Baby Bumps and Barbells: The Incredible Benefits of Pre and Post Natal Strength Training

Baby Bumps and Barbells: The Incredible Benefits of Pre and Post Natal Strength Training

You’re pregnant…congratulations! But now what?? When it comes to taking care of yourself and your growing baby, staying active is key. Many expectant moms wonder if it’s safe to engage in strength training during pregnancy, and we’re here to tell you that it absolutely is! Let’s do a deep-dive into the benefits of prenatal strength training, explore pregnancy exercise routines, and get knowledgeable about specific exercises for diastasis recti and pelvic floor health.

Benefits of Prenatal Strength Training

Pregnancy is a time of incredible physical changes, and strength training can help you navigate this journey with ease. Prenatal weightlifting guidelines suggest that you can safely engage in strength training exercises with modifications to ensure the safety of both you and your baby. The benefits are numerous, including improved overall strength, enhanced posture, and increased stamina for labor and delivery.

For example, one exercise that targets multiple muscle groups is the squat. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and slowly lower your body as if sitting back into a chair. Keep your chest lifted, and exhale to return to a standing position. Squats strengthen your legs, glutes, and core muscles, providing stability and support as your body changes during pregnancy.

In addition to squats, prenatal fitness exercises that focus on the upper body can help you maintain upper body strength and posture. An example is the standing dumbbell press. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height, with your elbows bent. Press the weights overhead, fully extending your arms. Lower the weights back down to shoulder height with control. This exercise targets your shoulders, arms, and upper back, helping you maintain upper body strength throughout your pregnancy.

Diastasis Recti Exercises

Diastasis recti, the separation of abdominal muscles, is a common condition during and after pregnancy. It’s important to focus on exercises that can help heal and strengthen the abdominal wall. Diastasis recti exercises are specifically designed to target the deep abdominal muscles while avoiding excessive strain on the connective tissue.

One effective exercise is the standing core contraction. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands resting on your belly. Inhale deeply, allowing your belly to expand. As you exhale, engage your deep core muscles and imagine wrapping yourself side-to-side using your core. Hold for a few seconds and release. This exercise helps activate the deep abdominal muscles and promotes healing of diastasis recti after delivery.

Another beneficial exercise is the pelvic tilt. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, press your lower back into the floor, tilting your pelvis upward. Hold for a few seconds and release. The pelvic tilt exercise strengthens the deep abdominal muscles and helps realign the pelvis, which can alleviate discomfort caused by diastasis recti.

Pelvic Floor Exercises for Pregnancy

The pelvic floor plays a crucial role during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum recovery. Pelvic floor exercises for pregnancy can help maintain the strength and integrity of this important muscle group. One such exercise is the kegel exercise. Sit or lie down comfortably and imagine that you are trying to stop the flow of urine. Contract your pelvic floor muscles and hold for a few seconds before releasing. A great time to practice this technique postpartum is during the quiet moments while feeding your baby!

Additionally, practicing squats can also engage the pelvic floor muscles. As mentioned earlier, squats are a great lower body exercise, and when performed mindfully, they activate and strengthen the pelvic floor as well. By incorporating squats into your pregnancy exercise routine, you can simultaneously work on your lower body strength and pelvic floor health.

Safe Workouts During Pregnancy

Ensuring the safety of your workouts is essential when you’re expecting. It’s important to listen to your body, make modifications as needed, and avoid exercises that put excess strain on your joints or compromise your balance. Safe workouts during pregnancy prioritize exercises that promote stability, proper alignment, and controlled movements.

Strength training during pregnancy can be safe and effective – provided you are receiving guidance from a pre and post natal exercise specialist. After all, parenting is heavy work – you might as well be ready for the challenge!

Final Thoughts

Congratulations on taking the proactive step of considering prenatal strength training as part of your pregnancy fitness journey. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine, especially if you have any specific concerns or medical conditions. By following prenatal weightlifting guidelines, focusing on the benefits of prenatal strength training, incorporating pregnancy exercise routines, and engaging in diastasis recti and pelvic floor exercises, you’ll be well on your way to a fit and healthy pregnancy.

So, lace up those sneakers, grab your dumbbells, barbells or kettlebells and embrace the empowering journey of strength training during pregnancy. Your body and your baby will thank you!