Provided the woman has no contraindications then strength training is a very safe and effective way to keep fit during pregnancy, prepare for labour and motherhood.
The changes that your body undergoes during pregnancy requires you to be strong as you’ll be carrying extra weight which places extra demands on your core, back and hips. Strength training will help your postpartum recovery as well as preparing you and your baby for the intensity of labour.
Many expectant women will neglect or give up strength training because of the conflicting advice as well as the lack of quality information, they simply do not know what to do and often do nothing.
Lifting weights won’t be harmful to mum or baby and the outcomes for women that strength train during pregnancy is far better than those who don’t. Strength training will help to increase your stamina, stabilise you as your body becomes more unstable as well as helping to decrease aches, pains and excessive weight gain. A properly developed prenatal training plan can carry you through the whole 9 months, I have had clients train with right up to the week of their due date.
Motherhood is incredibly physical, knowing how to lift, twist and carry correctly will bulletproof your back against injury and strain as well as giving you the strength and fitness to keep up with your children and lead an active life.
If you’re new to training then seeking out a qualified pre/post natal personal trainer is essential before commencing a new program, to ensure that you are training safely and effectively. If you’re not a novice but aren’t 100% on what to do / what not to do, then again I would recommend seeking out the professional support you need and then carry on doing what you enjoy.
Fitbump’s top 5 Pregnancy Strength Exercises
- Squats- body weight, with dumbbells or bar.
- Modified deadlifts – correct lifting technique is essential for motherhood
- Press ups- a strong upper body and arms are essential for good posture, especially when feeding.
- Modified side planks – hitting your core, hips and lower back.
- Modified bent over rows or single are rows-
How you train and the intensity of your sessions is down to the individual as every woman is different. Always listen to your body and don’t do anything you feel uncomfortable with. The most important thing is to move your body and enjoy an active pregnancy.