While, at the time of writing, in-person fitness sessions are off the table due to the coronavirus pandemic, people all over the world have been turning to the internet to watch their favourite gym instructors in action.
Pregnant women looking to stay in shape and prepare their bodies for birth are no exception.
These five free prenatal yoga and Pilates workouts are particularly great for mums-to-be.
Prenatal Yoga Center
This American yoga centre specifically trains pregnant ladies and they offer a number of free workouts on the website. These run up to 25 minutes and focus on particular areas of the body, such as alleviating back pain, helpful hip openers and even quick relief for carpal tunnel syndrome. If you want to try longer classes, there are packages you can buy. They are also currently offering live Zoom sessions for pre and postnatal yoga, baby and me classes, as well as infant massage and a new mother support group.
This Dubai studio offers a range of live-streamed online classes throughout the week, but the team has also uploaded a set of pre-recorded sessions that you can access for free. This includes an hour-long prenatal yoga class with instructor Heather Bonker (who is also a mother).
It combines postures, breathing techniques and meditation to help ease pregnancy and delivery, plus focuses on strength and flexibility throughout. It’s not an overly tough class, but it’ll certainly get you working those muscles – and you’ll feel plenty relaxed once you’re done.
BodyFit by Amy
Amy, who runs BodyFit by Amy, has a series of prenatal workouts on her YouTube channel, including a few Pilates sessions that she filmed when she, too, was pregnant. Her online classes run from anywhere between five and 35 minutes.
We particularly recommend the 20 and 30-minute prenatal Pilates classes, which have modifications so that any pregnant mother can join in, and will also most certainly have you sweating in no time. They use targeted exercises that will benefit mums during childbirth. Check out the BabyFit section on her website for more.
Yoga with Adriene
Perhaps the most famous of the free online yoga resources is run by American instructor Adriene Mishler. She has just over seven million subscribers on YouTube.
In 2014, she released a series of six online prenatal yoga classes, which includes a 35-minute session teaching five poses mums-to-be can practice through all trimesters, which can be accessed for free on her YouTube channel.
The full series is available to buy for $27 (Dh99). She’s also got a couple of other videos on YouTube that are perfect for pregnancy, including yoga for pelvic floor and yoga for acid reflux.
Pregnancy and Postpartum TV
This YouTube channel, run by mum-of-three Jennifer, is a great resource for ladies looking for a range of workouts and more general advice on all things pregnancy-body related. One of their most popular videos is a 25-minute yoga routine for sciatica and lower back pain – a common complaint among mums-to-be.
On top of that, there's a full playlist of about 34 prenatal yoga videos for women to scroll through. And you might want to keep the playlist for diastasis recti healing core workouts bookmarked for after baby is born.