It will come as no great surprise that during pregnancy your body goes through a huge amount of changes. Some of you will sail through the 9 months no problems, while others suffer with all sorts of unwanted aches and pains. Every pregnancy is different. My wife had two completely different pregnancy. The first one was text book no problems, where as the second we had lots of complications with, so it is important to listen to your body. Try not to judge yourself on what others are doing. Find something that works for you and enjoy exercising throughout your pregnancy.
A protein hormone is realised during pregnancy called relaxin. The job of this protein is to soften the ligaments around the joints of the hips to help with birth. It can also sometimes cause problems when your joints are less stable.
By adding resistance exercises into your workouts it will help to build strength around these joints, helping to keep them where they should be and minimising any discomfort.
The very nature of pregnancy will see you gain weight as your baby grows. The change in your centre of gravity can cause your posture to change, which in turn can result in lower back pain. With your weight shifting forward, and your abdominals stretching and weakening your back is under a lot of pressure. Strengthening the upper part, the thoracic, will encourage extra muscles to switch on during movements in and out of the gym, giving the lower back a helping hand.
Beating the blues
Morning sickness, weight gain and sleepless nights are just some of the things that can make pregnancy a pretty lonely and stressful time.
It is well known that exercise releases endorphins. these hormones are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. The receptors that these endorphins bind to are the same ones that painkillers bind to in order to make you feel good. This is no different during pregnancy.
The social side of this can also have a massive help during pregnancy. Signing up for a prenatal fitness class will introduce you to a whole new group of people going through the same things as you are thought out your pregnancy.
There is no need to change anything in terms of exercise. If you feel comfortable doing it, carry on doing it. Just make sure that you warm up steadily and don’t overheat.
Add twisting exercises to your exercises to keep your core engaged. Seated medicine ball twists, wood chops are all good ways to work the core without your traditional crunches.
Swimming is a great form of non weight bearing cardio.
Work on compound movements such as squats, lunges, deadlifts to get the whole body working together.
Remember to focus on your posture as your bump starts to grow.
Adding in rowing exercises for the upper back will have to strengthen it and minimise lower back pain
To combat water retention that can happen towards the end of pregnancy do short cardio intervals using a bike or cross trainer.
Swimming allows you to feel weightless in the water, which is great on the joints while keeping your cardio up. If you feel any pain or discomfort in your pelvic area, avoid breaststroke.