Athletic Women Training for Active Pregnancy

Dynamic | Mindful | Powerful

Welcome to

Clubbell Yoga Prenatal


By Summer Huntington & Alaina Sawaya



origin of problem




 

Pregnant women should not be afraid of movement. During my first pregnancy, I found a deficit in available training options for athletically strong, pregnant women. Fear seemed to shroud the subject of 'exercise during pregnancy' and I felt as though I had acquired a condition that no one knew how to treat. Movement became a grey area.

 

• Of course, I wanted to be cautious and mindful of the changes happening in my body. I also wanted to maintain my muscular endurance in preparation for a safe childbirth and a quick postpartum recovery. Being an athlete, a strength coach, and a functional movement specialist, I believe in moving well and moving often. Physical conditioning seemed a vital asset in providing both resilience and confidence throughout pregnancy.

• I found very few workout programs that effectively conditioned my body for the activities I was accustomed to enjoying. I believed I could remain challenged athletically in the early stages of gestation, while safely regressing through each trimester to allow my changing body the modifications it needed to remain injury free. Almost every program I tried felt either too simple to maintain proprioceptive coordination, or too gentle causing unnecessary cardiovascular and neuromuscular de-conditioning. I often had to combine pieces of different 'Pregnancy' programs to accomplish both the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal stimulation appropriate for my body.

• I wanted to learn to trust my body and it's miraculous capabilities, by cultivating self-awareness and gratitude. Throughout my pregnancy it became increasingly clear that I also needed to prepare mentally, both for the birth of my child, as well as the birth of my new identity as a mother. Prioritizing time for quiet introspection and meditative stress management were not something I consistently practiced.  

• As I felt this little life growing inside me, I recognized a new sense of purpose; to cultivate a respectful and nurturing relationship with my baby, and my body, by making space for mindful connection. My perspective widened, from a focus on athletic accomplishment, to a broader scope of whole-self care. This shift in me brought about a strong desire to create an integrated fitness program for active women going through their own transformative pregnancies.

 

 


evolution


 


• Then in the Fall of 2012, like divine intervention, I met Summer Huntington, cocreator and international teacher of Clubbell Yoga. She was newly pregnant and I was 6 weeks postpartum. Summer and I connected both on a professional level, as movement educators, and also on a personal one, as women discovering what it means to become a mother. We began a friendship that facilitated a collaborative effort to explore movement evolution in our own training.

 

 

• Summer introduced me to the art of sequencing yoga movements together with Circular Strength Training (CST) for maximized workout efficiency. This style of workout combines the continuous breath-movement connection of a yoga flow, the reciprocity of mobilizing & stabilizing through dynamic ranges of motion, and the neuromuscular patterning of posture-centric resistance training through the use of weighted clubs. I had never before found yoga so accessible. As a CSCS, I regularly prescribed contract-relax PNF stretching as part of a flexibility routine, but struggled to integrate it in a way that made clients effectively practice it on their own. In the same vein, I had explored yoga in my own training and recognized it's potential in the athletic community, but the idea of teaching yoga felt very un-approachable. For the first time, yoga became functional to me as Summer broke it down into a language with which I was familiar, the language of movement.

 

 

• Throughout Summer's pregnancy, and my postpartum recovery year, we practice together almost daily. We began combining her resistance infused yoga, with my high intensity strength & conditioning circuits, as a fun way to maximize our training results. I found the freedom to move my body in a more sophisticated and precise way, while simultaneously caring for the changes in Summers' body with low-impact dynamic strength. It was both empowering and invigorating! I quickly became certified as a Clubbell Yoga instructor and continued advancing in my own practice with Summer as my coach.

• In the final weeks of Summer's pregnancy she posted a video to YouTube demonstrating the grace and strength of her personal Clubbell Yoga practice. Receiving over 10,000 views within a matter of weeks it became clear that there was an expanding need for a new kind of prenatal training. Training designed specifically for active women; women who avidly practice yoga and/or participate in a sports conditioning program. Women who are in-tune with their bodies and mindful of their work : recovery balance. Women seeking to prepare for a pregnancy that does not feel limiting, but empowering.

• During her postpartum recovery, Summer created what is now known as Primal 12; a Clubbell Yoga practice with athlete-centered performance based strength and conditioning protocols. I was fortunate enough to have participated in the development of this highly effective training program and was honored to be her "athlete" from its inception. Then, during the filming of Primal 12, I found out I was pregnant with my second child!

 

 

• We both realized something innovative was happening; We had organically found the missing components I was searching for during my first pregnancy. Already combining our professional expertise, as well as our personal experiences, the  3 opportunity to work together through a second pregnancy actualized our vision. Clubbell Yoga Prenatal was created.


solution



 

• Our goal was to create a prenatal fitness program that empowers active women to remain active. A program that would integrate physical, mental and emotional wellbeing in preparation of a mindful birth process. We began designing a prenatal workout specific to athletically conditioned women; Women with a consistent history of training for higher levels of sports & movement performance. These women can greatly benefit from adopting a more sophisticated and demanding training protocol adaptable to their unique pregnancy (with clearance from their doctor).

 

 

• I believe movement is medicine, and losing the ability to move only increases pain and discomfort during pregnancy. Healthy pregnant women need to keep their bodies in motion!

• Taking the vision for Clubbell Yoga, we applied it specifically to prenatal women. A fusion of strength and dynamic movement for balanced training that will: 1.) Empower female athletes and experienced yogis with a strength & conditioning program to keep them training through pregnancy. 2.) Integrate yoga flows with mindful strength movements to create a daily practice that promotes mobility, stability and cardiovascular conditioning for an active injury-free pregnancy. 3.) Facilitate a cohesive focus on postural awareness, alignment, strength and endurance for optimal post-partum recovery.

• Through my second pregnancy we developed Clubbell Yoga Prenatal. First, we began adapting the rigorous training protocols of Primal 12 to accommodate my  4 shifting center of gravity, my widening pelvis, and the resulting lumbo-pelvic instability.

• Then, Summer designed yoga flows to facilitate hip mobility and postural alignment, and we augmented those flows with exercises specific to hip, shoulder and trunk stability. As we refined the program I found my body intuitively modifying certain poses to care for the changes taking place in each trimester.

 

 

• Finally, we incorporated heart rate training guidelines to ensure safe exertion levels specific to each woman and her unique pregnancy. This educational segment precedes the workout, to teach self-awareness with the use of a heart rate monitor, helping women adjust their intensity level appropriate to each new day of pregnancy.

• As with every pregnancy, I discovered a different set of challenges the second time around, and these brought about increased safety precautions and modifications for each exercise. In my own practice, as well as with the perinatal clients I train, I was able to mitigate pubic symphysis dysfunction, lumbar pain, sciatica symptoms, headaches from postural changes and general discomfort from increased fluid volume and weight gain.

• Although I eventually reduced most of my other cross-training activities, including trail running, mountain biking and backpacking, I was able to safely train with Clubbell Yoga Prenatal until the day of my delivery.

 

 

• After two successful home-births, and a quick return to my lean and strong physique, I can confidently attest to Clubbell Yoga Prenatal being a vital component of an active pregnancy.


benefits


 


• Increase circulation

• reduce fatigue

• improve quality of sleep

• nourish joints & soft tissue by training greater range of motion

• increase proprioceptive coordination

• maintain balance through a changing center of gravity

• build more sophisticated movement patterns

• safely modify exercises through each trimester

• train proper biomechanics for injury prevention

• establish hip, shoulder and trunk stability

• improve postural awareness to mitigate back pain

• increase energy levels with low-impact cardiovascular conditioning

• educate yourself on heart-rate-zone training to ensure appropriate intensity levels for your body and your unique pregnancy

• stimulate vital muscle tissue for metabolic efficiency

• confidently integrate midwife/OB recommended poses into strength training for endurance during labor

• improve postpartum recovery & quickly return to a lean physique

• prepare for an active & strong motherhood

 

 


DVD Includes:


 


• 90 minutes of professional coaching to guide you through a multi-faceted prenatal fitness program.

• Intentional space for mental preparation, gratitude, and connection with baby.  

• Precise voice-over cueing by both Alaina & Summer to facilitate sound biomechanics.

• Education on heart rate zone (HRZ) training protocols to prevent overtraining and improper pacing.

• Breath control awareness taught in conjunction with the use of a heart rate monitor to help identify safe intensity levels specific to your body; providing a real-time, continuous, dynamic representation of your physiological response to exercise during pregnancy.

• Rehabilitative movements integrated into each workout for injury prevention.

• Warm-up and Cool-down flows designed to mindfully prepare the body for exercise, safely restore joint range of motion and facilitate proper recovery.

• Complementary weighted & unweighted yoga flows designed by Clubbell Yoga cocreator, and experienced yoga instructor, Summer Huntington. Her vinyasa-style yoga flows weave strength training seamlessly into each pose, creating a heightened sense of awareness and cultivating alignment from the ground up.

• Corresponding strength circuits created by Alaina Sawaya, Certified Clubbell Yoga Instructor and NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist. Her specific sequencing will optimize neuromuscular adaptation, improve joint stability and augment efficiency of movement.

• Workout One is designed to build lateral hip stability & endurance in the postural muscles. Strengthening these muscles of the abdominal wall, back, shoulder girdle and hip complex will help to prevent injuries that often occur with the progressive weight gain, ligament laxity and altered spinal alignment of pregnancy.

• Workout Two is specifically designed to improve hip, shoulder and thoracic spine mobility. This cares for a shifting pelvis while also reversing the forward hunching posture of carrying & nursing.

• All components intuitively weave together to facilitate a movement "flow state" and improve mind-body connection.

• User-Friendly DVD format allows for a continuous-play option, providing a 90 minute guided workout.


CLUBBELL YOGA PRENATAL DVD:

By clicking on the above 'Buy Now' button you will be purchasing Clubbell Yoga Prenatal DVD. (You will receive a physical package shipped to you in the mail).



You have an option to purchase the Clubbell Yoga Prenatal program in DIGITAL FORMAT.



PLEASE NOTE: By clicking on the below 'Buy Now' button you will be purchasing a downloadable program. You will NOT receive a physical package shipped to you in the mail. The entire package will be immediately available for you to download and get started right away after ordering. The video files are available in the .m4v format. Appr. total space needed : 425 MB.



CLUBBELL YOGA PRENATAL DIGITAL PROGRAM:


testimonials


 

• "Clubbell Yoga was my practice of choice during pregnancy, especially in my 3rd trimester when it was difficult but imperative to move. It provided plenty of variations I could access up until my due date. It also helped keep my extremities strong and active despite the lack of strength in my core. I really didn't want to give up Clubbell training altogether during my pregnancy, and Clubbell Yoga made that possible. There's something very empowering about wielding a clubbell. Combined with the flow and serenity of yoga, this proved to be the perfect blend to help prepare my mind, body, and spirit for becoming a mother. Clubbell Yoga continues to be an essential part of my fitness lifestyle because it consistently helps me find flow-state and keeps my yoga strong."
- Angela Fisher, CST Head Coach, California, USA


 

 

 

• "I am 39 weeks pregnant and have been practicing Clubbell Yoga during my whole pregnancy, taking modifications as needed. CBY has raised my awareness of the importance of keeping a strong and solid  structure but also how important is to let the body flow and learn how to release tension. You strengthen in this practice, but also you work on 'how to let go'.  The emphasis on the breath is the primal way to listen to the body, and I believe that it will be very helpful in labor: a strong body structure but also relaxed when necessary."
- Danielle Kleber, Clubbell Yoga Instructor, London, UK

 

 

 

 

• "I highly recommend CBY in pregnancy, it kept me pain free, strong, agile and flexible. A perfect balance of Asanas, Vinyasa Flows and Strength Training. The pace is varied, adapted to meet your needs, a wonderful opportunity to relax, re-align and re-energise! I'm looking forward to a natural birth and a efficient and genuine way to get my body rebalanced after my baby arrives. No doubt that I will be practicing lots of Clubbell Yoga after pregnancy too."
- Erin Odell, Clubbell Yoga Instructor, Olga, WA, USA

 





authors



Summer Huntington

MS, HUMAN MOVEMENT & PERFORMANCE SPECIALIST

Summer Huntington Summer is a Head CST Coach at RMAX International. In 2011, she co-created Clubbell Yoga with the blessing of her long time coach Scott Sonnon.

Her primary objective is to help bridge the gap between strength training and yoga by infusing weighted Clubbells into traditional vinyasa classes. She holds an undergraduate and masters degree in Kinesiology: Human Movement & Performance, teaches as an adjunct professor at a local University and is an experienced yoga teacher.

She has been a personal trainer for her entire professional career, and now teaches this fusion at seminars around the country and the globe. A natural leader, she practices and teaches Clubbell Yoga with an emphasis on alignment, thoughtful sequencing and cultivating a soothing meditation through movement, despite the 'kickback' that she received initially from the yoga community.

Her joint-mobility, Prasara yoga and FlowFit background allow her to help students to unlock bound areas and allows for training of the nervous system.

"I am a mother to a beautiful baby boy named Cedric. Clubbell Yoga was my main form of training throughout my entire pregnancy.

The program helped me to maintain a balanced body, physical strength and a sense of connectedness. People always comment on how calm Cedric is, which I jokingly attribute to how much Clubbell Yoga I did while he was in the womb. Cedric and I both believe that Clubbell Yoga is a safe and effective way to keep your body and mind strong during pregnancy."

www.clubbellyoga.tv

www.fitbodywellness.com

Alaina Sawaya

As owner & head coach of Sawaya Fitness Studio in (beautiful) Bellingham WA, Alaina specializes in movement pattern correction, dynamic mobility training and functional strength.

She believes in a minimalist approach to fitness; teaching people to move more efficiently and build a stable core. This allows for infinite advancements into more sophisticated movements that stimulate positive hormonal, metabolic and neuromuscular adaptations for optimal health.

She is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, FMS Certified Functional Movement Specialist, CrossFit Kettlebell Coach and a Clubbell Yoga Instructor. Alaina is passionate about empowering clients to move better and live fully.

Educating clients towards an integrated mindset regarding nutrition, lifestyle, movement training and recovery, is the cornerstone of her approach. From post rehabilitation to pre-competition training, she works with individuals to both assess, and safely progress, their unique body through an effective training program.

Integrating movement into daily life enables Alaina to thrive as the overlapping demands of both her personal, and professional roles, grow.

Being married to a talented sports & lifestyle photographer, and wrangling two very active little girls, keeps her life play-full.

Fiercely in love with these three, she strives to cultivate a consistent family rhythm and build a life of simplicity, community, faith and adventure.

www.sawayafitness.com