Five exercises for every mom-to-be

March 23, 2009 3:37:00 PM PDT
Tone and shape up difficult areas during and after your pregnancy.


  1. Kegel: Contract your pelvic floor muscles.
    Hold the contraction for three seconds then relax for three seconds. Once you've perfected three-second muscle contractions, try it for four seconds at a time, alternating muscle contractions with a four-second-rest period.

    Do this exercise 2 to 3 times per week, 2-3 sets of 12 to 16 reps

    Muscles Mechanics: Pelvic Floor muscles

  2. Plie Squat: Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes out at comfortable angle. Bend your knees and lower your ?body towards the floor, keeping your knees in line with your toes and squeezing through the heels of your feet as you push back up.

    Do this exercise 2 to 3 times per week, 2-3 sets of 12 to 16 reps

    Muscle Mechanics: Adductors Magnus, longus and brevis; gracilis; and pectineus. All five originate at your public bone and, except for the gracilis, insert on your thighbone.

  3. Sit to Stand: Squat way back bring hips back and arms towards the floor. Place one hand on the ground while leaning over to one side and slowly bring one leg forward and place both legs in cross-legged position.

    Muscle Mechanics/Body mechanics. This exercise is so important because it teaches you proper body mechanics- i.e. how to use your butt muscles to sit down vs. your lower back.

  4. Pelvic Tilt Exercise: Get onto hands and knees drop your abdominals so that your back arches downwards, and then tighten your abdominals upwards

    Muscle Mechanics: Strengthen the pelvic, hip, and thigh muscles.

  5. Tailor Sit: Sit on the floor with your knees bent and ankles crossed. Lean slightly forward, and keep your back straight but relaxed. Slowly lean back to a 30-45 degree angle and slowly return to center.

    Muscle Mechanics: This exercises stretches your adductors but you are also using you abdominals and back muscles as you lean forward and back.
About Pondera Fitness:
Pondera grew out of our enjoyment of teaching and belief in the importance of fitness beyond the walls of a physical therapy clinic. Pondera has three different components: Fitness Parties to encourage getting together with friends for custom workouts; Corporate Fitness as team-building health and wellness events; and Custom Programs developed for individuals completely new to exercise or returning after injury rehabilitation.

About Julie Ann McCarthy PT, DPT Doctor of Physical Therapy:
Julie is a native to the Bay Area who grew up in Menlo Park, CA and attended the University of California, Berkeley where she earned her undergraduate degree. She continued her education and obtained a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California. Currently she is a physical therapist at Presidio Sport and Medicine in San Francisco and California Pacific Medical Campus.

Julie is a motivational movement specialist who has been teaching fitness over the last 12 years. As a physical therapist she has a unique ability to instruct exercises to a wide variety of fitness levels from the high-level athlete to an individual just starting to exercise or recovering from an injury or disability. She has been featured on Fit TV, View from the Bay and currently teaches at Crunch, The Bay Club, Club One and Presidio Sport and Medicine. She teaches kickboxing, spin, abs, boot camp and weight training. Julie volunteers at races, lectures to groups like San Francisco Road Runners Club, Team in Training and at Luna Chix Summit. When she is not promoting health in the community, she stays physically fit competing in triathlon and local road races as an athletic member of the San Francisco Olympic Club. As a physical therapist and instructor Julie recognized the need for a continuum of care from the healthcare arena to the gym.

Presidio Sport & Medicine
1162 B Gorgas Avenue
PO Box 470607
San Francisco, CA 94147
P: 415.561.6655
F: 415.561.6650