Exercising When Pregnant
There is a lot of misleading information out there on how to exercise when pregnant & as a result people are unsure about the best way to stay active during pregnancy. Can I still lift heavy weight? How many days should I exercise per week? How long should I work out for? The tips I share are from my own personal experience of working with clients, safely guiding them through exercise when pregnant.
Below are 5 general tips to follow:
- TRAIN TO MAINTAIN: You’re training to maintain. You are no longer training to lose weight & improve your body shape. Instead you are training to maintain your current level of fitness as best as you can. You are prioritising you & your babies health & are preparing your body for pregnancy.
- AVOID CERTAIN EXERCISES: Avoid any exercises that have you lying on your back; ab crunches, bench press etc. Instead try training your core by performing planks, cable wood chops, band anti rotation exercises or working your upper body by performing body weight push ups. As you progress with your pregnancy, you may want to stop using free weights & use fixed weights instead.
- AVOID LIFTING HEAVY WEIGHTS: As you are not focusing on improving, lighten your weights & focus more on lifting with low to moderate intensity with good technique. For example, when lifting weights for 8-10 reps, select a weight you can perform for 12-15 reps instead.
- ADJUST YOUR CURRENT TRAINING ROUTINE: Your capabilities are going to change throughout your pregnancy. As you progress, you will need to reduce the amount of days you exercise, time spent working out & the amount weight you’re lifting.
- LISTEN TO YOUR BODY: If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it! What works well for one person exercising whilst pregnant may not work for you. I recommend sitting down with a personal trainer who can carefully assess your capabilities & design a well thought out periodized training plan for you.
Always consult your GP & Midwife first before attempting any advice you may have heard or have researched. If you find my tips helpful, let me know.