SHOULD YOU WORKOUT WHILE PREGNANT?
Before we start, it’s important to point out that you should always consult your doctor before starting a workout while pregnant, especially if you were not active before. A pregnancy workout can be very beneficial for your health, but we need to be on the safe side and need your doctor’s approval.
There are a lot of different opinions weather your should or shouldn’t workout while pregnant, but primarily the recommendations will always depend on your overall fitness level, your experience and your health situation.
Experience shows us that exercise and natural movement help women to maintain a healthy pregnancy and to have a more comfortable birth.
WHY AND HOW SHOULD YOU WORKOUT DURING YOUR PREGNANCY?
During pregnancy, the pelvic floor has to carry more and more weight, and at the same time, all muscles lose tension and become weaker by hormones that prepare the pelvic floor for birth.
In most cases, the center of gravity changes – you have weaker stability, and this leads to Lumbar hyperlordosis. Therefore, stability training is of vital importance and provides excellent benefits for the body. As an EVO Personal Trainer, I guide my clients to focus in their pregnancy workout on the pelvic floor, instead of just some exercises to keep them active.
Another recommendation for a pregnancy workout is that you shouldn’t focus on reps or time. I call it pelvic floor tempo. The key to proper functional training during pregnancy is to not pushing over your limits. You should keep your workout to about 70% of what would be your “normal” intensity. This is one way to find the right balance so that the exercise benefits you and especially so that it benefits the tiny life evolving inside your belly.
Cardio training should be aerobic and lighter, so no interval training or high-intensity training. Keep the heart-rate bellow 140. One way to track it is to make sure you can speak normally (with no breathing effort) during the entire session. So, talk a bit, test as you go and you’ll be alright.
I recommend a moderate Tabata Training 40/40. It’s an ok workout as long as the weather is not over 29° Celsius.
BENEFITS OF WORKING OUT DURING PREGNANCY
- Maintains pelvic floor strength
- Prevents back problems
- Improves posture
- You stay active
- Helps during labor
- It’s easier to get back on track faster after labor
- Increases the stability for the joints – they get unstable due to the hormones
- Avoid pressure and significant stretches
- Don’t carry heavy loads
- Don’t start on something completely new to your body
- Don’t go above your limits
- Avoid exercises which increase pressure on your pelvic floor : deep squats, jumps and exercises with heavy weights
- Avoid exercises which increase pressure on your abdominal: plank, deadlifts, overhead exercises, military presses, powerbands and tubes
- Never perform anything what causes you pain
- Avoid exercises that increase pressure on your lumbar spine and pelvic floor: lunges, side lunges, wide-lunges, side plank
- No grid roller on lumbar spine or TFL Band
- Easy pelvic floor training. Especially to become aware of how to engage the with pelvic floor muscles (for having an easier birth giving).
- Slow controlled movements
- Physically smart alignment
- Neutral joint positions
- Correct hip position (anterior tilt vs posterior tilt) due to belly weight anterior tilt happens so practice and do posterior tilt
- Get up or lay down sideways
- Very fit women or athletes have problems consciously relaxing the pelvic floor so they need to practice this regularly
SHORT PREGNANCY WORKOUT
1. SIDE REACH
2. KINSESIS STATION LOW PULL
Repeat 1 and 2
3. HIP MOBILITY WITH SPINE STRETCH AND HEART OPENED
4. KINESIS CHEST PRESS
Repeat 3 and 4