Being a married woman, contemplating having children one day, I've often thought about the do's and don't's of lifting while pregnant. And as it turns out, I'm not alone. I've received several emails and comments on the same subject. So I reached out to one of my favorite lifters Kelsey Horton. If you follow Kelsey on instagram, you know that she is a mommy and you've seen her videos of her lifting. Honestly I learned so much from her and I'm so excited to share it with you.
Tell me a bit about yourself
I am a mommy of 2, wifey and nurse. I first started training for powerlifting in March of 2013 and competed shortly after. Prior to that, I basically just ran for training.
Did you train while pregnant?
Yes and no. With my first pregnancy in 2010, I was in nursing school and to be honest, I hardly exercised at all. With my most recent pregnancy, I set a goal to train 3-4 times a week and stuck to it fairly well.
- Talk to your OB or midwife about your game plan with regards to training during your pregnancy. There is absolutely no substitute for sound medical advice. I was fortunate enough to have an OB who was so supportive of my training.
- Set realistic goals for your training. For me, it was just making sure I got to the gym at least 3x/week.
- I cannot stress this last tip enough, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!! There will be times you don't feel like training and inevitably you will miss a day or two or three... Don't beat yourself up about it. You are, after all, growing a tiny human inside of you.
I also spoke with Dr. Jennifer Case of Renaissance Periodization she gave us a pretty comprehensive list of do's and dont's. And always consult with your Physician /OBGYN to make sure you have their full permission for all activity while pregnant.
Benefits of exercise while pregnantImprove circulation
- Prevents painful & uncomfortable swelling
- Improves efficiency of lymphatic system
- Enhances nutrient delivery to maternal and fetal tissues
- Happier and more content
- Decrease incidence of depression
- May result in an easier pregnancy, labor and delivery
- Frequent water breaks 16 ounces every hour of exercise
- Stop exercise when fatigue
- Increased caloric intake to compensate for exercise and pregnancy
- 5-10 minute warmup & 5-10 minute cool down
- Moderate intensity exercise 3-7 days per week for 15 – 30 minutes
- Should be able to carry on a light conversation during exercise
- Resistance training is recommended
- Target Abdominal muscles Back muscles Pelvic floor muscles
- Focus on Proper breathing during exercise
- 12-15 a repetitions of each exercise ( No 1rm testing)
- Exhaustive exercise
- Contact sports
- Activities with high fall risks or abdominal trauma
- Rapid changes in direction (increased fall risk)
- Full sit ups throughout pregnancy
- Supine position after 3rd month of pregnancy
- Activity that requires extended motionless standing
- Strenuous exercise during first trimester
- Strenuous exercise during hot, humid weather
- Exercise at altitudes above 6000 feet
- Do not exercise once severely fatigue
Stop all activity and seek medical attention if:
- Shortness of breath
- Vaginal bleeding
- Chest pain
- Amniotic fluid leakage
- Decreased fetal movement
- Significant calf pain, swelling, or muscle weakness