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Weight Training & Pregnancy

To lift or not to lift???....that is the question (during pregnancy!)

Weight training during pregnancy is not only safe - it is recommended!

Strength training, at any stage, for any person, results in increased stability, which becomes even more important during pregnancy, as there is an increase in the release of a hormone, relaxin, which promotes soft tissues such as ligaments and tendons to become more lax and flexible, which is necessary to carry a baby full term and prepare for labor/delivery.

A properly planned strength training program can help reduce / eliminate alot of aches and pains that are common in pregnancy, such as lower and upper back pain, by keeping posture in a more optimal alignment, and improving core strength and stability as weight increases throughout the trimesters.

Even if you are new to strength training, the benefits during pregnancy are huge - focusing on the basics - learning to squat, hinge, push, and pull.

Strength training, and cardiovascular exercise, not only have huge benefits during pregnancy itself, but also during labour and delivery. Think of your strength and interval training as prep work for the impending contractions of labor. You work hard for 30–60 seconds, rest, and repeat. This is what prenatal training is all about - preparing yourself for the main event!

Compound movements, such as squats and deadlifts aim to target and strengthen the legs and glutes, aswell as working the core, and the pelvic floor, which is also

hugely beneficial in the postpartum period.

There are, of course, considerations to take into account, during the various stages of pregnancy, such as

- nausea and tiredness

- modifications to volume, load, and intensity of workouts

- modifications to high impact activities

- modifications to particular lifts, e.g Olympic lifts, if the growing belly impedes the barbell pathway.

To summarise the importance of strength training, and exercise in pregnancy -

  • It supports your changing posture.

  • It improves energy levels

  • It reduces the risk of gestational diabetes

  • It maintains and improves your strength as you carry extra weight.

  • It has huge benefits in your postpartum recovery process

  • It prepares yourself and your baby for intense moments of labor and delivery.

*You should always consult with a qualified practitioner, and have clearance from your medical professional before embarking on any new exercise regime in pregnancy.

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