While pregnancy, the baby’s health and safety come to the first place. Modern moms are concerned about how to guarantee their future baby’s safety. But at the same time, not forgetting about themselves. A lot of them also show interest in whether they are allowed to continue physical exercises. To be more exact, they worry about how not to hurt the future baby doing the pregnancy workouts.
See also: Healthy diet for overweight pregnancy.
In fact, pregnancy workouts play an essential role in future moms’ life, as well as affects a baby. At first, you need to take into account that every case is individual. All in all, fitness for pregnant is not only a perfect way to raise mood. It is also an opportunity to maintain your and baby’s health. Physical activity while this special for every woman period is highly desirable! Let’s get to know more about the safe workout programs for future moms.
Basic safe pregnancy workouts in different trimesters
It is proved that correctly chosen exercises have a positive effect on baby’s development. They reduce the risk of hypoxia, improve the heartbeat. Besides, exercising reduces the stress risk and even the tendency to gaining weight. So why not devote these nine months to a healthy lifestyle?
Benefits of pregnancy workouts for future moms.
- Gives birth faster and without difficulties. The body is quickly healed.
- Less likely to suffer from nausea and morning sickness.
- Has a strong muscular corset. Feels confident on her legs without the risks of osteoporosis (bone fractures) and joints dislocation.
- Maintains good posture and does not experience back pain.
- Has prepared pelvic floor muscles, which is essential for fast childbirth.
- Less likely to suffer from varicose veins, edema, and high blood pressure, diabetes, shortness of breath.
- Falls asleep faster and feels more energy and strength.
Pregnancy workouts in the 1st trimester
- Stretching the legs. This basic exercise can and should be done in the first trimester. Weight gain and changes in circulation during pregnancy can cause cramps in the legs. Such signs of pregnancy appear mainly in the later periods. But if you are engaged in stretching from the first weeks of pregnancy, these unpleasant symptoms can be avoided.
- Side lunges with a jump. During the pregnancy, it is essential to work on the strength, cardio, and flexibility. Side lunges with a jump satisfy all mentioned above items. Lunge to the side with your right foot, bend your left knee. Bouncing, change legs – lunge left and right squat for a jump.
- Squats. Squats strengthen muscles and increase flexibility. They also help prepare the body for childbirth. Put your legs shoulder-width apart, straighten your back. Sit down as if you were sitting on a chair. Your lower legs should remain straight.
- Walking. This is the most popular exercise for pregnant women. And the simplest. You can go anywhere, anytime. Walking strengthens muscles, especially on the legs. Besides, it has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. Wear comfortable shoes and avoid a bumpy road.
- Exercise “Mountaineer.” In the second trimester of pregnancy, a woman may feel better than in the first. Morning nausea and exhaustion go away, energy appears. This is a great time to continue pregnancy workouts on legs endurance. The Mountaineer exercise will increase muscle strength and guarantee good cardio performance.
- Exercises for triceps. Exercises for hands are also important because after giving birth you will have to carry a baby. Such exercises can be done with special rubber loops, and you can replace them with light dumbbells.
- Walking in place with weight. Spread your legs slightly wider than shoulder width, take dumbbells with low weight. Start walking by lifting your knees. After warming up, start lifting them higher. These pregnancy workouts have a good effect on the cardiovascular system, strengthens the arms and legs.
- Push-ups from the surface. Push-ups are not the easiest exercise, and when your belly has increased and gained weight, it becomes even more difficult. To make it easier for yourself, push from an elevated surface. Do 12-15 repetitions in one approach.
Pregnancy workouts in the 3rd trimester
- Stretching “Butterfly”. In the third trimester, stretching is also essential but in a sparing way. Sit on the floor, bend your knees and place them so that the feet touch each other. Hands on your knees. To additionally stretch your back, straighten one leg and turn the body in the opposite direction.
- Power walking. Relax your shoulders, arms bend at an angle of slightly less than 90 degrees. While fast walking, swing them back and forth actively. This exercise helps prevent joint pains. Do it as actively as your body allows.
- Exercise “Penguin”. This exercise strengthens the legs and intimate muscles. Stand on sports rubber loops, feet shoulder-width apart. Lift one leg to the side, keep the other straight. Then lift the other leg. Repeat 10-15 times.
- Exercise bike. During the third trimester, the load on the legs increases and the muscles need to be maintained in a “working” state. Pregnancy workouts on the exercise bike help to reduce the legs swelling and relieve the back and muscles load.
Pilates – perfect for future moms!
Among the widespread kinds of fitness for women bearing a child the safest is pilates. It is such kind of pregnancy workouts where specific muscles, such as abdominal press and pelvic floor are trained. Analyzing statistics and medical researches, we provide you with proven facts of the pilates benefits for pregnant.
- This kind trains the breathing system, what helps during the childbirth.
- During exercises, more oxygen coming into the bloodstream.
- Pilates helps to keep fit during the pregnancy, it is an excellent prevention of the excess weight.
- Helps with joint and back pain.
- Is prevention of varicose veins.
- Not less essential bounce is the preparation to the childbirth. During the Pilates exercises, the necessary body parts are involved.
- At least, this kind of sport guarantees joint elasticity and muscles strengthening.
There are some contradictions when it is not recommended to do Pilates.
- Diseases connected with the work of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
- Complications in pregnancy: toxicosis, weight gain, swelling.
- Risk of miscarriage.
- Low placenta previa.
- Chronic or pregnancy-related problems associated with the work of the motor system.
If you are planning to master the pilates for pregnant, then the 1st trimester is a perfect time to begin. During the exercises, you need to analyze your feelings. There should be no discomfort or muscle pain after practicing it. Unpleasant feelings during pregnancy workouts – the reason to interrupt it.
See also: Top 5 pilates magic circles for workouts
You should avoid intensive exercise. The rhythm is constant, moderate, breathing is smooth. There should not occur fatigue after training. Actually, 3 times a week is a healthy program for a pregnant woman. That is according to doctors’ recommendations. It is enough to perform 8-10 exercises in 1-2 approaches. The training program is determined according to your own well-being.
Pilates complex in the first trimester
If a woman was engaged in sports before pregnancy, in the 1 trimester her exercising a little differs. The load is being decreased gradually, to 2 trimester.
For those who didn’t train before, and decided to try this kind of sports, it is better to start from the 2nd trimester. Up to 12 weeks, the condition is especially unstable. The slightest increase in load or careless movement can lead to miscarriage(!)
Pregnant women can perform the following Pilates complex in 1 trimester.
- Movement for breath. Feet shoulder width apart – stand on the whole feet. Hands are free along the body. Rhythmic breathing: breast and stomach separately. It is necessary to imagine that you first inflate a balloon in the chest, and then in the stomach. While inhaling, try to stretch out in full growth – as if to get off the ground;
- Warm up for neck muscles. The head is turned to the right-left, forward and back. Turning without throwing the head. The shoulders should not move;
- The lungs development. Hands to the side at the level of the shoulders while inhaling – while exhaling returning to the starting position;
- Warm up for limbs. Starting position – based on the knees and palms. While inhaling – the hand parallel to the horizontal surface rises. The leg, which corresponds to the hand, is straightened and put back. While exhaling – go to the starting position. On the next breath, raise the other hand and pull out the corresponding leg;
- Cat. The starting position, as in the previous exercise. Inhale – spine bent up, exhale – return to the starting position;
- Saw. It is necessary to sit on the mat, legs and arms put to the sides, the back is straight. Twist the body left and right.
For the rest, the following exercise during pregnancy workouts is suggested. From the support on the palms and knees sit on the feet, while the body is lowered down, the back muscles relax as much as possible. The arms are pulled out in front of you.
Pilates in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters
During later trimesters, similar exercises are done, but specific ones are added to them. They help the child to take the correct position before the birth. In addition, during exercise for rest, sitting down on your knees, be sure to keep them so that the stomach does not shrink.
To fix the pelvic presentation, do such movements.
- Stand in the knee-elbow position to 15 minutes.
- Lie on each side for 10 minutes, carry out turning, gently rolling over the stomach.
The following exercises correct transverse presentation.
- Depending on the place child’s head, lie on the opposite side, repeating his pose, but do not let the knees be close to the chest.
- Performing a deep breath, roll over the back. Then lie on the other side – the leg on which you lie, straighten.
Water aerobics – safe and relaxing!
The future moms while expecting a child more often chose the swimming pool for pregnancy workouts then the gym. How useful water aerobics is while pregnancy and when is it allowed to start exercising?
Benefits of water aerobics for the future moms.
- Smooth and gradual load. The water is regarded as the most favorable environment for physical exercises. H2O maintains the whole body so you can exercise with any weight. But additionally, it gives resistance. It is necessary to overcome it, equally straining all muscles. What is the result? Even beginners can cope with it, additionally gaining body flexibility.
- Breathing activities. Every pregnant woman wants to learn how to hold your breath properly and control it during childbirth. Aquafitness is considered to be the only way to understand this technique.
- Avoid stress. Wash up – it means to calm down, take a shower – relax. Can you imagine how relaxing then the whole pool will be? Training in the water removes exhaustion, anxiety, and stress without any medicine.
- Changing the fetus position. Aqua aerobics helps the baby from a transverse or gluteal presentation to the correct. And this is possible even in the last weeks before the birth of the child! You will feel the value of training during childbirth. After fitness in the pool, the baby moves the birth canal more easily.
- Unloading the muscles and spine. While pregnancy the load on future mom’s musculoskeletal system increases in 2 times. She has to support 2 weights at once – hers and her baby. Water aerobics exercises during pregnancy workouts will relieve muscle spasm. Besides, it will return normal blood flow, evenly distribute the load on the spine.
- Keeping fit. Not to gain excess weight and keep the tissue tonus – is also a goal of aqua aerobics. And it copes with it very well.
Aqua aerobics exercising complex
In the first and the third trimester, the exercises are more sparing. Pay a special attention to breathing and aqua yoga. In the middle of your pregnancy workouts do stretching and muscle strengthening.
The temperature of the water in the swimming pool should not fall to +24 degrees. The training usually consists of the warm-up, fitness itself and complex for stretching. It is better to train under the supervision of an experienced instructor in a small group of future mothers. Take time while practicing all new exercises. Take a one-piece swimsuit, hat and rubber shoes with you. Doctors claim that you should not stand discomfort! Tired, cold or hungry? Finish your workout earlier. Basic exercises in the water include the following.
- Imitation of sports walking in the water. Bouncing, change the legs position and wave your hands in the opposite leg direction.
- Swimming frog in a horizontal position on the water with the support of a floating hoop. Lift your legs to the water and perform movements.
- An underwater balance. Resting on one leg, make a move to the side with the other. Accompany it with the hand movement in another direction.
- Drift. Lie on the floating hoop with your back. Lower your legs to the bottom of the pool. Inhale and exhale, allowing your legs to rise to the surface. Stretch the abs and hips, wait for 1-4 breaths, slowly lower the legs down.
Gymnastics using the fitball
For women expecting a child, a slight physical load is only beneficial. One of the variants for such a gymnastics is exercising with fitball. This pregnancy workouts are gaining popularity all around the world.
What is fitball? It is a gymnastic ball, which is designed for fitness. It allows you to perform a variety of physical exercises. The ball has a convenient form, it enables you to withstand substantial loads. You can safely lie and even jump on it. In fact, the ball is an excellent fitness device. But it is especially useful for pregnant women who want to keep their bodies in good shape.
Surely, before you start pregnancy workouts, you need to consult with your gynecologist. Although, as practice shows, the ball for pregnant women has practically no contraindications. Many gynecologists recommend using it before birth. In addition, exercises with fitball do not cause muscle pain. Besides, unlike strength training, they do not build muscle mass. All exercises should be done slowly, and maintain a moderate pace.
Benefits of gymnastics with fitball for future moms.
- Unloading the spine from constant tension. Sitting on the ball, correct posture is formed. Besides, the muscles surrounding the spine are relaxed.
- Significant improvements in the functioning of the respiratory system. The vessels are strengthened and the heart rhythm is normalized.
- Activation of the circulatory system. It allows to avoid stagnation in the blood circulation and supply oxygen to all organs.
- Thanks to exercises on the ball for pregnant women, you can develop your pelvic muscles. It helps to avoid damages and injuries during childbirth.
- Exercises on fitball produce a positive effect on the urogenital system and kidneys diseases prevention. As well as they prevent the uterine prolapse.
- There is a significant strengthening of the abdominal and back muscles.
- Exercises that are performed on all fours are also beneficial. They allow you to establish blood circulation in the uteroplacental area and kidneys.
- Good prevention of hemorrhoids. It is especially important for pregnant women.
You can use the fitball as an alternative to a usual chair. It will allow you to get a relaxing effect even while watching TV or reading a book. And you can cope with back pain just swinging on the ball. The pregnancy workouts with ball is also an excellent helper during childbirth. It can significantly reduce pain and gives you the opportunity to save strength. And short jumps on the ball cause additional blood flow to the pelvic organs.
Basic exercises using the fitball
It is not necessary to perform complex pregnancy workouts to achieve an effective result. But it is enough to learn a few simple exercises. And you do not need to do a lot of difficult repetitions and drive yourself to seventh sweat. But do each exercise option only 3 or 4 times.
It is necessary to start exercising on early trimester. Gradually increasing the time to 10 minutes a day. But before, it is necessary to worm up the muscles for 5 minutes. In such a way, you will avoid stretching and prepare the body for exercise. To do this, it is enough to make a couple of strokes with your hands. Go on a place, stretch from side to side and perform bowing with your head.
Gymnastics on the ball involves several positions.
- Lying down.
- Sitting down.
- Standing on all fours.
Note a couple of simple exercises that are basic and have substantial benefits for the body.
- “Spring” – performed while sitting and suggests flexible movements, keeping your feet on the floor. To complicate the exercise, you can raise your hands up.
- The “butterfly” is performed lying down and serves to work with the internal and external muscles of the hips. From the lying position, the ball is wrapped by legs, and the squeezing movements are performed.
- Exercises for hand muscles. Starting position – sitting on fitball. Sit up straight, take up to 1 kg of dumbbells in your hands. Raise your arms with dumbbells above your head, bending your elbows slightly. Raise your arms to the sides and up, not forgetting to lower them down. Repeat exercises 6-8 times in 3-4 approaches.
- Exercises for chest muscles. Starting position – sitting on fitball. Keep your hands with dumbbells bent at chest level. Slowly spread your arms to the sides without stretching your elbows, then return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise 10-15 times.
- Exercises for leg and buttocks muscles. Starting position – lying on your back, legs on a fitball. Bend one leg at the knee and raise so that it is parallel to the floor. Slowly perform circular movements of the foot, first in one direction and then in the other. After that, repeat the exercise for the right leg.
- Exercises for the back. Get on all fours, leaning on fitball. Try to relax the back and waist muscles. Do slight wiggles back and forth. This will help relieve tension from the back muscles and unpleasant feelings.
You can do physical cardio exercises at home, or use the opportunity to attend group classes. These classes are modified, take place with the strict supervision of medical professionals. And besides, they give you an additional, pleasant communication with the same as you are pregnant women.
There are many special groups in the gyms. But, women who did not practice workouts before pregnancy should consult a doctor before starting cardio classes. It is necessary that the coach, to have the necessary training and be certified for this kind of training. If the coach has no such experience, you should not go to this gym. Find someone who knows the specifics of training with this group of women.
During the pregnancy, there is an increase in blood volume by 40-50%. Besides, an increase in stroke volume by 40% in the cardiovascular system. There is a steady increase in the frequency of heart contractions. The work of the heart is reduced by 25% at the time of birth. Therefore, it is necessary during pregnancy to stimulate and maintain a system that provides the entire body with nutrition. To do this, there is a special cardio training for pregnant.
Recommendations for a home cardio workout
Exercises of this type should be performed 2-3 times a week. Chose days for yourself, it will make you be mobile and regulate the time for other pregnancy workouts.
- It is better to start your pregnancy workouts from the slow walking.
- The next part, and the main. It is the load on muscles, using the light dumbells. It lasts for 40 minutes. The number of exercises on average is 10. There should be selected exercises for the muscles of the body: back, chest, calf, triceps, and others. With an average load and intensity of movement, you need to repeat 10 times. In the intervals between approaches (from 1 to 3) be sure to have a rest.
- In the third training period exercises for the abs should take place. They can be done lying on your back, on your side and standing. The exercise lasts no more than 20 minutes. The movements are smooth and breath control is necessary. You should do just two sets of 10 repetitions. For pregnant women, abdominal muscles are especially important. Therefore abdominal exercises are necessary.
- You should finish your workout better with a slow cardio walking or stretching. It should last no more than 10 minutes.
Exercise bike workouts
At first, you should understand the difference between doing fitness on the exercise bike and usual cycling. It is better to avoid riding a bike during pregnancy. This causes strong vibrations when driving over uneven roads. Besides, the risk of falling from a bike is very high. In addition, the vertical position contributes to constant pressure on the stomach.
Fitness activities on the exercise bike increase the elasticity of legs and pelvic muscles. Besides, they improve blood circulation and metabolism. And actively saturate the mother and child’s bodies with oxygen. The load on the spine, back and abdomen is very low.
Recommendations for the exercise bike training
- It is highly important to choose the exercise bike model. If a woman is constantly experiencing heaviness and pain in the lumbar area, choose a model with a back. You can lean back on it during exercise – this will reduce the load on the spine. Adjusting the wheel and seat will allow you to sit and rotate the pedals as comfortably as possible.
- Pay attention to the trainer’s electronic equipment. The display should show the speed of movement, distance. As well as the heart rate and calories burned during pregnancy workouts. Constantly monitor your heart rate, try not to exceed the recommended rates.
- The obligate condition for the effectiveness of your workout is strict following the training schedule. The optimal duration of workout for pregnant women is 25 minutes. It is recommended to conduct 3 pieces of training per week. This method allows you to maintain the elasticity of the muscles. At the same time leaves enough time for rest.
- The room where you exercise should be well ventilated. A woman’s body needs a large amount of clean air during pregnancy. No need to go out for training. It will do more harm than benefits to your health.
To conclude, remember that your movements should not allow pressure to the abdominal area. All physical exercises that require hard work of the abdominal muscles should be excluded from your training complex.
Fitness load in different pregnancy trimesters
As it is considered to divide the period of pregnancy into 3 trimesters you need to take into account some changes. The level of load should be adjusted. The complexes of recommended physical exercises should change.
- 1st trimester: physical activity is strictly contraindicated. This is due to a strong change in hormonal levels and the restructuring of the whole organism. Active exercising significantly increases the risk for the normal development of pregnancy. It can cause miscarriage. Workout on the exercise bike should be replaced by long walks or yoga.
- 2nd trimester: fitness during this period is directed at maintaining the good physical shape. Intense exercise for weight loss and muscle gain are contraindicated. All workouts are carried out after approval by a doctor. Only doctor must determine the permissible level of physical activity and help you choose the right exercises.
- 3rd trimester: during the late stages of pregnancy there are strong changes in the female body. The abdomen increases. The pressure of the fetus on the internal organs constantly appears. Motor activity is sharply limited, the load on the spine increases significantly. Training on the exercise bike can be carried out only during normal pregnancy. But many doctors recommend avoiding such a load in general.
Running – only without exhaustion!
The early trimester of pregnancy is the most responsible because during this time the fetus is fixed in the womb. Considering this, future mothers prefer moderate exercises. They exclude exhausting running workouts.
Running is one of the most common aerobic loads that every human body needs. Under aerobic exercise, we understand the workout of the average degree of intensity. By practicing it, the consumption of large amounts of oxygen occurs. Oxygen is the main energy source for the motor muscle activity.
Running exercises have the following benefits for the future mother’s body.
- Moderate load helps to overcome the lumbar and articular areas pain. It also helps to avoid the general exhausting.
- An active lifestyle increases the chances of having healthy babies.
- It becomes possible to get rid of depressive and stressful feelings.
- Body saturation with oxygen that occurs in the running process. It has a beneficial effect on the fetus, reducing the possibility of womb hypoxia.
- Increases the possibility of preserving the beauty and slim body of the mother.
- It has a preventive effect against stretch marks after childbirth. That contributes to the improvement of the skin condition and tone.
- Excessive amounts of fluid are removed from the body, which prevents swelling.
Rules for running. How to run safely?
You have the purpose to gain the maximum benefits from running pregnancy workouts. To avoid the unpleasant consequences for health, it is important to follow some rules.
- The period of carrying a child is not the right time to make experiments. In case you did not practice any running exercises before pregnancy, you should not try it in such a responsible period. It is desirable to avoid such training until the baby is born. As a healthy and less challenging alternative to running, you can choose walking.
- In case you practiced jogging before pregnancy, it is necessary to consult the best obstetrician. After a thorough examination, he will be able to suggest whether it is possible to run during pregnancy. And what is more important, what effect it will have on baby’s health.
- In the running pregnancy workouts, it is essential to control the frequency of heartbeats contraction. Do not exceed the 60% of the pulse at rest. This applies to the first trimester of pregnancy. Starting from the second – this indicator should be 75% of the pulse at rest. The most gynecologists recommend avoiding running in the third trimester of pregnancy. It is in order to avoid bleeding, early birth or various kinds of complications.
- Particular importance should be given to the clothes choice for running. For pregnant women, such sportswear is represented by special underwear.
- For running pregnancy workouts, you should choose calm and safe places. Park areas are perfect for this. Not the best choice would be stuffy, crowded with people and with loud music gyms.
- Avoid areas along roads as exhaust produce the undesirable effect on immunity.
- It is important to choose suitable weather for jogging. Avoid the bright and scorching sun, which is dangerous in dehydration and sunstroke while pregnancy workouts. In order to avoid undesirable consequences, just observe enough drinking in the course of training. Also, undesirable time for running is in winter. As well as windy and rainy weather, since there is a high probability of hypothermia.
- Of course, you should avoid the exhaustion. Indicators of a properly performed run are a feeling of satisfaction and a cause of fatigue.
- It is important to carefully monitor the pulse and breathing. A special device – fitness tracker will perfectly cope with this task. When the pulse exceeds the allowable limits, it is necessary to slow down the run. It is including the early stages of pregnancy. After that go on walking.
- The duration of each training should be in a half-hour period.
- At slightest signs of indisposition in the form of nauseous urges, dizziness, painful feelings take measures. It is advisable to immediately stop training and contact your doctor.
Contradictions to running during pregnancy
The use of running for pregnant women is justified only when the mother feels good during the whole period of carrying the child. In cases of pregnancy with complications, loads of any type can significantly harm the health of the mother and baby. So before doing any workouts, first consult your doctor!
The most widespread pathologies not compatible with running loads are the following.
- The threat of pregnancy abortion or unplanned early childbirth.
- Kidney failure.
- High blood pressure.
- Disorders of the heart and blood vessels.
- Wrong fetus position in the womb.
- Feeling unwell, manifested in general weakness.
Running also becomes undesirable in case of multiple pregnancies. Then excessive loads are contraindicated for the maternal organism. Running, in addition to the mentioned advantages and benefits, has a downside. It is according to some researches. In the process of jogging, there is a blood rush to active muscle groups. And therefore the blood outflow from the fetus increases. That can significantly affect the development of the future baby.
Contraindications to physical exercises while pregnancy
This piece of advice is very essential. If the pregnant woman has any diseases, she must consult her doctor. Only he can set the possibility of doing sports and the intensity of training.
Physical load that you should avoid during pregnancy.
- Contact sports. (Hockey, boxing, football, basketball).
- Sports with an increased risk of injury. (Mountain skiing and snowboarding, water skiing, surfing, cycling, horse riding).
- “Hot” yoga.
In general, pregnancy workouts should be reduced. It is better to avoid too intense aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Some changes in a woman’s cardiovascular system occur during pregnancy. So it is not recommended to allow heart rate tracking to determine the load capacity. That is why the woman should evaluate her situation subjectively. She should train to a state of a slight fatigue, but not exhaustion.
Besides, during the pregnancy workouts, you need to drink a lot. Overheating and dehydration are strictly prohibited! You also need to be attentive to your feelings and stop training when any “dangerous” signs appear.