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Pregnancy Back Pain Relief Exercise

You know what’s the BEST way to manage pregnancy back pain relief?

Spine Mobility.

Moving your spine helps create space through your body as you’re experiencing postural shifts during pregnancy.

Learning how to release your body is just as important as strengthening it…But let me tell you mama, it’s not about moving perfectly, it’s just about getting your spine to move.

*Yes, it’s true: there’s a lot you can do to minimize and prevent aches and pains through movement!*

>>That being said, this is an amazing exercise to help your low back feel more fluid, get rid of discomfort, and connect with your deep core.<<

Let’s get into it shall we?!

Here’s How to Release Your Low Back:

First, I always want to make sure that you are comfortable before doing this exercise. If you are experiencing any knee discomfort, you may want to double up your mat. You NEVER want to have any pain when you’re moving especially during pregnancy!

Next, you are going to be on all fours and place your booty somewhere between a cat cow position and a child’s pose. While looking straight down at your mat, you are going to take a deep inhale breathing into your back.

On your exhale, lightly zip up and give your baby a gentle hug as you start to round your spine to come partway up to the center letting your head fall. As you inhale to go back, think about spreading your sits bones and reaching long through your fingers.

Experiment with rounding your spine so that you’re pressing each side up to the sky and looking underneath your armpit.

Always finish in the center to open your chest and get opposition through your spine as you come up to a seated position.

Want to see this movement in action?!

Check out the video below as I cue you through this pregnancy back pain relief exercise!

Looking for more of our unique training techniques? Grab our FREE Prenatal Workout that will keep you moving while you’re bumping!

The material contained within is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before beginning a new regimen or purchasing any product(s).

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Finding Success While Ignoring the Scale: Weight Is Just a Number

What motivates you to work out? Is it wanting a healthier lifestyle for yourself? Is it how you reset after a long day, or when you find your “me time?” For Jay of Anytime Fitness in Jordan, MN, working out was a way for him to get closer to his goal of spending more time with his kids. Jay has two young kids who are full of energy, and he wanted to be able to keep up with them. For him, that meant getting in better shape, with a goal of losing 35 pounds. Extra weight had not only been keeping him from spending time with his kids, it had also caused him knee pain, and he was determined to become stronger and alleviate that pain.

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Heart Rate Training 101

Technology allows us to do incredible things – and when it comes to the health and wellness space, that is especially true. Heart rate training is one way we can use data and technology to improve and reach your goals. In a broad sweep, heart rate training measures and monitors your heart rate during exercise in order to yield specific results and understand how efficiently your ticker is ticking.

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Prenatal Pilates Sculpt Workout

I founded Knocked-Up Fitness in 2012, the year Rihanna had us shining bright like a Diamond and Facebook went public.

My, how times have changed…

Did I know that I would be helping thousands of mamas through my online membership prepare their bodies for pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum recovery? No. Not at all.

But no matter what single Rihanna released that year, one thing that remained the same was that I kept showing up to educate and support my clients along every step of their motherhood journey.

*They are the why behind why I do what I do.*

To this day, I continue to create workouts, guides, and podcast episodes to empower you to make the right decisions for your body.

What can I say? Knowledge is POWER.

>>Because movement is my thing, I wanted to share with you this Pilates Sculpt workout from our Knocked-Up Fitness Membership.<<

Regardless if you’re in your first, second, or third trimester, these moves will strengthen your deep core while activating your pelvic floor.

Click >>HERE<< to try them for yourself and get your body moving, mama!

Once you finish this pilates sculpt, you’re probably going to wonder why it’s important to have a movement practice during your pregnancy, right? That’s why I recorded a podcast episode that explains Why Pregnancy Is the BEST Time to Strengthen Your Core! Click >>HERE<< to tune in and begin to understand what your bump has to offer.

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4 Favorite Moves for the Newly Postpartum Mom

Congrats on your little bundle of joy, Mama! Now that baby is here, it’s important to give yourself plenty of grace, rest, and proper time to heal. Each birth and recovery story is different, so once you are ready to start moving (and your doctor approves!), here are 4 of our favorite exercise moves for newly postpartum moms!

Did you know, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), recommends exercise for new moms because it can:

  • boost energy levels
  • promote better sleep
  • relieve stress
  • prevent postpartum depression

You can do these 4 exercises anywhere and at any time – whether it be at a park, at home, or even at a playground, these moves are sure to get your muscles working and get you feeling stronger.

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How to Wake Up Your Abs After a C-Section

Did you ever wish that *someday* you would get feeling back around the incision from your C-section?

I know the thought has had to come to your mind on more than one occasion as you don’t want that numbness to be your normal…

This topic gets me soooo excited to talk about because of the lack of awareness around it.

>>No matter how long it’s been since you’ve had a C-section, you can work to wake up your lower abdominals.<<

Because of fascia, you have the ability to tap into your scar tissue and teach your body how to move correctly so you can create stronger fascial connections in your deep core.

This is what’s so fascinating about the body and why I’m a firm believer that no matter what’s going on, you have the power to change it!

Every single woman that I’ve ever worked with, whether in person or online, that has learned my techniques gets the feeling back in her abdomen.

Keep reading to learn how to wake up your abs so you can begin to see your body’s potential.

How to Wake Up Your Abs After a C-Section:

1. Breath

By learning how to lightly connect with your deep core and pelvic floor through breathwork, you will begin to tap into the deeper fascial layers in the front of the abdominal wall.

2. Pelvic Tilts

This simple and gentle move is at the foundation of all my teachings. Using your breath to tilt your pelvis can allow you to reconnect with your body in a whole new way.

3. Give Yourself Grace

Remind yourself that when you start implementing my training techniques, that it’s normal not to feel anything at first. It’s part of the journey for you to become stronger, minimize and prevent dysfunction, and get your confidence back.

I hope this helped give you hope at seeing what’s possible for your body!

pelvic floor guide

For more healing techniques like this one, download my FREE Pelvic Floor Guide. It includes step-by-step instruction on how to properly engage your deep core and pelvic floor. Download the Pelvic Floor Guide >>HERE!<<

The material contained within is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before beginning a new regimen or purchasing any product(s).

The post How to Wake Up Your Abs After a C-Section appeared first on Knocked-Up Fitness®.

5 Ways Exercise Can Improve Your Mental Health

Fitness can help and treat a multitude of different things. From managing blood pressure to boosting your energy throughout the day, fitness plays a key role in keeping your body healthy and mobile. While the benefits for the body are endless, the benefits fitness and exercise have on mental health could be the most important of them all.

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The Perfect 30-Minute Bodyweight Morning Workout to Start Your Day

Whether you’re a morning person or not, working out in the morning can have benefits that will help you live a healthier life. Not only can a morning workout give you more energy throughout the day than your regular cup of coffee, that am workout can also boost your metabolism. This, in turn, results in your body burning more calories throughout the day to replenish your body. This is called Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC for short.

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What Are Macros, How Do You Count Them, and Do They Matter?

Chances are you’ve come across fitness accounts on social media talking macros. Counting them, calculating them, balancing them. But what is a macro? We’re here to tell you and spoiler alert: you likely already have a good idea about what they actually are. Macro is short for macronutrient which is what makes up the caloric content of food. There are three main macros: fats, carbohydrates and protein.

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American Heart Month: Heart Healthy Foods to Add to Your Diet

Regular exercise combined with a heart healthy diet can vastly reduce the risk of developing heart disease. It is important to know that many factors play into your overall heart health. Factors you can’t control include age, gender, ethnicity, and family health history. But factors we can control include our diet, blood pressure, body weight, activity levels, and smoking status.

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The Power of One Word

Have you ever paused to think about the power that ONE word can have on your perspective?

It can lift your spirits, motivate you, turn your day around, ignite your passion, or even patch a broken relationship.

At the same time, a single word can bring you to tears, cause heartache, leave you with mistrust, or just plain hurt you.

>>But what if you used that power of one little word to create clarity, drive, passion, and to change your life?<<

Back in my scrapbooking days, I followed a woman named Ali Edwards and she started a One Word exercise that encouraged people to choose a word they can focus on for the year.

Before I entered 2021, this exercise came to me and I decided I wanted to do have one for the new year.

Because after all, why not add another tool to my toolbox to propel me forward?!

I went to bed that night with 4 different words that I couldn’t narrow down, so I slept on it to see what would come up for me in the morning.

You want to know the funniest thing…I forgot ALL 4 of my words. *hand to face!*

I turned on a 5-minute breath exercise from inside the Core Rehab program before I dove into my scheduled workout to see what word would resonate with my soul.

Sure enough, it came to me and so much clarity opened up in my mind.

>>Not only is the word itself powerful, but I can attach it to so many single words that can apply to EVERY aspect of what I want 2021 to be for me.<<

That is the power of breath and meditation.

Here is my challenge to you: sit down with yourself and your breath for 5-minutes and see what word comes to you.

Once you have your word, I want you to live it and breathe it. See how different your life can be at the end of 2021 just by utilizing the power of this one word.

Don’t think I’m going to tell you all of this and not share what resonated with me!

Mine is renewed and with it, I’m going to make 2021 my best year yet. Are you with me?

pelvic floor guide

For more mindset shifts like this one to apply to your movement practice, download my FREE Pelvic Floor Guide. It gives you the tools to connect your mind to your body so you can properly engage your pelvic floor. Download the Pelvic Floor Guide >>HERE!<<

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How to Reframe Pregnancy Fear

Now that you’re bumping, does it seem like everyone and their mom wants to share their pregnancy and birth horror stories with you?

*Don’t worry…this post isn’t me sharing mine.*

But it IS going to help you learn how to recognize fear that you do have around pregnancy, birth, or postpartum recovery and shift it to what you do want.

Because at the end of the day that added stress is NOT what you or your baby need!

Here’s what fear is…

>>It’s us living in our past and projecting worry into our future. This means we’re not being present with ourselves and with our body.<<

Press play on the video below to start to visualize what you do want vs. what you don’t.

For more mindset shifts like this one, join us inside our Knocked-Up Fitness Membership where we have monthly group coaching calls to help ease any pregnancy worry and overwhelm. It’s never too late to start learning this powerful information, so sign up >>HERE!<<

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Share the Love: A 14-Day Workout Challenge

Let’s share the love this February by showing up and showing gratitude for our bodies. Instead of focusing on how much motherhood may have changed your body, focus on how much it’s shaped who you are, inside and out — how strong and resilient it’s made you, how it can move with grace and love, and how it shows up for you to make memories.

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Snacks for all Brainkind

Sending your kids back to school in-person and need lunchbox ideas? Distance learning and need something your kiddos can grab-n-go? Looking for a healthier after school snack or have a picky eater at home?

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Folate vs. Folic Acid

Have you ever found yourself wondering what the difference between folate and folic acid is?

If so, you’re not alone! As a pre and postnatal exercise specialist, this is a question that gets asked time and time again.

>>Mama, if you’ve been here for a while then you know that I want to empower you with education so that you can make the best decisions for you, your body, and your baby.<<

My guest Steph Greunke and I want you to take what you learn here today and talk to your provider about it because this conversation around folate and folic acid isn’t that well known…even with those who have been in this world for 20 years!

That’s why we’re going to be talking about the difference between folate and folic acid in preparing for pregnancy and while you’re bumping!

What Is Folic Acid?

Folic acid is a synthetic vitamin that is used with women who are trying to conceive and who are pregnant to prevent neural tube defects and help with midline functioning of baby.

We know it’s important and we get that.

BUT we also know that there is a better form that works well for ALL people called methylfolate.

Upwards to 60% of us can’t actually use the folic acid that we’re getting due to a genetic variant (MTHFR) that makes it hard to convert folic acid into methylfolate.

How Do You Know If You Have This Defect?

If you’re thinking about getting pregnant or you are pregnant, ask your provider to run a test for MTHFR and that will tell you if you are a part of that 60% of the population that can’t convert folic acid into methylfolate.

Which as we now know is what your body needs for you and your baby to have a healthy pregnancy.

If they won’t run the test for you, there’s no harm in taking the form that will work for your body instead of a folic acid…aka methylfolate.

What Ingredients Should You Be Looking For In A Prenatal Vitamin?

In concerns to MTHFR, when you flip over your prenatal vitamin it’s make sure that it doesn’t say folic acid but rather it says metafolin, L-5-THMF, or methylfolate.

Side Note: you’re not going to lose anything by having methylfolate in your prenatal over folic acid. Here are some prenatal vitamin brands that Steph recommends to her mamas:

*Note: this post contains affiliate links to some of Steph and I’s recommended prenatal vitamins. I receive a small commission if you shop using these links.*

A methylfolate supplement is a little more expensive and takes more work to find, but it’s so important to take especially in those first 8 weeks of pregnancy as the baby’s neural tube and organs are forming.

When Should You Start Taking A Prenatal Vitamin?

Steph says that it would be ideal to start taking a prenatal vitamin 3 months prior to conceiving. This can positively impact egg quality and help you get ahead of the game. Having your partner take a methylfolate supplement as well can also impact sperm quality.

On my Core Connections podcast conversation with Steph, we talk about how your prenatal vitamin during pregnancy has implications for DNA and red blood cell synthesis, cell division, cardiovascular health, and neural tube development.

>>You also don’t want to stop taking all of this the second your baby is here.<<

It’s important that you’re continuing to nourish your cells once you’re postpartum because let’s face it…life with kids is crazy! As you’re doing whatever you can to get nourishing foods in, a supplement will help ensure that you’re filling in the gaps of what’s missing in your diet.

If you want to see Steph and I’s whole *candid* conversation on folate vs. folic acid, you can check it out on our Instagram >>HERE!<<

The material contained within is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before beginning a new regimen or purchasing any product(s).

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A Guide Starting Your Fitness Journey on the Right Path

Treadmill, rowing machine, elliptical, stair stepper, free weights, squat rack… the list goes on. In today’s fitness world, there’s no shortage of options to choose from when looking for ways to make healthy happen. And while having options and variety is great, many often feel overwhelmed when trying to figure out what’s “right” for them or where to start.

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AF Member ‘Captain Jack’ Uses Data to Improve His Fitness Journey

Want to know one of the best ways to reach your fitness goals? Keep perspective. But what does that really mean and how do you do it? It’s simple, really. The key is to not let yourself become overly emotional about your accomplishments…or lack thereof. And for most people, it’s usually the latter that gets in the way. That’s why taking note of your fitness journey and tracking your progress is important as you work towards your goals.  

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4 Tips for Pelvic Floor Activation

Have you worked on your pelvic floor activation postpartum?

*This is important ladies so listen up!*

Not many mamas know how to activate their pelvic floor because they’re more focused on nutrition, supplements, sleep, and everything else that comes with newborn…

So instead of taking 10 minutes a day to work on the foundational training of their pelvic floor, they often neglect their pelvic floor altogether and just focus on “getting their body back” as quickly as possible.

*I mean, aren’t Kegels enough?!*

Absolutely not. The truth is, your pelvic floor covers way more surface area than Kegels address and could be doing you more harm than good.

>>Although you might think peeing your pants is normal, the women in our community know that it’s not and there IS something you can do to heal your body from the inside out.<<

We know that it can seem like one more thing to add to your to-do list, but it’s important to make pelvic floor healing a priority so you can enjoy life pain-free with your little one.

Now that you’re convinced you need to learn how to activate your pelvic floor properly, try out these 4 tips to wake up your pelvic floor and watch your incontinence begin to minimize.

1. Gentle Rolling on a Small Ball

A small squishy ball is essential for postpartum recovery, but it’s especially important for this pelvic floor activation exercise. Simply place the ball underneath your pelvic floor, lengthen tall and gently roll back and forth on the ball to wake up your inner line.

2. Deep Breathing Into Your Pelvic Floor

As you breathe out to your sides and into your back, think about your breath going down into your belly and pelvis. This breathwork practice will help to release any tightness that you may be experiencing in your pelvic floor.

3. Pelvic Tilts

This is a foundational movement that is found inside our Core Rehab program. Don’t let it fool you because it’s harder than it looks! Focus on moving your pelvis with your breath while lightly connecting with your pelvic floor.

4. Squats

Squats are more than just a leg and booty exercise my friend! You’re going to initiate this movement with your lower belly while lifting up out of your pelvic floor. Watch that you’re not tucking your bum or gripping your glutes!

So there you have it, mama! Four ways that you can begin to activate your pelvic floor TODAY.

We can’t wait to see what you will learn about your body and how everything is connected.

Just getting started with activating your pelvic floor and want to get back to the basics? We got you, Beautiful! Download our free Pelvic Floor Guide to learn exactly how to engage your pelvic floor (and why it matters!).

image of pelvic floor activation tips

The material contained within is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before beginning a new regiment or purchasing any product(s).

The post 4 Tips for Pelvic Floor Activation appeared first on Knocked-Up Fitness®.

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4 Hamstring Strengthening Exercises

Can I ask you a question?

Are you aware of the postural changes that happen during pregnancy?

These shifts can follow you into postpartum if you don’t bring awareness to them and work to improve your posture.

Real talk: hamstrings play a huge role in posture because there is a fascial line that connects up to the glute.

And you know how much I love giving my mamas strong glutes to support their pelvis!

But the glutes need to be supported too and that’s why we can’t neglect hamstring strengthening…but it’s all about creating balance.

There needs to be a balance between the back of the thigh (glutes and hamstrings) and the front of the thigh (quads).

When all of this works together, it can help you minimize or prevent knee and back pain.

>>That’s not going to happen for you here at Knocked-Up Fitness as we strive to help all of our mamas feel strong and confident on their pregnancy journey.<<

Here are four hamstring strengthening exercises to add to your movement practice:

1. Hamstring Pulses

These pulses are a great way to wake up your hamstrings. Start by placing your small ball behind your knee and drawing your heel towards your booty. To make sure these little squeezes aren’t going into your back, lightly zip up through your core and hang onto something for support.

2. Hamstring Presses

In that same position, you are now going to do presses back. Don’t overactivate your low back just so you can get a bigger range of motion. Lightly hug your baby and go through a range of motion where you feel the best hamstring and deep core connection.

3. Lunges

Lunges can be great during pregnancy, just listen to your body as you approach your third trimester. You might have to shorten your range of motion, use something to stabilize you or avoid them completely. This exercise should also be avoided if you are experiencing any pubic synthesis pain. Instead, opt for squats as you will have more support for your pelvis.

4. Deadlifts

You don’t have to use heavy weights to make this exercise effective. As your pregnancy progresses, you will find that you have to take your feet further apart to create space for your bump. Always make sure you have a soft bend in your knees so you can keep this exercise out of your low back. Take your time going through your range of motion so you can feel the connection in the back of your legs.

>>Hamstring strengthening could be the missing piece you need to feel empowered in your body during pregnancy.<<

It’s time to stop neglecting those hamstrings and use gentle movement to strengthen them and balance out your bump.

If you want to learn more about how our unique training methods could help you along in your pregnancy, grab our free pregnancy workout!

picture of free pregnancy workout

This workout will help you learn how to connect with your pelvic floor while strengthening your whole body.

If you’re ready to move in a way that will benefit you and baby, grab our free workout and get ready to connect with your bump in a whole new way >>HERE!<<

The material contained within is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before beginning a new regimen or purchasing any product(s).

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