If the Shoe Doesn’t Fit…

Last night, I attended an antenatal (prenatal) pilates class. It’s something that’s been on my to-do list over the past few weeks, as I keep hearing how amazing it is for pregnant women.  I’ve done regular pilates in the past and always enjoyed the amazing core workout that it’s given me.  I knew that it would be a modified version of the standard pilates classes, as preggo ladies can’t be doing hardcore abdominal moves, but I figured it would still be a good workout.

Reused photo to capture last night’s unfortunate sentiments!

If I had a paparazzi following, this is the photo they would have snapped at any point throughout the longest hour of my life.  I was legitimately bored out of my mind, which honestly is not something that happens much with me and exercise.  I LOVE trying all kinds of new things.  I’ve even laughed and sweated my way through a Zumba class…once 😉 !  I think it’s because I’ve still been pretty active and used to doing more intense exercise that prenatal pilates was just waaay too easy and simple for my liking.  Especially at the 5 month mark.

I would 100% recommend prenatal pilates for anyone who has had an inactive pregnancy due to personal preferences, health set backs, etc.  Or even for those who enjoy a relaxed workout in a group setting, or maybe feel unconfident and unsure about pelvic floor exercises. Kegels, anyone?

A really good resource about pelvic exercises that all women should know:

http://www.pelvicexercises.com.au/

Pelvic floor exercises are very important for women at any stage in life, not just pregnancy.  Much of prenatal pilates focuses on these muscles, which is what makes the exercise program effective and enticing. However, there are lots of fitness DVDs out there.  Even You Tube videos.   This is how I’ll be incorporating them into my fitness routine from now on.

I’ve heard good things about this Pilates DVD, so I’ll probably give it a whirl (in combination with pelvic floor exercises as demonstrated in the video below) and let you know how it goes.  If anyone has done a Lizbeth Garcia workout before, I’d love to hear your comments!

A tutorial on Kegels/Pelvic Floor training:

This got me thinking about other exercises and videos that I like to do at home to change things up from time to time.  The other day, a friend and blog reader asked me about various workout videos that I find beneficial.  Here are a few that I like:

At Home Workout Videos

Cardio Workout

It can be a challenge finding the right fit for you (and the space you have to work with).  
Turbo Fire w/ Chalene Johnson. Grab a sweat towel- this is probably one of the most intense cardio classes you can do in your living room.  I can’t wait until I can do them again, and will definitely be incorporating them into my post-natal workout routine.

Muscle Conditioning Workout (+ some cardio)
Any of the Jillian Michaels “Shred” videos (there’s a ton). Love her.
Jari Love’s “Ripped” videos are also amazing. I’ve done her Get Ripped classes when living in Calgary, Alberta.  
Yoga
There are so many excellent yoga workout DVDs for a huge range of abilities.  I prefer a more intense yoga session, so P90X does the trick for me.  It’s long, but you can break it into chunks if you want.  We have it on DVD.  It used to be on You Tube, but they seem to have removed it due to copyright issues.  I’m going to see if I can track it down elsewhere, but I know that it is always readily available on eBay (as well as the full P90X pack).
Here’s a link to other popular Yoga DVD recommendations.  I’ve done the Power Yoga: Total Body Workout and really enjoyed it. 
Swiss Ball Workout
Our stability ball didn’t make the trek aross the planet with us, so I’ll be purchasing one this weekend.  Swiss balls are a great “At Home Workout Equipment” purchase.

The Adam Ford series provides a really good core workout:
Man-Friendly Workouts
Although I can’t fully comment on these, here is a link to the “7 Best Workout DVDs for Men”.
Realistically, there are SO many at home workout videos out there.  I guess it all boils down to personal preference.  Just like my prenatal pilates class experience last night, not all workouts are for everyone.  What works for you may not work for someone else.  It’s all about experimenting until you find the workouts that fit best within your life and that are enjoyable- not to be mistaken with easy.  :)  
Are there any workout videos that you’ve either loved or hated?  I’d love to hear some further recommendations!

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