The fitbump top 8 pregnancy exercises

Although at times it hasn't quite gone to plan, these last 9 months of training has been quite an adventure.

I had entered into the Bath half marathon with the full intention of completing it at 16 weeks but hyperemesis had other ideas. Pelvic girdle pain has meant that I’ve had to adapt my training completely within the third trimester but overall I’ve managed to strength train consistently on average 3-4 times per week on top of walking, stretching and doing my pregnancy core exercises daily ( if not every other day). It hasn’t been perfect, as nothing ever is, but the consistency of my training has meant I’ve put on the necessary amount of weight, maintained a decent amount of muscle, a good amount of strength and most importantly I’ve kept on top of my anxiety and depression. I can’t wait to get started on my postnatal fitness journey and I’m hoping I only have a few pregnancy training sessions left. To reflect on my pregnancy training I thought I’d share my top 8 exercises that have helped me train continuously and safely during the last 9 months.

Although at times it hasn't quite gone to plan, these last 9 months of training has been quite an adventure.

 

  1. Goblet squats. I have done these all the way through my pregnancy, from the early weeks to this morning at 40+ ! I’ve halved my usual weight ( usually a 20kg plus Kettlebell and dropped down to an 8kg) as my pregnancy has progressed and I’ve gradually decreased the depth of my squat to no lower than 90 degrees to prevent any ligament strain around my pelvis.
  2. Press ups. Perfect for keeping your chest strong all the way through pregnancy. I’ve adapted these as my bump has grown to decrease abdominal pressure in order to prevent diastasis recti as much as possible. Going from full press ups to, intermediate to box, I’ve also varied them by doing incline and wall press ups.
  3. Resistance band squat variations. So versatile and brilliant for keeping the glutes activated as this can be a real problem during pregnancy as posture changes and different muscles come into play. I’ve done everything from squat jumps in the early weeks to using the band while doing a weighted squat, side to side squats to just basic squats toward the end.
  4. Deadlift variations. If you’re a first time mum- to -be then you’re in for a shock, you’ve never lifted and carried as much as you do when you have children- from baby, car seats, changing bags, all the other bags,  to bikes and scooters (I could go on) you need to be strong, know how to lift and carry properly to avoid injury and strain. Modifying these as my pregnancy has progressed I’ve gone from traditional barbell deadlfits, sumo Kettle bell, to straight leg ; perfect for PGP suffers as your hips stay in line, in a stable position and your glutes and hamstrings get a really good working. Even as you decreasing your weight, as long as you’re activating the right muscles the movement is still very effective.
  5. Glute & hip bridge variations. I’m a big fan of working the posterior chain ( as my clients are all aware ) hip stabilisation, recruitment of the glutes and deep core muscles is incredibly important, especially when pregnant. An abundance of variations for these exercises kept me going through most of the 9 months- from floor to elevated. I’ve only really stopped doing them in the last 6 weeks or so due to discomfort getting in and out of position.
  6. Single arm supported rows. I love working my arms, and I love any big pull movement, initially I kept up with pull ups but as my bump grew I moved to bent over rows and as they started to niggle at my lower back, the supported row ( one hand and knee on a bench ) has meant I’ve been able to keep my upper body weight range the same all the way through without compromising on comfort, posture and technique.
  7. Side planks. One of the pregnancy exercise myths is that you should avoid working your core – whilst traditional abdominal exercises should be avoided * see blog about diastasis recti – working your deep core TVA ( Transverse abdominus ), pelvic floor and lower back is essential. The TVA plays a huge role in the pushing phase of labour and it helps to keep your torso stable, especially as your posture becomes compromised during pregnancy. I’ve been able to continue to do side planks – modifying as my pregnancy has progressed – the whole way through.
  8. Resistance band torso rotations. This exercise is fantastic for TVA activation as well is keeping mobility through the mid and upper spine. Whilst my range of movement has decreased as the pregnancy has progressed, I’ve been able to do these comfortably all the way through.

All of these exercises are a perfect building block for a safe, effective and pregnancy specific training session. Whilst it is important to maintain activity while pregnant, strength training specifically for certain muscle groups and structural changes is crucial during pregnancy – which is why you should always see a specialist. All of my pregnancy training programs ( available only through the exclusive fitbump online membership) have been created for this amazing transformation- to help you go from the beginning, to the end and to the beginning of your postnatal journey (and quite possibly through pregnancy again.)
If you’d like more information on the fitbump online membership or if you would like to contact me directly to have your own pregnancy training program designed get in touch samala@fitbump.net
Happy bump training
Samala x