Strength Training in PregnancyFeb 02, 2022
As we’ve mentioned on previous podcasts, maintaining some movement and exercise during pregnancy can help decrease aches & pains, prepares you for the physical act of labour, and can aid in postpartum recovery. But what about more intense work-out regimens or strength training? Dr. Alicia chats with Rebecca Tranter, registered massage therapist, Level 1 certified CrossFit trainer, and expectant mama-to-be about her pregnancy journey in strength training as well as an unexpected diagnosis in her 1st trimester.
Here are some of her top tips!
- First Trimester: If you did it before pregnancy, keep doing it in pregnancy. That is to say, if running was a part of your routine before pregnancy for example, your body is likely to respond well to a continuation of that routine. If you’ve never run before, we wouldn’t encourage you to start training for a marathon in pregnancy! However, always listen to your body with compassion - some days may feel worse or better than others. Never push yourself when something doesn’t feel right.
- Second Trimester: It’s not usual to get some new found strength or energy in the second trimester! But it’s also a time your body starts making more drastic changes and your center of gravity begins to shift. With a growing belly, some adjustments may be required. Some people may find their belly “cones” or protrudes forward with abdominal exercises, which is perfectly normal, but you may want to engage your deep abdominal muscles and core as opposed to pushing out against your abdomen. A good tip is working in front of a mirror so you can monitor how your body is moving!
- Third Trimester: Continue to keep listening and observing your body as it changes. In the 3rd trimester, your body releases a hormone called relaxin that relaxes the ligaments in the pelvis and softens and widens the cervix, so you will notice a lot of shifts which will require you to make adjustments. Really focus on breath. Often in strength training we tend to hold our breath, which can create increased pressure in your abdomen. Practice mindful breathing - it will help you in exercise and when it comes time to push!
As we’ve said before, everyone’s pregnancy is different. Listen to your body and reach out for help if something doesn’t feel right. And remember, you are not challenging yourself against the old version of you. Do what you can in the body you have in the present!
If you have any questions for Rebecca, feel free to reach out at:
- IG: @rebeccatranter
- E-Mail: [email protected]
- Gyms Rebecca coaches at: CrossFit Zone & Forge Victoria
- Robyn Rayner, RMT and Pregnancy and Postpartum Coach: @taranis.mom.strong
- Brianna Battles: @pregnant.postpartum.athlete
- Mobility Movement: Great momma bear pregnancy series with a list of modifications for the gym.
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