Making Mommy April Challenge: Bonus Guest Post!

Guess what? Jami from LOVAstyle decided to come back for one more BONUS guest post as part of my Making Mommy April Challenge.  This time she is sharing exercises to help out our upper body. If you missed the rest of her posts and my Making Mommy April Challenge check them out here:

  1. Series Index
  2. Making Mommy April Challenge: Abs Every Day
  3. Making Mommy – Guest Post: Regaining Your Pre Baby Body
  4. Making Mommy – Guest Post: Posture Tips
  5. Making Mommy April Challenge: Update!
  6. Making Mommy – Guest Post: Pilates Mat Work (#1)
  7. Making Mommy – Guest Post: Pilates Mat Work (#2)
  8. Making Mommy April Challenge: Wrap Up!

I hope you have been enjoying the mat workout from last week.  Since your Powerhouse is getting stronger and you are on a workout routine, time to add just a few more exercises for the upper body.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the shoulders become rounded. Many of us also have added weight on the top because of the weight of the breasts.  Not only the weight but the positioning of holding our baby to feed can contribute to slouching and rounded shoulders.  So here are three exercises to do to help strengthen the upper back and stretch the chest.

  • Rowing– Using light hand weights 1lbs – 3lbs. Sit tall in a chair with a weight in each hand.
      • Short Rows – Lengthen arms out in front with hands slightly lower than the shoulders, palms to the floor.  Bend the elbows to the side as you draw the weights in towards your breastbone.  Initiate the movement from the muscles between your shoulders blades. Lengthen the arms out in front deepening the muscles connection between the shoulder blades. Do 3 sets of 8.
      • Straight Rows – Lengthen arms out in front with hands slightly lower than the shoulders, palms facing each other. Keep arms straight (soft elbows), pull arms out to the side to your peripheral vision. Initiate the movement from the muscles between your shoulders blades. Lengthen the arms out in front deepening the muscles connection between the shoulder blades.
  • Chest Expansion – With arms at your side and a weight in each hand, palms facing back. Inhale reach palms behind you – hold breath as you look right then left.  As you look center exhale and lower the arms.  You will feel your triceps. Make sure you keep your shoulder blades on the back. Do 3 sets of 8.
  • Chest Stretch – Standing at a corner wall with your front running parallel to one side.  Bend the arm closest to the wall 90 degrees and place it on the perpendicular wall.  Press elbow into the wall. Depending on how much stretch you need you can step forward as you keep elbow on the wall. Turn head away from the wall for an additional neck stretch.  Hold stretches for 20-30 seconds. Stretch the other side.

Practice these exercises at least 2 – 3 times a week. The chest stretch should be a gentle stretch.  Have Fun!!! I hope you found great inspiration from this series.  I welcome any feedback you have.  Enjoy your journey to you better than ever “pre-baby” body!

Jami Bauer-Locricchio is a mother of two beautiful girls. She has been studying and teaching Pilates for a decade. Currently she is a freelance instructor teaching Pilates and Barre classes in Southeast Michigan. You can find out more about her wellness and Pilates including Mat Exercise of the Week by visiting www.LOVAstyle.me

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