Weight training during pregnancy offers innumerable benefits to the mother and the future baby. It can be quite helpful during pregnancy but one of its important benefits can be realized soon after childbirth. Think of all the lifting you will do with baby. Weight training exercises can serve as a controlled, modified, cardiovascular workout for the pregnant woman.
If you already include weight lifting in your exercise regime, one of your concerns may be how to adapt weight lifting into your newly demanding body. During pregnancy, the hormone relaxin increases and loosens joints. This loosening allows ligaments and tendons in the pelvis to stretch in preparation for delivery. However, relaxin loosens joints all over the body. Because of this, there is a higher risk of incurring injury if free weights are used. If you choose to continue using free weights during this period, then remember to pay close attention to good body mechanics and correct posture.
Women, who are generally active with normal pregnancies, and have an existing weight lifting regime, can continue to lift weights all throughout their pregnancy. However, if you have never had a weight lifting regime, consider starting slowly. Learn the correct positioning and then gradually add weights in to your routine. It’s always a good idea to review your exercise regimen with your doctor or midwife first. The keys to reaping all the benefits are: 1. Working with a professional Prenatal Instructor is always advisable when starting out. If you are a newbie, it is always advisable to seek out fitness centers or instructors that are trained or certified to work with a pregnant women’s need. 2. Be sure to use slow, controlled movements where muscle is lifting the weight. Try not to use momentum If you are new to weight training, practice by using resistance bands first. They will work the muscle groups effectively, and you have to use slow, controlled movements.
3. Good posture and body mechanics are vital. Weight bearing exercise affects balance. Pregnant women experience a shift in the center of gravity with the growth of the uterus and their breasts. 4. As your pregnancy progresses, think about not increasing the weight, but rather increase the repetitions (and perhaps decreasing the weight if you are struggling).
5. Beginning in the second trimester, sit down to lift weights. (Try sitting on a stability ball for an added challenge.) You should avoid lifting weights while standing still. Also, avoid lying on a flat bench to lift. This may leave you in a position where your abdomen is vulnerable to a falling weight. 6. Avoid the Valsalva maneuver (forcefully exhaling without actually releasing air).
Kelly Mcbride She specializes in losing weight after childbirth for new and expecting moms as well as mommy and me classes. She is a Master Pilates Instructor of Prenatal & Postpartum Pilates & Pelvic Floor Pilates Rehabilitation Specialist as well as being a doula in Philadelphia and does postpartum weight loss classes.