There are many misconceptions about being pregnant and work load and expectant mother can take on. One of the most common questions is “Can I exercise safely while pregnant?”

The answer is YES YOU CAN!

Some common fears about lifting weights and being pregnant should not blind you into leading a healthy lifestyle for yourself and your baby. Being active is part of all of our lifestyles, even general housework is being active.

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As a trainer i have had many clients who during pregnancy have had fantastic workouts. Here are some anatomical facts about the woman’s body during each trimester and suitable exercises that can accommodate each phase of pregnancy.

First Trimester 

This is the time when the embryo attaches to the uterus and most women may not even know they are pregnant the early weeks of the first trimester. Some symptoms that are common breast tenderness, constipation, discharge, fatigue, food craving and aversions, frequent urination, heartburn, mood swings, morning sickness, and weight gain.

If you experience some slight bleeding and know you are pregnant consult your doctor you may fall into the 25% of women who experience these signs and symptoms of embryo implantation. Although it may be less then common always check with a doctor especially significant bleeding, cramping, or sharp pain in your abdomen. These could be signs of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy in which the embryo implants outside of the uterus).

EXERCISES 1st TRIMESTER

Anything and everything goes here. If you’ve been active up until now you can continue without fear. If you’ve never exercised before taking it slow would be my recommendation just like with any beginner.

Always stop if you don’t feel well and give time for your body to rest well. 2-3 times a week program for beginners which can easily be maintained with modifications throughout the entire 40 weeks of pregnancy (you may email me for directions).

Sample Two Day Spilt Program

Day 1 / Day 2

Squats- weights in hand and not loaded on shoulders for beginners

Romanian Deadlifts

Lunges – weights in hand if desired or body weight Russian Step-ups

Hyperextension Pull Downs

Single arm rows Lat Push Ups

Overhead Triceps Extension Skull Crushers

Crunches Crunches

Second Trimester

This is where the most physical changes occur on a woman’s body.

There will significant improvements in mood as wells as sex drive returning and anatomically as your baby grows there are a number of changes that will occur to your body. For one your lumbar curve will become more prominent leading to backache, as well as having tender breasts from the first trimester they will start to enlarge at this stage and possibly you will notice off balance due to compensation of stance and posture as well as gait changes.

Some women experience haemorrhoids as well as headaches. I personally had amazing hair and hair growth in my pregnancy… lots of full beautiful hair that normally would not be manageable was totally in control in the second trimester.

With added weight gain you will see skin changes, an increase in blood pressure as well as varicose veins even smaller capillaries in the legs that have broken (spider veins) depending on daily activity.

Modified Training begins! I have suggested to my clients to buy a tummy belt to help support baby bump and make it comfortable for mom to exercise depending on the size of the bump.

Exercises 2nd Trimester modified

Walking or bicycle instead of running might be an option

Squats will become sumo squats or they will take a wider stance

Single leg dead lifts can be incorporated here for function and proprioception

Hyperextensions can be done on the wall for support standing

And sit-ups can be modified using a cross handed technique over belly to support the Linea Alba and abdominal separation and muscles

Push-ups can be done off the knees or wall

Swimming can be added like an Aqua Fit class.

Yoga can help with relaxation and breathing techniques

3rd Trimester

With signs and symptoms of second trimester continuing you also may experience the early signs of your body getting ready to deliver baby. Braxton Hicks contractions are warm ups that your body initiates to get your uterus ready; although, the main differences between these and real contractions is the pain level and the frequency.

Always check with your doctor and, if you feel contractions during exercise remember to STOP! More heartburn, constipation, haemorrhoids, backaches at this point as well.

Swelling is very common and fatigue. Work within your limit or motion and energy limit, some days you’ll be a tank while on others a warm up walk is all you’ll have enough for. It’s all good; your body is prepping for something amazing especially in the last few weeks before your due date. Nesting is very common and you may feel like things aren’t getting done fast enough.

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Exercises 3rd Trimester modified

Walking or bicycle instead of running might be an option

Squats will become reinforced and be done on the wall with a Swiss ball, weights can be used in hands

Single leg dead lifts can be continued

Hyperextensions can be done on the wall for support standing making sure baby bump isn’t compromised

And sit-ups can be done with the modified position using a cross handed technique over belly to support the Linea Alba and abdominal separation and muscles

Push-ups can be done off the knees or wall

Swimming can be added like an Aqua Fit class.

Yoga can help with relaxation and breathing techniques

Exercises that can be done throughout pregnancy

Bicep curls

Seated back rows

Shoulder press

Glute raises

Swimming

yoga

Connect here with WatchFit Expert Deme Hachem exercising while pregnant. exercising while pregnant, exercising while pregnant

References:

http://www.webmd.com

 

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