Pregnancy, Muscles, and More.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 10.18.03 PM Pregnancy, Muscles, & More. 

 

There is more and more research happening in the realm of prenatal fitness. People are debunking old wives tales like “don’t lift more than blah blah” and “don’t let your heart exceed a certain beats per minute” and even that functional movement has the potential to speed up labor and/or be a desired position to give birth to your baby.

 

The pelvis and the associated childbirth musculature such as the uterus act just the same as any other muscle in the body. The better it (a certain muscle) is conditioned and trained the greater the work capacity the muscle will exhibit.

 

Birth education methods such as Birthing From the Within and HypnoBirthing even mention certain exercises and normal physiological mechanisms and how that relates to labor and delivery. Today, doctors and midwives and birth educators are advising women to “continue with their normal exercise program” with a few guidelines to follow.

 

Here’s what I know:

  • Pregnancy is not a disease; Pregnancy is a temporary condition or an altered state from what your norm has been and will be.
  • Therefore, you do not have to abandon your skills, strengths, and things your love (well maybe alcohol) while pregnant.
  • Being pregnant, does not give you a FREE PASS to eat whatever you want, neglect proper motor patterns, or avoid movement all together.
  • Being pregnant is an excellent time to work on skill sets while maintaining fitness and developing exceptional habits that will carry over into motherhood.

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When we coach women or program for them remotely there are a few guidelines we have developed. These guidelines apply to the beginners of functional movement training as well as professional athletes.

 

BirthFIT’s guidelines:

  1. Eat to nourish yourself before or after workouts. You are building a human and an organ from scratch. Think animal protein, good fats, and veggies.
  2. Stay hydrated. Keep water with you at all times.
  3. When working out, take rest as you need it. You know your body better than anyone. Check in with yourself.
  4. Keep some “work capacity” always in the tank. Make it a point to sing a song or talk to someone during a workout. Think 70-80% intensity.
  5. This is no time for PRs; but a solid time to work on quality of movement and skills. Then, PRs may just happen. I’ve seen it;)
  6. If you want to or need to try a new activity such as yoga, swimming, lifting, or Pilates, then do so with proper coaching. For instance, if all you have done is yoga and run, then you will be in need of some strength training for balance and stability. However, it is safer and more efficient to ask for help and guidance (Hello BirthFIT).
  7. Let’s be for real- avoid things such as sky diving, scuba diving, bungee jump, paragliding…you know the situations in which the risks far out weight the benefits for you.

 

Pregnancy is a time to shine. It’s a time to radiate who you are, what you believe in, and all that you have accomplished and will accomplish. There are movements, exercises, and even classes available for every woman while pregnant. By exercising, improving strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness, you are training your muscles to carry your baby with more ease and even preparing your muscles for labor and delivery.

 

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Side Note:
There are conditions and situations in regards to pregnancy in which certain style of workouts should be avoided and maybe even bed rest is recommended. However, in my experience, those are few and far between, and you will know either from your doctor or midwife as soon as they want you on bed rest.
 
As with any exercise program, check with your healthcare provider before beginning. Please read the disclaimer on our website.
 
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WOKROUT
3 x 10 Bulgarian Split lunges (or Gorsky Lunges) on each leg. 
3 x 20 Shoulder Taps in Plank 
-Rest as needed- 
10 Rounds 
200m Run
200m Walk 
 
NOTES
  • Use dumb bells or KBs for the Split lunges. Pick a weight in which you can do 10 in a row slow and controlled.
  • Plank can be from your knees, toes, or even elevated surface.
  • If no running, then try rowing, jump rope, or even 45 minute walk.