Recently Pregnant and wondering if you should continue your fitness routine? We’re here to let you know don’t wonder, just do! Everyone’s body is different but as long as your doctor approves, exercise during pregnancy is highly recommended. Going through Labor is one of the most physically challenging things a body can take on. Not to mention the 10 months leading up to giving birth! Here are a couple lessons I learned during this process, and a couple of exercises that subbed in often.
Pushups: Personally I lost quite a bit of strength here as that weight added to my body. I also got dizzy or rushed out by getting fully horizontal. Modify by going to the bench for pushups, burpee’s, frog hops. Not everyone is like this, many I’ve trained were able to stay on the floor but went to their knees.
Q: can you do situps and plank during pregnancy?
A: yes, up until you find it discomfortable or you notice a peaking in the center of your stomach. General recommendation is up to second trimester aka 12 weeks. I was able to up to 25 weeks, then I noticed the peaking in my stomach indicating the beginning of diastasis Recti the separation of your rectus abdominals. For me keeping core strength as long as possible has helped support my back. Keeping back pain at bay until the 9th month. Obliques can be worked all the way up to birth. General rule of thumb, listen to the body if it feels wrong or bad, stop doing it.
Exercise alternative for aggressive core movements:
Can I do exercises on my back?
Yes, around 28 weeks it is not recommended that you sleep on your back for you restict the blood flow through the Vena Cava vein. The Main vessel moving blood from the lower body/ fetus back to your heart. The amount of time you spend on your back doing an exercise for example bench press is not long enough to cause a threat. Sleeping on your back can be hours at a time.
Can you do other power movements aka squat, cleans, pullups?
Yes: if you have been doing these movement up until getting pregnant you can continue on your regular strength pattern… unless you’re prepping to compete, let’s put that competitive edge on the bench for awhile.
Yes: even if you are new. If you haven’t ever strength trained and decide to start in your late second to third trimester certain modifications can be made.
Adjustments to squats:
depending on your back health and how many weeks along you are continue as usual. Personal opinion stick with back squats, not front squats. If you feel your back engaging too much, move to a box squat, you can also adjust the amount of weight. Again every woman is different, and it depends on how far along you are. I’ve worked with a number of pregnant woman who I watched increase their back squat strength during pregnancy. The squat is a traditional birthing position, so feeling strong in a squat could aid you during labor. Also pay attention to pelvic ligament loosening, if it doest feel good modify with lighter weight or position. Our ligaments are being loosened by a couple of hormones released during pregnancy, this is a good thing allowing the body to expand as needed to accommodate. The loose ligaments also but us at risk for loose joints… strong muscles can help you not experience an injury, but conscious movement is very necessary during these 10 months of pregnancy.
Cleans: I personally didn’t have to modify, except strength a little… just work around that belly
Pullups: With assisted bands you can continue. It was one of my goals to be able to keep doing these unassisted… I found the full lengthening of my torso to be a bit too much stretch on my stretching belly, so I had to add a skinny black band giving me that little help to keep at it.
Other Modifications: TRX pullups, horizontal pullup
Running/ jumping: I was able to keep this up to a moderate level up until the 8th month… My biggest discomfort with box jumps was I felt like I needed a sports bra for my stomach
. So I would hold the belly. Running was more like a fast jog/ waddle, but doable. I only did it the little bit it showed up in programing. You can always jump on the rower, bike or ski erg for alternative movements. Skater’s were doable the whole time for me.
Here are a few exercises I repeated regularly
Swiss ball glute thrusters
weighted bird dog or bird dog rows
straight leg donkey kick for glute max, used a band until pelvic ligament loosening.
squats, many forms back squat, sumo, squat to med ball
most upper body movements didn’t need to change, push press, cleans, triple crush, bent over rows, bench press( I did need to put feet on the bench for bench press), floor press, deadlifts (went lighter)
As the weight increases in our mid section this also increases pull on our lower spine, putting our back in a state of Lordosis. Pelvic tilts are a must do exercise throughout pregnancy, but tilting your tummy back is not a natural or very comfortable movement. The extra focus I put on strengthening my glutes helped keep my ever weakening core intact as well as counter pulled that Lordosis. I could feel how this kept back pain at bay right up to the end.
If you have any fear about continuing an exercise routine while pregnant, you shouldn’t and I hope this information can inspire you to keep at it so you can have a healthy pregnancy and solid recover after giving birth! Number one rule, listen to your body. Ease up if it feels wrong.
3x Chair Hang (Grasp pull up bar with OH grip, pull up legs so quads are parallel to floor/legs in 90 degree angle; slightly tip pelvis up towards ribs; breath in deeply and exhale slowly through nose 3x's)
Standing Lateral Line QL Stretch(while standing, place right foot behind left side of body past left leg; stretch right arm over head to left side of body -arching right side out; Take 3 breaths, then switch sides)
AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
10 x DB thrusters (explosive)
10 x jump squat
20 x mountain climber (10 each leg)
20 x jump lunge (10 each leg)
10 x V sit ups
10 x burpee
(complete 4, 5 min sets (1 min rest between), start each circuit where you finished the last one.)
- 30 Sec Side Plank (L side)
- 5 x push ups
- 30 sec Side Plank (R side)
(transition into each exercise without rest and without lowering your body to the ground)
Aloha ALL, Coach Ryan here to put out some tips on the "Absolutes of the Barbell Back Squat ''. My goal is to provide you, the mountain athlete with the knowledge and support to set yourself up success in gaining strength while back squatting and prevent injury. I wanted to clear the myth that the Barbell Back Squat is for "LEG DAY", well it actually focuses and depends on the stability and strength of your core area. Now here are some tips to set up under the bar, position your body and move efficiently while squatting.
1. Barbell height should be at armpit level. Many times individuals will set bar height too high then it becomes a calf raises or tippy toe off the rack. This wastes strength needed in the movement itself, instability throughout the body and an unsafe position.
2. Create a solid-stable core position when unracking the barbell. Brace core by taking a short breath into the stomach and pushing the abdominal wall out.
3. Body Position: Hands are generally placed outside the shoulders, bar is right at base of neck along the upper trapezius and along the shoulder. This is known as the high bar position. Common mistakes are bar too high on the neck and creates discomfort to lifters. Elbow along the side of the ribcage and point down to the floor. Feet are generally slightly outside the shoulder toes pointed forward. Toes may be angled out slightly for different body types to support a great depth in squat.
4. Getting off the rack. With a braced core, the lifter will place feet under the bar and maintain position as outlined in step 3. Because the bar will be lower than the chest it will create a "lifter wedge". This is where you will be in neutral spine position and braced core to drive the bar up and off rack. Lifter will maintain a braced core and take 2 steps back off of the rack. Just 2, Just enough to clear rack j-hooks. Many times we take too many steps off the rack again waiting for strength needed in the actual movement.
5. The Movement. Lifters is now off the rack, while performing the Valsalva maneuver, breathing in, pressing the abdominal wall out, holding breath. This will brace the core area. Lifters will lower hips and chest at the same rate of speed. Smooth and controlled. Hips will open, the backside will go back, lifters will maintain that postural integrity with a neutral spine. Weight on the feet should be equally distributed onto the "tripod foot". This is very important. Common mistakes or improper coaching cues are to place weight in the heels. Maintain the equal weight through the "tripod foot". Lifters should be having the mindset of pushing feet through the floor throughout the lift. Barbell is lowered until knees and hips are parallel with a hip hinge and bending of knees. All body types are different. Parallel positions will look slightly different for everyone. On the ascent while driving the "tripod foot" through the floor and maintaining a braced core by using the Valsalva technique, the lifter will ascend from the bottom parallel position and on the way up the lifter cna release breath. During the push the drive should come through the feet to the posterior chain, focusing on being upright with glutes really powering the lift. Many mistakes are that glutes are not "fired" or contracted and this lift becomes a heavy load on the low back and quadriceps.
TAKEAWAYS...focus on setup, body position, toe angle, tripod foot, hip hinge, creating torque, and postural integrity
Stay tuned for the next session with Coach and his movement reviews and disciplines of strength coach!
As ski fit is coming to a close it does not mean that your training has to be over. I am a firm believer in training year round and consistency lowers your chance of injury and increases your performance in sport. The sport maintenance classes we offer focus on what sports are in session and the program flows nicely if you are skiing, biking or hiking. It is important to keep your core strong and all your other muscle groups! This workout is an example of a sport maintenance class! It starts with some good movements and right into Curtis P which is a great total body exercise. Gets your butt, core and upper body firing. Then we move into some single leg work which is really good to alleviate compensations through the winter. We then end with a quick work capacity hit which is really good because we don’t get the anaerobic hits we need during the winter sports. We end with a good core crusher!