During pregnancy you may have a lot of questions and concerns on how you should/can train, and rightly so because you do need to change and adapt certain things so that you’re keeping yourself and your +1 as healthy as possible. As with most training advice, there can be a lot of differing opinions however, even more so with this topic.
So here’s our help sheet that can answer a few of the questions you might have and guide you towards what kind of changes you need to make with your training during each trimester. If you have any concerns you should consult with your doctor and midwife before continuing with any training 🙂
1st Trimester 0-12 weeks
You are able to train to the intensity and lift the weights that you were before pregnancy, however you may feel dizziness when changing positions from lying/sitting to standing, so change position slowly.
2nd Trimester 13-27 weeks
You will want to avoid lying on your back as this can reduce the flow of blood back to the heart and lowering the blood and oxygen supply to the baby, lying on your side during the cool down is best.
Reduce your weights by 5% in first half of trimester and a further 5% in second half of trimester
You may start to notice postural changes and changes in stability, if so it’s best to adapt out exercises involving balance like lunges and leg drives by using TRX handles or poles for stability.
You have increased relaxin which is a hormone that softens the connective tissues, especially at joints, and will make you slightly more prone to injury through over-stretching of muscles. You will be able to stretch further than you have been able to do before, but avoid doing this and again use stability aids if you need to. Avoid touching toes, crucifix stretch and twisting.
Your maximal work capacity will reduce by 20-25% due to increased oxygen consumption so you will need to reduce the intensity of your work out at the weeks go by.
You may find it harder to breathe as your uterus increases and pushes your diaphragm further into your chest, so take more rest
Your total energy requirements increase, so you need to consume more calories as a result, keep this healthy.
Keep your core body temperature down as much as possible while training. Drink plenty of water and keep to light fitting clothes.
3rd Trimester 28-40 weeks
All of the above factors remain the same, and will steadily increase.
Reduce weights by a further 5-10% in this trimester and avoid lifting weights overhead, bodyweight movements will mostly become challenging enough, there is no need to apply extra resistance unless completely comfortable.
Relaxin will continue to steadily increase, avoid touching toes, crucifix stretching and twisting.
Your maximal work capacity will reduce further due to increased oxygen consumption so you will need to further reduce the intensity or your workout. You will still be getting the benefit from steady exercise while doing so.
You will still find it more difficult to breathe as your uterus increases and pushes your diaphragm further into your chest, so take more rest.
There you have it, there are absolutely ways for you to carry on training and maintaining a good level of health and fitness during this time, and can really help you to bounce back once you’re ready to do so afterwards. Again, follow any additional advice from your doctor or midwife and you will stay as healthy as possible through this time 🙂