Freshen Up Your Standing Exercises With These Top Tips


Postnatal-34-300x225When I did my Level 3 Pre/Postnatal certificate (like a hundred years ago!) there really wasn’t a lot of emphasis on the practical element.

Yes, there were exercises demonstrated and listed in the manual etc – sure.

I can remember spending hours putting a lesson plan together that ‘ticked all the boxes’ so to speak to pass the assessment, but when it came to the real wide world of teaching pre/postnatal – I really didn’t have a lot to go on.

Unless you’ve had your head in the sand, you’ll have noticed that there’s been a shift towards ‘functional’ training over the past few years. Nothing new there.

So today I’m going to give you the tools to enable you to freshen up your standing exercises safely and effectively for your pre/postnatal clients.


Right, so the first thing to do is write down a list of exercises you personally feel comfortable teaching to your chosen client group, whether it’s pre or postnatal.

NB – There are some movements I don’t instruct to pregnant women for whatever reason, and other exercises I shy away from in a postnatal-setting too. You’re in control here.


Remember: just because someone, somewhere says ‘a pregnant or postnatal women can do this exercise’, or ‘this exercise is great for new mums’ doesn’t mean YOU have to teach it.

So, what have you come up with?

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Lateral lunges
  • Curtseys
  • Wide to narrow squats
  • Reverse lunges
  • Knee lifts
  • Calf raises

There are tonnes more you can add in, and again I need to emphasise that if you don’t like seeing a pregnant or postnatal woman ‘do’ one of the above movements, let that be your judgement, not mine or anyone else’s, ok?



Think back to your Level 2 anatomy days here, even if it was a very long time ago, with a bit of prompting, I’m certain it’ll all come back…

There are 3 planes of movement:

  1. Sagital
  2. Frontal, and
  3. Transverse

Now, to freshen up standing work, you now need to come up with upper body movements using as many of the planes as possible.

Here are some straight off the top of my head:

  • Lateral flexion
  • Wall angels
  • Retraction
  • Arm circles
  • Lateral raise
  • Horizontal flexion
  • Rotation


Don’t worry if you need to do a bit of Googling to clarify any of the above movements – that’s part of the fun, isn’t it?

Every day’s a school day, eh?



Ok, so you’ve got your list of lower body exercises you feel comfortable teaching, and a fresh new set of upper body movements.

Now, things start getting creative, because all you need to do now is play around with a resistance band for a few minutes and start seeing which upper and lower body movements go well together.

It’s really as simple as that.

Again, I need to reiterate the safety aspect of things here, particularly for your pregnant clientele.

So even if you’ve created a sweet set of new movements, it doesn’t mean every mum-to-be will be that thrilled about it, or be able to execute what it is you have planned, so teach things in stages, and if at all possible, place a wall or chair next to your expectant mums.

Nothing’s worse than seeing a prenatal client wobble.

And, there you have it.

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