Here’s what to know about functional training in pregnancy
Before we start, it’s important to point out that you should always consult your doctor before beginning to exercise during pregnancy, mainly if you were not active before. There are a lot of different opinions in the fitness world out there, but primarily the recommendations will always depend on your overall fitness level, your experience […]
Before we start, it’s important to point out that you should always consult your doctor before beginning to exercise during pregnancy, mainly if you were not active before.
There are a lot of different opinions in the fitness world out there, but primarily the recommendations will always depend on your overall fitness level, your experience and your health situation.
Generally, there should be no problem in including more movement during pregnancy – actually, is quite the opposite.
Experience tells us that the more exercise and natural movement involved, the easier it is to maintain a healthy pregnancy throughout and to experience a more comfortable birth.
During pregnancy, the pelvic floor has to carry more and more weight, and at the same time, all muscles lose tension and become weaker by hormones that prepare the pelvic floor for birth.
In most cases, the centre of gravity changes – you have weaker stability, and this leads to Lumbar hyperlordosis. Therefore stability training is of vital importance and provides excellent benefits for the body. As an EVO Personal Trainer, I guide my clients to focus on the pelvic floor, instead of just offering some exercises to keep them active.
Another recommendation is that you shouldn’t focus on reps or time. I call it Pelvic floor tempo. The key to proper functional training during pregnancy is to not stretching your limit. You should keep your workout to about 70% of what would be your “normal” intensity. This is one way to find the right balance so that the exercise benefits you and especially so that it benefits the tiny life evolving inside your belly.
Benefits of working out during Pregnancy:
- Maintains pelvic floor strength
- prevents back problems
- improves posture
- you stay active
- helps during labour
- get back on track faster after labour
- stability for the joints – they get unstable due to the Hormones
Cardio Training should be aerobic and lighter, so no interval training or high-intensity training. Keep the heart-rate bellow 140. One way to track it is to make sure you can speak normally (with no breathing effort) during the entire session. So, talk a bit, test as you go and you’ll be alright.
For an EVO style workout, I recommend a moderate Tabata Training 40/40. It’s an ok workout as long as the weather is not over 29°.
Now it’s time to some do’s and don’ts.
- Avoid pressure and significant stretches
- Don’t carry heavy loads
- Start on something completely new to your body
- Don’t go above your limits
- Pelvic floor pressure (Deep Squat, Jumps, high weights)
- Abdominal pressure (Plank, Deadlifts, overhead exercise, military presses, powerbands and Tubes)
- Something that causes you pain
- Shear forces on lumbar spine / pelvic floor (lunges, side lunges, wide-lunges, side plank)
- No grid roller on lumbar spine or TFL Band
Passive, loose, lazy Posture that may lead to problems/instability:
– Inactive flat feet
– Hyperextended kneed
– Saggy Core
– Protracted shoulders
- Easy pelvic floor training. Especially to become aware of how to engage the with pelvic floor muscles (for having an easier birth giving).
- Slow controlled movements
- Physically smart alignment
- Neutral joint positions
- Correct hip position (anterior tilt vs posterior tilt) due to belly weight anterior tilt happens so practice and do posterior tilt
- Get up or lay down sideways
- Very fit women or athletes have problems consciously relaxing the pelvic floor so they need to practice this regularly
Active Posture to Prevent Problems:
– Improve feet activity
– Slightly flex of the knees
– Little activation on the pelvic floor and belly button towards the baby
– Create length in Spine
– Bring thorax upright
Short pregnancy safe workout
2 minute – side reach
2 minute – KST Low Pull
Repeat 1 and 2
2 minute – Hip mobility but spine stretch and heart opener
2 minute – Kinesis chest press
Repeat 3 and 4
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