How To Safely Strength Train Through Your Pregnancy
Strength training through pregnancy can be safe, if you know how to do it. Bumps and Burpees have gathered informational advice from their best prenatal personal trainers on how to keep safe and strong through your pregnancy.
Trends in the fitness world seem to come as quickly as they go, but one that is showing signs of sticking around is strength training during pregnancy!
What is strength training?
Contrary to common misconception, strength training doesn’t mean lifting ridiculous weights and turning into some sort of mum hulk. Strength training is a type of physical exercise specialising in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction which builds the strength and anaerobic endurance.
Why do you need to be strong in pregnancy?
Well, first of all, let us take a second to go through a bit of what happens during pregnancy …
During these nine months your body will undergo a huge number of changes, not least of all the added weight to carry around. If I were to suddenly strap on 16kg of extra weight to you in one go you would notice the extra work it would take to get about your daily life. It is heavy. However as it comes on gradually it is less noticeable but the work your body is having to do every single day is increasing. So the strength we need during pregnancy is not only muscular but it is cardiovascular too.
So we have addressed the extra weight you will be carrying around but that's not it. The growing bump will cause your centre of balance to alter and therefore your posture can be compromised which often leads to back and hip pain. This then become a vicious cycle, whereby you may alter the way you walk to alleviate pain and your posture worsens.
We all love the fact that you are more flexible during pregnancy due to the release of the hormone ‘relaxin’ which is there to soften your ligaments allowing things to move around more easily for the baby and the birth. This is a good thing obviously, but what it also does is cause your joints to become slightly unstable and without a bit of muscular support around these joints you are far more likely to injure yourself.
How do I start strength training?
If this all sounds a bit daunting then fear not. Below is a basic circuit of exercises that you can work with and develop as you get stronger. But there are a few things to remember …
- Check with your doctor that you are ok to start a new exercise program
- Seek advice from a fitness professional if there is any confusion
- Always start with bodyweight, and only when you feel comfortable in doing the move should you start to add any weights.
- Listen to your body and if you feel like you need longer rest periods then take them.
- Drink lots of water before, during and after exercise to stay hydrated.
- Always warm up properly. 5 mins cycling or fast incline walk is perfect for this type of circuit.
10 Elevated press ups
10 Tricep dips
10 Squat press
10 Curtsey lunges
10 Bent over rows
10 Elevated side plank dips
All content is written by certified Personal Trainers from Bumps and Burpees at Lomax, which is London based fitness studio that focuses on prenatal and postnatal training to help pregnant and post-birth women stay fit and healthy. For more information you can head to their website.