Prenatal Strength Training - guidelines
Exercising when you're pregnant can feel a little daunting as many mums-to-be can be a little unsure of what they should and shouldn't do. However there are so many benefits to exercising during pregnancy such as:-
🤰🏿improving your posture
🤰🏼reducing your risk of gestational diabetes
🤰🏾preparing your body for labour
🤰🏻helping to decrease aches & pains
Studies have shown that prenatal exercise also has great benefits for babies too including:-
👶healthy birth weights
👶boosts to brain health
👶are more likely to score higher on gross motor quotient (tests that determine motor tone and muscle reflexes.)
It’s a common misconception that you should only stick to yoga or Pilates during your pregnancy. Although these can be a great mind/body low-impact workout, strength training in particular is a great form of prenatal exercise as it can be modified exercise by exercise to your changing body no matter what trimester of pregnancy you’re in.
Of course it's different from person to person but here are a few rough guidelines regarding strength training whilst pregnant:-
During your first trimester always keep 1 or 2 reps 'in the tank' i.e you could have performed 1 or 2 reps more before being unable to do any more
As your pregnancy progresses, keep lowering the intensity of the load. After week 24 of your pregnancy, keep 3 or 4 reps 'in the tank'
If your reps are decreasing week to week then increase your weight but if your reps are increasing week to week try and use the exact same weight (though of course see how your body feels and use a lighter weight if you need to especially as your pregnancy progresses.)
Make sure the training you're doing is not overly stressful to your system and that your core and pelvic floor are able to handle all the movement you are doing.
Your body will change a lot from trimester 1 to the end of trimester 3, so check in with yourself and adjust your workout accordingly.
Remember exercise is supposed to enhance your pregnancy experience and not leave you feeling overly exhausted.
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