I had the pleasure of getting my Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness Certification in Newport Beach, California from the amazing Erica Ziel with Knocked-Up Fitness. Through the process I learned that not only are pregnant women so much stronger than everyone gives them credit for, but less than 25% of expecting mothers are meeting the healthy exercise recommendations. We have much of this to blame on the outdated information pregnant moms are given. The misconceptions I hear surrounding Prenatal Fitness are overwhelming. I have had people tell me everything from, “Pregnant ladies should avoid squats at all costs!” to “Oh, box jumps are fine during all Trimesters!” Truth be told, you can do whatever YOU and your doctor feel comfortable with. While every mom-to-be is different there are key points you can focus on to enjoy a healthy and fit pregnancy and recovery.
Know your fitness level.
Before starting a prenatal fitness routine you need to know if you have any Diastasis Reci, if you can connect your deep core muscles, and if you see any coning in the belly. Knocked-upfitness.com has great tools to help you find the answers to these questions if you don’t have a qualified trainer in your area.
Squats are your best buddy!
Squats are one of the most effective exercises you can do, pregnant or not. While we want to maintain that perky booty, they are also the perfect way to strengthen and engage the pelvic floor and deep core!
Use the talking test.
When it comes to moms-to-be, there is a fine line between getting a good workout and overdoing it. When pregnant, your blood volume increases up to 50%! This means what used to be a warm-up for you could now leave you light-headed and winded. Try to carry on a light conversation while working out. If you find it hard to continue talking, take a break to bring your heart rate down.
Don't fear the good weight!
Following a fitness routine is a great way to maintain pregnancy weight and build muscle. While gaining weight is a scary topic for some moms, healthy muscle gain can increase your energy levels and endurance (which comes in handy in the delivery room)! Increasing muscle mass can also make it much easier for your body to bounce back after baby.
Bug your doctor and trainer.
Always ask your doctor and trainer what it is you’re feeling and why. Just like with any workout, you want to listen to your body and avoid overdoing it. Your body will react differently to exercise than what you're accustomed to, so use the people around you to stay safe and healthy!
Pregnant moms are some of the strongest people on earth. Utilize those nine months to better your body and prepare those muscles for the ultimate comeback!