Fitness Friday: Exercising while pregnant
It’s Fitness Friday! Elaine from Oakland wrote in and asked this week’s question. Melinda and Elizabeth of Baby Boot Camp Los Angeles (Culver City and Marina Del Rey) offer some advice:
Q. What are some good prenatal exercises or modifications for regular exercises?
Baby Boot Camp® recommends modifications for women who are over 20 gestational weeks.
Although some women may need modifications sooner, it is important for women to listen to their ever-changing pregnant bodies. With a doctor’s okay, we recommend exercising while pregnant. Working out while pregnant increases energy, improves mood and posture, promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance and can help pregnant women sleep better!
All high impact exercises should be modified to low impact exercises. Meaning you should keep both feet on the ground.
It is important to remember that abdominal exercises are important while pregnant, however women should not execute exercises that involve twisting (such as bicycle) or doing anything that feels uncomfortable. After the first trimester, women will want to minimize lying on their backs, so as to not put pressure on the major vein that carries blood from your legs back up to the heart. This can cause nausea and dizziness.
Below are some pregnancy modifications:
- Modified push-up: come down to your knees and hands (a little wider than shoulder width), almost to a table-top position; lower down, flexing at your elbows and lowering your forehead to the floor. This modification will make room for your belly.
- Abdominal exercises: sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor; place your hands on your shins, round your back, and roll part way down, coming back up to straight back.
- Oblique: standing up; bring your knee to your side, while bringing your elbow to your knee, for a side crunch (remember this is not a twist).
- While performing leg lifts and/or lunges, to maintain proper balance, hold on to something for stability.