CEO and Co-Owner of Bodyism, Nathalie Schyllert began her Bodyism journey in 2008 when she joined the company as a Performance Specialist. In her youth, Nathalie was a ballet dancer at the Royal Ballet School in Sweden before she began traveling the world as a model.
After years of modelling, ready for a change, Nathalie’s early experiences as a ballet dancer inspired her to move on to her next career as a Performance Specialist at Bodyism. Now eleven years later, she is the CEO and Co-Owner of Bodyism, as well as a dedicated mother to her three young children.
These days Nathalie juggles everything from board meetings and team management to finance meetings and trips to Bodyism’s global locations. Through her role in leading Bodyism, Nathalie continues to combine her passions for both fitness and nutrition.
We caught up with Natalie about how we can look after our bodies during pregnancy this National Fitness Day.
Nathalie Schyllert - CEO and Co-Owner of Bodyism
When I first started with Bodyism 13 years ago, I was a personal trainer and many of my clients were pregnant. From my experience the most important thing to remember while exercising is to be gentle and listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, make sure to adapt your workout and not push yourself.
Your fitness level before pregnancy dictates many of the workouts you are able to do, so, I have compiled a list of my favourite exercises that require little to no prior experience and will keep you fit in a gentle yet effective way.
This exercise will activate and strengthen your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back muscles, as well as improving overall body balance. Throughout the entire exercise, image as if you were balancing a glass of water on your back.
Support yourself on your hands and knees spread evenly, with your hands under your shoulders, knees aligned with your hips, and toes firmly pointing into the floor. Ensure your spine and neck are in a straight line by keeping your gaze to the floor, just in front of your fingertips. Extend your left arm out in front of you with the thumb up, while extending your right leg backwards- as if you were being pulled from either end.
Return to the start position and repeat 10x on each side.
Hip Extension with Exercise Band
Begin lying on your back, arms by your side, knees bent; with your heels resting on the ground. Place a Bodyism Mini Band of your desired resistance around your legs, above the knees.
Slowly raise your hips off of the ground until your knees, hips, and shoulders are in a straight line. To ensure that your knees don’t turn in, keep pushing against the Mini Band, allowing your knees and toes to remain inline throughout the entire movement. Hold 2-3 seconds.
Slowly return to the start position and repeat 10x.
This exercise will target the muscles between the shoulder blades, perfect for when you have a baby to hold.
Begin with your feet hip-width apart, bend your knees, and stick out your bottom so your upper body leans forward at about 45 degrees. Hold your hands directly below your chest with your fists clenched and thumbs up, keeping your head and back in a straight line, with your shoulders back and down. Engage your core by pulling your belly button in towards the spine.
Raise both hands to create a “Y” shape above your head with your arms by your ears.
Return to starting point and repeat 15x.
The "Cat" and "Cow"
Start in a “table-top” position with your palms under shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Look down to the floor while keeping your neck long and breathe into a slightly arched spine. As you exhale, begin to turn your tailbone towards the floor, rounding your spine to the sky and gathering energy towards your pelvis.
Keep space between your shoulder blades and relax the head. Inhale, turn your tailbone to the sky as you begin arching your spine, allowing your belly to relax as the heart moves forewords.
You can continue this very soothing flow back and forth for as long as you feel comfortable, soothing any tension in the back while activating your core in a gentle way.
Begin by placing your shoulders over your hands and keep a straight line from your head through shoulders, hips, and heels (plank position). Transition into Downward Dog by pushing your hips back and towards the sky, while keeping your hands in the same position, arms straight, and a slight bend in the knees.
Sink through your upper back, keeping the chin tucked in and hold for 8-10 seconds. Then, protract the shoulders and return to the plank position. Repeat 5x.
Final Stretch and Cool Down
When you’ve finished, relax and sit back on your heels with your legs apart to fit the belly, resting with your head on the floor and with relaxed arms. This child’s pose stretch is the perfect end to your exercise routine. Stay there for 3-5 minutes and think about the beautiful baby you are just a few months away from meeting.