Erica Ziel and I go back. Way back. Well, not too far, but the pregnancy fitness guru and I have done a couple of pregnancy and fitness-related Google Hangouts together and the woman knows her fit pregnancy stuff. She makes fitness accessible. Plus, she’s got three kiddos and eased some of my fears about having three kids. So when I found out she had a prenatal book and DVD coming out, I knew I had to give them a watch and/or read.
Once I got over my first trimester aversion to coffee and working out, I started working out with Erica via her Knocked-Up Fitness Prenatal Pilates-Infused Workouts. The two-disc set incorporates all the basic workouts you’ll need to keep up some fitness while you’re having trouble keeping up with life. There’s cardio, core, arm and leg workouts, and a full-body workout. All are short, so you can mix and max and do as many or as few as you have energy for. This feature is pretty much a must for moms, as cobbling together an hour to work out just isn’t possible (when your daughter is throwing a fit that she doesn’t have her own stability ball). So I loved the short 10-minute workout format for days when I just didn’t have much time or energy, but wanted to do something. And days when I had more of both, I kicked it up a notch and did a few workouts together.
A note on prenatal DVDs in general, as a newly pregnant friend just realized: For avid exercisers, you’re not going to feel like you spent an hour sweating on the treadmill or at a CrossFit gym. In my experience with them, they’re meant to keep you moving regularly, but not kick your butt to high heaven. They’re also generally ideal for new exercisers and postpartum moms. If you’re used to more of a challenge and still feel up to it, you can always increase weight or do more sets of the exercises.
Knocked-Up Fitness DVDs Review
The first disc contains a Core Cardio segment, which is stability-ball focused and uses squats, lunges and woodchop-type moves to get your heart rate up a bit. You also do a bit of ab work with the ball as well. The Pilates Core section started with downward dogs to push-ups and then added a few balance challenges from tabletop position — great for the core. Then it moved to floor work for a little hip and thigh-burning action and side planks for obliques. I actually had to tap out of the side planks because it hurt my pelvis and hips too much, a good reminder to just listen to your body and do what works for you. I also loved the incorporation of the resistance band on this disc for strengthening the upper body!
Disc two includes a Core Warm-Up, Prenatal Fitcamp, Pilates Arms, Pilates Legs and Total Body Pilates workouts, each about 10 minutes each. Throughout each of them Erica is great at providing modifications to accommodate you wherever you are in your pregnancy. I loved Pilates arms because of the resistance band and the fact that working my chest and back felt great as I tend to hunch even more than usual during pregnancy. The leg workout included a lot of standing work for balance and the glutes and outer and inner thighs. Overall, the two-disc set is a totally pregnancy-safe, well-modified way to keep moving — and get some exercises and stretches in that will feel really good to the pregnant body.
FBM Rating (Out of 5):
Fun Factor: ★★★1/2
Meets Expectations: ★★★★
Fit Bottom Line: If you need a pregnancy-safe, well-modified workout that you can mix and match and fit into your busy day, Erica Ziel’s accessible Knocked-Up Fitness DVDs are just the ticket!