Pregnancy Training Guidelines
During pregnancy, as the body shape changes, so to does the centre of gravity of the mother. This can lead to issues with balance, stability and coordination. A good trainer will keep these factors in mind when programming for you. Care should be taken during any resistance training to avoid unnecessary injury due to a loss of balance.
As the baby grows your centre of gravity is pulled forward, this can cause lower back pain from the weight of the baby pulling you into an anterior pelvic tilt (back arching more). It is for this reason that a strong core is vital to protect and brace your lower back.
Pelvic Floor exercises are also very important in order to keep a strong support for the growing weight of your baby and prepare these muscles for the labor. These exercises are often easier to perform when sitting on an exercise ball as it is often easier to locate the muscles. As well as preparing you for birth a strong pelvic floor can help you to avoid incontinence problems, particularly in later stages when your baby will begin to use the pelvic floor like a trampoline.
Breast tenderness can pose a problem, if sore across your chest avoid exercises such as push-ups, dips, abductor exercises and arm exercises that go across the chest may be uncomfortable. As your breasts grow they will pull your weight forward and your shoulders into protraction (rounded). It is for this reason that it is important to focus on upper back strength in your training program. Exercises like gentle rowing and chest openers are great for this. It will be of further importance that you maintain this program post pregnancy as the weight of carrying your new born and breast feeding will bring your shoulders into further protraction.
The hormone relaxin increases during pregnancy thereby increasing joint laxity. This may put the pregnant exerciser at greater risk to injury. Extreme joint movements with weights are therefore contraindicated. Machines may be the best equipment to use during pregnancy as they reduce the possibility of increasing joint range of motion and provide for greater balance during a lift.
Cardiovascular programming for pregnant women
☺ Exercise intensities that gradually decline as pregnancy progresses
☺ Keep the client’s heart rate response below 140 bpm – the foetus has no
abnormal response at this maternal heart rate
☺ Non-weight bearing exercise in the third trimester
☺ Hydration breaks to avoid overheating and dehydration
☺ Recommended exercise regimens should emphasize low-impact activities, such as
stationary bicycling, swimming, walking, and low-impact aerobics
☺ Exercises that require repetitive bouncing and jerky movements should be
avoided, especially in the third trimester
Strength training programming for pregnant women
Pregnancy is no time to commence a weight training program, but it is certainly no reason to
stop weight training.
☺ Do not start a weight training program for the first time when you are already pregnant.
☺ Be careful of exercises with lumber spine flexion
☺ Use light loads to avoid overstraining
☺ Avoid use of heavy weights – repetitions should not drop below 10
☺ Avoid isometric exercises (exercises where you hold a position for a period of time) – these could have a detrimental effect on fetal heart rate
☺ Ensure you do not hold their breath during the execution of a lift
And finally enjoy whatever activity you are doing and listen to your body. Pregnancy is a time of immense change and one of the biggest lessons you will learn is to enjoy and be present in the moment. If you don’t learn this in your pregnancy you will have a very quick lesson after birth.
Book a session with Body IQ today and get the best results whilst training safely for you and your baby!