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Intermediate Program Weeks 1-6

Upper Body

Chest

Incline Pushups

  • Perform this exercise as you would regular pushups except use the bench to put your body at an incline
  • Place your hands about shoulder width apart
  • Slowly lower your chest to the bench
  • Return to the starting position with your arms extended but stop before locking the elbows
CHEST DOs and DON'Ts
Dumbbell Flyes
  • Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and sit down near the end of a flat bench, resting a dumbbell on each knee
  • Lie back on the bench, positioning the dumbbells in the starting position with the palms facing in
  • Keeping the elbows slightly bent, slowly lower the dumbbells bringing your elbows toward the floor
  • Stop when your feel a stretch in the front of the shoulder and in the chest
  • Pull the dumbbells together keeping the palms facing in until you reach the starting position
CHEST DOs and DON'Ts
Back

Underhanded Chins

  • Grasp a bar capable of holding your body weight with an underhanded grip; hands shoulder width apart
  • With your back slightly arched, pull your chest to the bar
  • Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position

If you cannot chin your body weight, stand on a stool or bench and start from the chinned position. Then slowly lower yourself. Or ask a friend to spot you by the ankles and have them help you through the movement.

Back DOs and DONTs

Dumbbell Pullovers

  • Place a dumbbell on the end of the bench
  • Get into the starting position with your upper back supported on the bench and knees bent at about 90 degrees
  • Reach over and pick up the dumbbell; grasping it at the end lift it overhead
  • Keeping the elbows slightly bent, slowly lower the weight toward the floor until your feel a stretch in the shoulders and under the armpit
  • Slowly raise the dumbbell back to the starting position
Back DOs and DONTs
Shoulders

Seated Dumbbell Press

  • Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and sit down near the end of a flat bench, resting a dumbbell on each knee
  • Lift the dumbbells into the starting position just at or slightly above shoulder height, palms facing forward
  • Press the dumbbells upward slowly and smoothly
  • Stop the movement just before your elbows straighten
  • Slowly lower the weights to the starting position
SHOULDERS DOs and DON'Ts
Rear Laterals
  • Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and sit at the end of the bench
  • Lean forward until your chest is almost touching your thighs and your arms are hanging down near your feet
  • Maintaining this body position, slowly raise the dumbbells out away from your sides as high as possible
  • Slowly return the dumbbells to the starting position
SHOULDERS DOs and DON'Ts
Triceps

Overhead Dumbbell Extensions

  • Grasp a dumbbell in one hand and sit sideways on the bench
  • Stabilize yourself with the other hand by grasping the bench
  • Lift the dumbbell overhead positioning it so your elbow is straight and your palm faces in
  • Keeping your elbow close to your ear, lower the dumbbell slowly and smoothly behind the head as far as possible
  • Pause and then raise the dumbbell back to the starting position
Triceps DOs and DON'Ts
Dumbbell Kickbacks
  • Grasp a dumbbell in your right hand and stabilize yourself on the bench with the left hand, bending forward at the waist
  • Position in the right arm so the elbow is close to your side and is bent to about 90 degrees
  • Keeping the elbow next to the side, straighten the arm by extending the elbow
  • Slowly lower the weight to the starting position
  • After completing the exercise with the right arm, repeat with the left
TRICEPS DOs and DON'Ts
Biceps

Seated Dumbbell Curls

  • Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and sit on the end of the bench
  • Begin the movement with the weights by your side and your palms facing in
  • Either together or alternating hands, slowly curl the dumbbell as far as possible
  • As you are lifting the dumbbell rotate your hand so your palms are facing backward at the top of the movement
  • Slowly and smoothly lower the weight to its starting position
BICEPS DOs and DON'Ts
Concentration Curls
  • Grasp a dumbbell in the right hand and sit on the bench
  • Lean forward resting you right elbow on your right inner thigh
  • Get into the starting position with the elbow straight and the weight close to the floor
  • Curl the dumbbell up toward your body as far as possible keeping the palm facing your body
  • Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position
  • After completing the exercise with the right arm, repeat with the left
BICEPS DOs and DON'Ts
Lower Body
Legs & Glutes

Dumbbell Squat

  • Grasp a dumbbell in each hand
  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart
  • Begin squatting slowly, bending at the knees and hips so the knees come forward over the toes.
  • When the legs are parallel with the floor, slowly return to a standing position keeping the torso upright as you ascend.
LEGS & GLUTES DOs and DON'Ts
Lunges
  • Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and stand erect
  • Step forward with the right leg about 2 or 3 feet allowing your body to descend toward the floor in a controlled fashion
  • Stop when your left knee is almost touching the floor
  • Now using the right leg drive up and step back into the starting position
  • Repeat with the left leg
As you become stronger with this movement, you can increase the resistance by doing one legged calf raises.
LEGS DOs and DON'Ts
Hamstrings and Lower Back

Stiff-Legged Deadlifts

  • Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and stand erect with feet about shoulder width apart
  • Keeping your knees extended or slightly flexed and the lower back straight, bend forward at the waist stretching your hamstrings
  • Stop when you cannot bend any further without rounding your lower back
  • Slowly return to the standing erect position
HAMSTRINGS DOs and DON'Ts
Calves

Calf Raises

  • Stand with your toes and the balls of your feet on a stable step of some kind
  • Balance your upper body by holding onto a stable object such a chair or railing
  • Keeping your legs straight, slowly lower your heels as far as you can to stretch the calves
  • Then raise up on your toes as high as possible, contracting the calf muscles
  • Make sure movement occurs only at the ankle joint
As you become stronger with this movement, you can increase the resistance by doing one legged calf raises.
Calves DOs and DONTs
Seated Calf Raises
  • Sit on the end of the bench holding a dumbbell across your knees
  • Place your toes and the balls of your feet on a step or a block that is high enough to allow your calves to stretch fully without your heels contacting the floor
  • Your knees should be bent at about a 90 degree angle
  • Slowly lower your heels as far as you can to stretch the calves
  • Then raise up on your toes as high as possible, contracting the calf muscles
  • Make sure movement occurs only at the ankle joint
Calves DOs and DONTs
Abdominals

Crunches

  • Lie face up on the floor with your legs up on a bench
  • Make sure your hips and knees are bent at a 90 angle
  • Support your head with your hands
  • Lift the shoulder blades off the floor, contracting the abdominals as you lift
  • Pause for a second and return to the starting position
ABS DOs and DON'Ts
Reverse Crunches
  • Lie face up on the bench, grasping the top
  • Bend the hips and knees to 90 degrees
  • Slowly curl the abdomen, lifting the butt two to three inches off the bench
  • Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position
ABS DOs and DON'Ts

Back to Intermediate Program
Intermediate Program Weeks 7-12
Beginner Program

Return to Introduction to Strength Training
Return to Introduction to Exercise

Not all exercises or diets are suitable for everyone. Before you begin this program, you should have permission from your doctor to participate in vigorous exercise and change of diet. If you feel discomfort or pain when you exercise, do not continue. The instructions and advice presented are in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling. The creators, producers, participants and distributors of this site disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the exercise and advice provided here.

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