This picture is Caeli (my stunning wife) exercising through her first 2 trimesters. My advice Having trained many pregnant women (including 2 who gave birth to twins) is that if you are already exercising, rather than stop completely and forgo the wonderful benefits of exercise, it is best to continue on. In my opinion the only difference is that your priorities / goals will change somewhat, you should no longer prioritise aesthetics or physical performance. Your priority should now be solely based on your health and the health of your unborn baby.
A good place to start in preventing joint aches and pains, as well as averting muscular cramping that can occur in pregnancy is good postural alignment. Along with your diaphragm and core, holding yourself in proper alignment can reduce a tremendous amount of pregnancy discomfort. Since every pregnant woman is unique “postural alignment” exercises are difficult to recommend as what helps one woman’s muscle balance could worsen another’s.
Here is what we did, all high impact / high risk / high skill level exercises were stopped, as mentioned before, our priority now is on her health and the health of our baby. Even though Caeli possesses a fairly high skill level with regard to exercise her proprioception will be reduced / impaired due too the additional stress placed upon the body as a result of pregnancy related weight gain. We have also left out isometric contractions due to the effect on blood pressure, not that we performed many anyway. Intensity is reduced as time goes on, I feel it wise to reduce energy output slightly as pregnancy progresses. A larger energy output will be required as more weight is gained and fatigue will occur more readily. We are now concentrating on maintaining muscle tone particularly around the arms, shoulders,back and legs and not increasing muscle mass. As discussed, posture has become a priority as has her core and pelvic floor. Caeli is continuing to squat however we have widened her stance somewhat on her deadlift, she now uses more of a sumo stance. As the baby grows, her abdominal muscles are stretched and weakened slightly, this causes the lower back muscles to shorten. So we have included additional stretching of the hip-flexor muscles to help prevent causing a lordotic concern. Obviously we avoid any exercise that involves lying on the front, as this will place pressure on the abdomen and could cause pain. Caeli also walks for 20-30 mins 3/4 times per week.
This is by NO MEANS TO BE USED AS A PROGRAMME TO FOLLOW FOR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL, Having trained Caeli I am familiar with her ability and medical history and aware of all contraindications. Like I said earlier no two people are the same and I would never blanket prescribe. I don’t confess to be an expert however, pregnancy is a special time and extra care needs to be taken, but as my gorgeous wife has proved an expectant mother can enhance her transformation while maintaining her beauty and grace through exercise. I am extremely proud of her…