After two months of doing a lot of lounging and no exercising, I decided to get some prenatal DVDs to help get me back into shape. I know I couldn’t go back to “Insanity!” and could do a little bit of Jazzercise, but it’s best to get something specifically for expectant mothers.

Here are three prenatal DVDs I got through Amazon. I looked for reviews that said they got a good workout, had fun, and felt the exercises were safe. I also wanted something good for beginners,  and (though this may not come to mind when selecting an exercise DVD,) choosing DVDs that had good quality camera work can make a BIG difference in how you enjoy your workout. You want to clearly see and hear the instructor as well as music in the background. I also wanted something affordable, so weeded out the ones that were too pricey. (Like a good wine, you CAN find something good for under twenty bucks! ;))

What to Expect When You're Expecting - Workout

What to Expect When You’re Expecting
$12.46 on Amazon.com

Why I got it: cardio

The Good: easy cardio for 2nd trimester that gives you a good workout without leaving you exhausted. Strength portion is easy to follow for beginners and intermediate levels (you’ll need a pair of 2lb-3lb weights.) Stretching is easy and relaxing. Instructors remind you to watch your form, breathe, and don’t overdo anything.

The Bad: Cardio portion: some of the cues are not early enough, a couple times the instructor starts off on the left rather than right or misses a step. Strength portion:  Switching between moves too quick, and I think she could hold the poses for a few seconds longer. There are three ladies exercising, one instructor and two mommies, and they all have headset mikes. During the cardio section the mommies get kinda giggly, and it gets distracting after a while. But, I guess it’s good that they’re having fun. :)

The Awesome: customizable workout! You can select which segment you want to do in any order. The first day I chose all 3 cardio workouts and the cool-down. There’s a brief 30-second narration in-between by the author of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” a good time to get a drink of water or get out your yoga mat for the cool-down segment.

Amira's Belly Dance & Yoga For Pregnancy Prenatal Exercise

Amira’s Prenatal Belly Dancing and Yoga
$15.89 on Amazon.com

Why I got it: for fun (belly dancing moves)

The Good: Workout consists of: 5 segments: yoga stretching, strengthening, belly dancing, labor exercises, yoga cool-down stretch. In addition, there is also some narration and brief cutaways on belly dancing and yoga before and during the segments, which I found helpful in learning more about the importance of what yoga and belly dancing is all about, as well as the important role it plays in easing your pregnancy.I love her gentle demeanor! She does a voice-over during the routines, so it’s easier to  follow along with her movements. She shows you alternative moves and cautions against certain moves if you are 30 weeks or more into pregnancy (I forgot how far along she is, but she also looks about 30 weeks pregnant, maybe even more.)

The Bad: The only bad thing I have to say is that skipping to the next section takes a few seconds too long…I think I was just too anxious to get to the routines!

The Awesome: I really like the music she uses in the background. Bonus features include an intro to yoga and belly dancing by Amira, so you get to learn a little about what you’re doing and why. There’s also a short clip with her “spoofs”, kinda cute! She also changes clothes for each segment, and during the belly dancing routine she wears some nice jewelry and a sash that makes it more like a belly dancing outfit (wish I had one!)

Results: after 2 workouts focusing on just warm-up, strengthening and cool-down, I had NO problems with having tight hip flexors at night! Sometimes I’d wake up and massage my hips or back until the muscles relaxed and I could fall asleep again. Her stretches were so incredibly helpful, I wish I knew about this years ago.

Jane Austin Prenatal Yoga DVD

Jane Austin’s Prenatal Yoga
$17.95 on amazon.com

Why I got it: focus on yoga

The Good: Jane is not pregnant in this video but has 4 mamas working out with her. She has a very pleasant and calming voice, is friendly and does a good job of explaining the moves both in technical terms and in fun terms (in reference to doing hip circles she says, “Babies don’t like ‘Buns of Steel’, they like juicy hips!”)

The Bad: It’s a 63-minute yoga session, and it would be great if there were a 30-minute option.

The Awesome: Results, of course! It really helps with back aches and improving flexibility.

 

Any expectant mamas out there with a favorite workout? How about a pre- or post-workout snack?

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