Effective, efficient, and safe workouts are what my pregnant gals are after.
They want to feel strong, stable, continue working out OR start working out (see #3), keep the pregnancy aches and pains at bay, and give their baby they best head start to health that they can.
(Stay tuned for a special announcement at the end of this article!)
Here are my Top 10 Tips for Exercising in Pregnancy:
10. Just Keep Moving. Do whatever you like to do, but just keep doing something. Great for you, great for babe. Swim, walk, lift weights, spin, sprint (…until a certain point), practice yoga.
9. Strength Train. I’m a strong encourager of strength. Strength training is something you can do all the way through 9/10 months of pregnancy with progressions built in at every step along the way. Taking bodyweight training to a whole new level at 9+ months pregnant 🙂
My client, Trina, working out at 40 weeks pregnant, just before her baby was born.
8. Squat. Lots. Great movement pattern to master, especially in preparation for mom life. Also, fantastic exercise for the glutes and the pelvic floor, which are BFFs.
7. 1-Sided Exercises. Also known as, unilateral exercises. Especially for the upper body. When you’re holding a baby in one arm and doing the rest of life’s tasks (eating, picking things up, cooking) you’re going to grateful that you trained both sides of the both separately. Rows, chest presses, bicep curls (yes, seriously), plus lots of lunging variations.
6. Back Side Building. You’ll want a keen focus on training your glutes (booty) and back muscles in preparation for the additional weight on the front side of the body that is to come. Some of my faves include: hip thrusts, deadlift variations, pullups/TRX rows, cable rows, lunges.
Emily practicing one of my favourite pull-up variation exercises.
5. Mind Your Alignment. Pay attention to your form, during exercise and daily life. The cues I use most frequently are to, “keep your bum behind you”, and, “get your ribs over your hips“.
4. Exercise to energize. Pay attention to your energy levels. While it is fine to try a workout when you’re a tired and fatigued, you may not want to exercise when you’re truly exhausted. If you feel better after exercising, great. If you feel worse, perhaps dial down the intensity.
3. You CAN Start New Activities. Frankly, the “don’t do any exercise you’ve never done before in pregnancy” rule is one I can’t get on board with. If you’ve never strength trained before, you absolutely could start in pregnancy. Just as you would start a strength training program EVER, at anytime, be mindful of how you feel and progress from there.
2. Decrease Front Loaded Exercises. As baby and belly grows, the ability of your abdominal and core muscles to respond to gravity may not be what it once was. This is why, decreasing the use of front loaded exercise (pushups, front planks, conventional deadlifts) should occur towards the latter half of pregnancy. That amount of pressure downwards on the abdominal wall may not be ideal.
Swapping pushups for presses in Janna’s workout.
1. Train your Core + Floor Correctly. Whatever you do, make sure you know how to do this step. I consider core training in pregnancy to be the most important aspect of keeping a high functioning body throughout your journey of baby building. Basic rules: the “core and floor” are a unit and we train them as such. This is your breathing system, abdominals, pelvic floor muscles, and the glutes. Avoid: crunches, sit-ups, double leg raises.
My Core + Floor Restore system is now available and teaches you exactly how to rehab your abs, heal your pelvic floor, and gain strength after-baby.