Exercising throughout pregnancy

Exercising throughout pregnancy. First, talk to your doctor. Ensure that your doctor is on board with your plan of exercising throughout pregnancy, and then GO FOR IT!

Learn how

Old moves, new moves, whatever you like and want to do physically (THAT DOES NOT PUT YOUR BABY AT RISK) is all good. 

High risk activities

Exercising throughout pregnancy is possible but here are some high risk activities that should be avoided;

Activities with physical contact, like boxing, football, hockey (maybe soccer or basketball if you are aggressive or playing competitively). 

Olympic weight lifting and powerlifting that involves true 1 rep max effort lifting or use of valsalva maneuver. 

Activities with a high fall risk like skateboarding, waterskiing, gymnastics, sometimes skiing or mountain biking depending on conditions and skill level. 

Activities in high temperatures like mid day summer anything that causes high sweat rate, hot yoga, etc. OR at high altitude/elevation if you are not accumulated to it already. 

The Catch

You want to listen to your body. If anything feels off, or risky to you, don’t do it. If there is pelvic floor dysfunction, pain, dizziness or bleeding or other red flags see your healthcare provider.

Modifications to exercising throughout pregnancy

When it comes to strength training, here are some modifications you can make as you feel they are warranted:

weight or use no weight – especially starting out after a long break – don’t compete with your former non pregnant self –

Decrease reps or sets – again if just starting back again after a break – some exercise, some strength training is better than none – listen to your body!

Decrease range of motion – partial range of motion squats, bench press, etc can still provide a correct stimulus. While still providing strength improvements while easing your body back into training.

Use support from a bench, wall, rig, etc. – supported variations of lifts – such as a supported Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift is a great way to train the hinge pattern, be supported and build strength!

Be open to new suggestions on variations of lifting

Change position of the load (weight) for example from front rack to sides. Comfort levels will increase individually when changing the lift from a classical barbell front squat to another exercise . The exercise is still the squat pattern but is just more comfortable while pregnant.

Take a break/rest and reset; slow down in general – again LISTEN TO YOU BODY. While you are pregnant you might need longer rest periods, that is okay! Some strength training is better than none. Training while pregnant is not a competition. Your non pregnant self isn’t challenging your pregnant self. Nor is it a competition with anyone one else during pregnancy.

Ask for a modification if uncomfortable for any reason. Every single strength training movement can be modified to the foundational movement patterns of squat, hinge, carry, press and pull. An open mind will yield better results.

Want to start training?

Exercising throughout pregnancy can help you be better prepared for birth, keep baby strong and healthy and make the transition postpartum easier. Book a Free Consult for our MomFit class and experience the difference!

OC is home to MomFit, our pregnancy and postpartum class that has helped hundreds of moms be strong, happy and healthy!

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