing any move immediately if it hurts, you don’t want to end up like I was a few weeks ago!
Other Posts about Pregnancy Exercises you might like:
Exercise for Pregnant Women (a guide to the dos and don’ts)