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Top 4 Tips for Pregnancy Training!

Strength and resistance training is such a powerful way to keep your fitness and endurance throughout pregnancy. There are so many safe and effective exercises and variations on different types of movements which allow you to continue to train in a challenging and varied way. The following adaptations are the top 4 that you want to start to incorporate from the beginning of trimester 2 as bump grows!

1. Lying flat on your back

This one you will already know from your midwife most likely telling you it’s time to start getting used to sleeping on your side! This is due to the possibility of compression of the blood vessel, the inferior vena cava, that carries blood flow back through to your uterus. So for example, instead of lying flat on the floor or bench, adjust to an incline position or elevate your hips up off the floor to engage in a glute bridge position instead.

2. Standing overhead press

As your bump grows, we make adjustments to minimise any potential risk of strain or injury. Due to the lordotic (excessive curvature of the lower spine) posture of pregnancy, lifting weights overhead with both arms can cause unnecessary pressure on the core as well as the lower back, which may already be a tender spot! Switch to alternating presses overhead one arm at a time, or seated with back support and lighter weights to achieve a more stable foundation for the push!

3. Planks

For the same reason that overhead push puts strain on the core muscles, as does the full plank position from the toes. The bracing can overstretch the linea alba (the tissue connecting the ab muscles) and so can lead to further separation also known as diastasis recti. Whilst it is completely normal to have some degree of separation during pregnancy, minimise the strain by adjusting to planking from knees, side planks, or to all fours position for your core and chest movements.

4. High impact plyometric movements

These include things like box jumps, squat and lunge jumps. These high impact movements during pregnancy are probably best avoided altogether as they are higher risk than reward. Even if you feel physically fit and strong enough to continue with these, the hormone relaxin that is released into your system during pregnancy loosens your joints and ligaments. Whilst ideal and necessary for preparing your body for childbirth, it means that you are at more risk of injury with these higher impact movements, so switch to controlled stable exercises to get the most out of your workout! If you have always been a jogger however, then this is absolutely fine to continue with, just adjust the intensity down through the trimesters to keep a comfortable pace.

If ever in doubt, then ask for a qualified pre-natal trainer in your gym to give you some advice, tips, and show you how best to execute these changes! Happy training!

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