According to experts
Many mother’s will tell you that working out during pregnancy has not only benefited them during the strenuous process of labour, but it also helped them get back into shape post pregnancy.
Everyone is different, so finding the right level of intensity that works best for you is key. Knowing what to avoid is also part of a healthy pregnancy and team at Les Mills studio believe it’s all about maintenance and it’s best to consult your doctor before taking up a new workout. Remember to drink plenty of water during exercise and stop immediately if you ever feel dizzy or uncomfortable.
Here is what else you need to keep in mind.
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Exercises to avoid during pregnancy
- Exercises that position you on your back after the first trimester, because this position can hinder blood flow to and from the heart.
- Exercise that may cause trauma to the abdominal area – now’s the time to give up your kickboxing, at least until the baby’s born.
- Exercising in high heat environments – wear loose, comfortable clothing to class, preferably with layers that can be removed.
- Long periods of stationary or motionless standing, as this can cause changes in blood pressure.
- Any exercise that may cause loss of balance, or put you at risk of a fall.
Exercise adjustments during pregnancy
- Modify your core training whenever possible so that you avoid lying flat on your back. You can do this by supporting yourself on your elbows (ensuring you keep the chest lifted), rolling over to do hover or plank work or embracing four-point kneeling.
- Reduce intensity whenever you, and your doctor, think you should.
- Chances are your range of motion is eventually going to change, making it uncomfortable to twist and jump, so just take it easy and really respect what your body is telling you.
Classes you can do
BODYBALANCE™ can be started for the first time during pregnancy and is a great option for expectant mothers looking to make healthy lifestyle changes.
During BODYBALANCE try to wriggle through your poses and make certain you are not too aggressive with your stretches – the hormones released during pregnancy can loosen up your joints. Stop immediately if you ever feel dizzy.
If you’re keen to maintain muscle tone during pregnancy BODYPUMP™ is a great option, as it uses lighter weights and a reduced range of motion compared to other resistance training modalities. When it is no longer comfortable to lie flat on your back in a BODYPUMP workout turn your bench into an incline bench by stacking more risers at one end (your instructor will show you how to do this).
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Working your core in CXWORX™ should be safe in the first and second trimester and has been shown to minimize disruption of the abdominal wall during pregnancy, but there are a few adjustments you should make when you can. When it’s no longer comfortable to lie flat on your back you should switch to working your abs with 4-point kneeling, supporting yourself on your elbows (ensuring you keep the chest lifted) or rolling over to do hover or plank.
If you’ve already been doing BODYATTACK™ and BODYSTEP™ it should be safe to continue while pregnant, but stick to the low-impact options. During BODYSTEP, decrease the number of risers you use and make sure you have a stable base of support by ensuring your foot is always planted firmly on the step and keeping a slightly wider base of support.
During RPM™ you should modify the intensity by taking regular breaks, reducing resistance and avoiding the standing positions as you feel the need to.
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