Supermodel, body positivity activist and soon-to-be mom Ashley Graham has been documenting her pregnancy on social media since she announced she was expecting on Instagram in August. But her latest YouTube video series isn’t only about her growing baby bump—it's also about her exercise routine.
In her introductory video for the YouTube series, called "Thank Bod with Ashley Graham," the 31-year-old explained that her newly-changing body prompted her to appreciate it a bit more. "I've been reminded of how awesome bodies really, truly are," she said. "I started 'Thank Bod' in hopes of reminding you to stand in your magic, even on days when you're not feeling so great."
Graham said that she wants her YouTube series to be a place for women to see exercise as "fun, empowering, and mindful."
For her first video in the workout series, Graham shared a six-minute workout that focuses on her butt, aptly called "Love Your Booty." The workout consists of two circuits developed by Graham’s certified personal trainer Kira Stokes, and includes squats, air squat pulses, tap outs, and side squats in the first circuit. (Just FYI: Graham said air squat pulses are a great move to practice before you give birth—at least according to women who have already given birth.)
Graham, 31, demonstrates all the moves using an exercise band for extra resistance. But it’s her commentary that really sets this above your typical pregnancy workout. Sure, she gives great practical tips for how to get maximum results (e.g., if you’re not feeling the burn, go up in band resistance and squeeze your booty "tight like a tiger"), but it’s the rest of her chat way too relatable.
"Can you tell I'm out of breath?" she asks her viewers. "That's because I have 30 extra pounds on me, because I'm pregnant."
Later in the video, after making her way to the mat, Graham does a few more butt exercises—specifically focusing on one called a "clamshell," which entails her laying on her side, opening and closing her legs. “I’m not just laying here seductively,” Graham says as she does the exercise. When she's on the ground, Graham also does some extended leg raises with her resistance band.
But her booty video wasn't the only installation of Graham's new workout series—she debuted a cardio video as well, called "Cardio Peace Treaty." Graham is shown doing tons of different heart-rate boosting exercises like modified jumping jacks, lateral shuffles, back-and-forth shuffles, and an entire circuit devoted to ladder work.
After each workout video, you can see that Graham is clearly out of breath and visibly sweating (so yeah, she's really doing those exercises). So in addition to being a body-positive warrior, Graham is also apparently the workout buddy you never knew you needed.
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