I made it a priority during both of my pregnancies to remain active until I gave birth, for the physical health benefits of course, but also for my sanity. At 30 pounds larger than normal and exhausted as could be, I always felt much better after I got up and moved.
But let’s make one thing clear: My idea of exercise is taking a brisk walk outside every day (if the weather is nice, and the stars align). So, I stand in complete awe of mothers like Anna Strode, the fitness blogger behind bubs2bikinis. On her Facebook and Instagram accounts, Anna regularly shares easy-to-follow workout videos and motivational words about both motherhood and exercise — and she’s amassed quite a following in the process. Strode’s intensive workouts, which she continues to do throughout her current pregnancy without skipping a beat, are seriously impressive and inspiring.
But a video she posted earlier this week on Instagram — that has since gone super viral, with over 36K views — had me not only shaking my head in disbelief, but also cracking up. Because at 37 weeks pregnant, Anna faced off with her husband Rhett for a pregnancy workout challenge that has to be seen to be believed.
What makes it a pregnancy workout for the both of them? Well, according to Anna, her husband had a 6kg (or 13 lbs.) medicine ball taped to his stomach to make him feel like he’s got a baby bump. And let’s just say this hubby doesn’t handle the baby weight quite as competently as his wife. (But we love that he tried!)
“OH OUCH, this really hurts your back hey,” Rhett exclaimed, referring to his newly protruding belly.
“And yep,” Anna says in the caption, “that’s the reason women have babies and not men.”
Just a few minutes into the workout, which involved both dumbbell and kettle bell lifts, Rhett begins slowing down and appears to be having a difficult time.
He then tries to power through, but when they get to the jumping squat routine, he totally loses control of the medicine ball. It slips out of the tape and the two erupt in laughter, his wife the obvious winner.
“I found [the experience] quite hilarious!” Anna tells Babble. “It was a real laugh for me!”
She also opened up about the inspiration behind the post:
“Rhett always looks at me with amazement when he sees me working out,” she explained, “especially now in the later weeks as my belly is getting bigger. I wanted to give him an idea of just how challenging it can be and he also wanted to try it out for himself too! We thought it would be nice to share with my followers so they could share in all the fun!”
And so far, the response has been pretty positive.
“Lots of mums suggesting that every father should have to do this,” she says. “There’s also been lots of funny responses like ‘I wish we could just do a few squat jumps and the baby would fall out — rather than having to go through labor.’ And of course there’s been some responses that exerting may harm my baby — which is completely untrue. The benefits of exercise during pregnancy are well proven and I can vouch for myself that it has helped keep me sane while running after two crazy little twin toddlers at the same time!”
It’s no wonder people everywhere are absolutely loving this video. Strode is a total rock-star, demonstrating to the world just how strong mamas are and how much we (err, she) can accomplish, even with big round belly in the way. And her husband, he’s a good sport, showing solidarity with his pregnant wife and making her laugh (at his expense).
Is she could offer one bit of advice for other mamas looking to stay fit, it would be this:
“Start small! Even 10 minutes a day will help you feel fantastic. It’s not about ‘going hard’ during pregnancy — any type of movement will really help get the happy endorphins flowing and to help you deal with all the aches, pains and added hormones you can experience during pregnancy. It will also help you feel like you’ve accomplished something and feel proud of yourself — I find exercised really helps me face my day with strength, energy and POSITIVITY.”
Hmm … next time I take a walk, I think I’ll have my husband come with me — but only if he agrees to carry a bowling ball around his belly. Just for kicks, y’know?