Workout Routine During Pregnancy
They always say “you can continue what you’ve been doing, but listen to your body” when discussing workout routines for the expecting mama. While I agree with this for the most part, the physical therapist assistant (PTA) in me knows that there are definitely movements, positions, and exercises that expectant mothers should avoid during parts of pregnancy, as well as areas that should gain more focus.
Disclaimer: This blog offers health and fitness information designed for educational purposes only. All content on this blog is based on my own personal experiences and knowledge. I am not a physician and you should not rely on this information as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician or health care professional before completing any workouts published on this website, particularly if you or any family members have a history of high blood pressure or heart disease, or if you have ever experienced chest pain when or when not exercising, or if you have a health condition that could be made worse by exercise. If you experience faintness, dizziness, pain or shortness of breath at any time while exercising, stop immediately and contact your medical professional. The use of any of the information provided on this blog are at your own risk.
Learning that you’re pregnant can bring so much joy and excitement, but can also spark some worries and stresses as you realize you may need to start making some lifestyle changes. Every woman is different, as is every pregnancy. This post is simply my experience thus far and what I have been doing based on what works for my body. For specific advice and guidelines, please consult your doctor.
For the past several years, I’ve been a very active person. I enjoy running 3-5 miles a couple of times per week in addition to high intensity cardio and moderate to heavy weight training. Discovering I was pregnant was one of the greatest days of my life, but also flooded my mind with questions and concerns about my physical activity.
After speaking to my doctor, I felt more at ease about what I was doing, but also noted that there were some modifications that I needed to make. Since I’ve been getting questions about how my workout routine has changed since becoming pregnant, I thought I’d share below!
So far, I have:
Decreased resistance and intensity of weight training, putting more focus on lower weight and higher repetitions for muscular endurance (important for endless hours of holding those newborns!)
Engaged in lower impact cardio exercises (lots of walking!).
Avoided any exercises lying flat on my back after week 16. This is due to the pressure put on the mother’s heart in the supine position that can compromise blood flow to the baby.
Avoided any exercises lying directly on my belly to limit the amount of pressure through the abdomen.
Avoided excessive twisting motions through the core and performed core exercises in either standing, side-lying, or quadruped positions with more focus on stability. Core exercises are safe & important during pregnancy, however it’s important to avoid too much pressure or straining through the abdominal muscles to prevent diastasis recti (separation of the linea alba).
Focused on pelvic floor activation and strengthening to prepare for labor (yep, bring on those kegels!).
Engaged in more “feel good” workouts because the fatigue is real! I’ve added more yoga, barre, and stretching.
For the first time in awhile, I actually look forward to my workouts at 4:00 in the morning. It doesn't feel like something I'm doing because I "should" or because I "need" to, but because I want to do what's best for me and my baby! I feel much better when I exercise and these modifications have helped to boost my energy levels!
How has your workout routine changed since you became pregnant? Tell me in the comments!