Four Must-Do Safe Exercises While Pregnant
For some women, exercising while pregnant is still a taboo subject. For others, it simply isn't a priority. For me, I thrive on it. Exercise keeps me active, fit, comfortable and less stressed. The list of benefits goes on. It doesn't mean that your fitness routine needs to be intense (here's some great tips on how to rock the first and second trimester) but staying fit while pregnant can help prevent pregnancy pain and prepare for labor. And there are most definitely, safe exercises while pregnant.
It's no secret that I'm consistent with my workouts. In fact, I'm rigid. Working out keeps me sane and strong. And that doesn't change when I'm pregnant. But obviously, my exercises do.
If you've been following me on instagram, you'll have noticed that I am still very much working out while pregnant. I worked out and maintained a fitness routine with baby bear right up until I gave birth- and ideally, this little cub will be no different.
Obviously as I progress modifications are made. Part of working out means that you need to chose safe exercises while pregnant. My weights, intensity and overall volume decrease depending on how I'm feeling. But I still get in a workout most days. The truth is, there are a lot of benefits to staying fit while pregnant:
- Fitness is a great stress reliever
- Exercising correctly while pregnant can help reduce pregnancy associated pain
- Staying active during pregnancy helps prepare your body for the workout that is labor
- Staying fit while pregnant allows your body to recover better post baby.
Personally, I love all of these benefits but my favorite was being able to bounce back pretty well post labor- something I hadn't expected.
As a I mentioned above, staying fit while expecting doesn't have to be a big event. Find an activity you enjoy and rock it. That said, some exercises are better than others, here's some safe exercises while pregnant.
Safe Exercises While Pregnant # 1 Rows
With pregnancy comes a shift in posture and you center of gravity. Shoulders slowly round forward and naturally you have a bit more of a sway back. This can cause a lot of back pain.
Strengthening the back muscles helps keep your body in better alignment and prevent some of the pressure loading onto your back. The stronger your back muscles are the more they will combat the increasing size of your chest and eventually, holding a baby in front of you for hours on end.
Below is actually one of my favorite groups of bands.. all together.. for super cheap. Honestly, I use these bands in almost every at home workout (because they're a nice low impact option so perfect for pregnancy!) so it's worth checking out!
Exercise #2 Face Pulls
One of my all time favorite safe exercises while pregnant and another exercise for the posterior chain. Face pulls target the upper body, specifically the back, shoulders and arms. All of which you need to improve posture and remain strong to carry a baby.
Keeping up your strength while pregnant will make it easier once you have a baby to tote around all day. Plus, training the back of the body helps combat some of the pressure from the front of the body expanding.
Exercise #3 Squats
This is a common one said by midwives and it's true! Squats are great while pregnant. Again, there's lots of different variations to chose from (weighted/bodyweight/assisted/banded etc) so find one that feel comfortable and is doable for your pregnancy.
Squats help open the hips and strengthen the lower torso. They're a functional movement which means we use them every day. Having a strong squat foundation will make day to day tasks easier. Plus, they prep your body for birth by helping to open the hips.
When concentrating, squats are also an amazing way to engage and train your pelvic floor muscles as well which will help your body post-labor.
Exercise #4 Clamshells
An eighties workout video exercise if there ever was one. But the truth is, clams are an amazing exercise to perform while pregnant.
This exercise targets the glutes and hips. It helps strengthen the pelvic floor and stabilize the pelvis as it expands. By targeting the glutes you're helping to alleviate back and hip pain from poor posture and as your pelvic girdle prepares for the baby.
Also, the glutes are one of the muscles in the “pelvic floor” so the more you activate them the better off you'll be after the baby arrives.
Need a visual? Here's a demo of these awesome pregnancy exercises!
Don't forget to pin my favorite safe exercises while pregnant!
Training while pregnant doesn't have to be intense but there should be an emphasis placed on safe exercises while pregnant. Focus on staying fit, active and comfortable. The goal of any training program should be to prepare for labor and recovery while alleviating pregnancy symptoms. These four exercises are fantastic for pregnant ladies as their body expands. Take it slow, find a variation that works for you and stay active.