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Pregnancy exercises

Spotlight on:

Pregnancy Pilates

Swimming

AquaNatal

Walking

Pelvic Floor Exercises

 

When it comes to exercising during pregnancy there are quite a few golden rules that you need to follow, whatever the type of exercise you choose to do. That's where you'll find my FREE guide on how to keep exercise safe in pregnancy  invaluable, as you'll be able to apply all 15 of my top tips to many forms of exercise.

 

Download it from the top right

hand corner of this page!

 

What I'd like to give you here are my recommendations for what are some of the best forms of pregnancy exercises, alongside some words of caution and general advice.

 

Pilates: top pregnancy exercises #1

 

Why do it?

 

Pregnancy Pilates is particularly beneficial when it comes to the inevitable postural changes caused by the weight of your bump. It works on maintaining a tall posture and will help minimise back trouble. Pilates pregnancy exercises will keep your corset of deep abdominal muscles toned; this helps reduce pregnancy back pain, aid the postnatal recovery of your abdominals and pelvic floor, and tone your pregnancy tummy .

Pregnancy Pilates

What to watch out for

 

  • Do NOT go to mainstream Pilates classes unless the teacher is qualified to work with prenatal women and is able to adapt the moves accordingly. When expecting, exercises for pregnancy are always going to be the safest option.
     
  • Ensure that after the first trimester the Pilates moves you are given do not work the outer layer of abdominals (that's your six pack!) or the obliques (those are your waist muscles).
     
  • Focus on Pilates exercises which keep the posture strong and gently tone the deepest layer of abdominals. A qualified specialist will ensure that these are all pregnancy exercises.
     
  • Also, be sure to arm yourself with knowledge - my FREE Pregnancy Exercise Guide is ideal so that you are aware of what you can and can't do when it comes to pregnancy exercises.
     

Download it at the top right of this page

 

My online week-by-week pregnancy Pilates programme offers tailored, mum-to-be Pilates to keep you fit, strong and ache-free throughout pregnancy and beyond.

Want to give it a FREE try?

 

Swimming: top pregnancy exercises #2

 

Why do it?

 

The joy of swimming becomes ever more apparent as your pregnancy progresses. Not surprisingly, carrying round the added weight of your baby, as well as the postural changes caused by your growing bump, mean that many land-based forms of exercise - even those which are pregnancy exercises - can feel increasingly hard work as you near the end of your pregnancy. Swimming is one of the few pregnancy workouts which will give you a wonderfully liberating feeling of lightness and it is, of course, non-impact which means that you are doing your joints and your pelvic floor a big favour!

 

What to watch out for

 

  • Pelvic Girdle Pain (also known as Symphasis Pubis Diastasis) : if you start to suffer from PGP during pregnancy, then it is important that you do NOT do breast stroke as the wide movement performed with the legs will aggravate the problem.
     
  • If you are someone who holds tension in the neck and if you find that this problem is getting worse during pregnancy, then I would encourage you to avoid breast stroke as this stroke can place extra pressure in the neck region.
     
  • Once you are into your 2nd trimester, backstroke should be avoided as this could make you feel dizzy.
     
  • Other more general advice which is also relevant when it comes to swimming as one of my top pregnancy exercises can be found in my FREE Pregnancy Exercise Guide.

     

Download it at the top right of this page

 

For the perfect companion to swimming, try my online tailored week-by-week pregnancy Pilates programme for FREE.

 

pregnancy Pilates programme

AquaNatal: top pregnancy exercises #3

 

Why do it?

 

AquaNatal is one of the safest, most effective and relaxing pregnancy exercises - just be sure that it is taught by a specialist in pregnancy and post pregnancy exercise. It will enable you to do both cardio and resistance work without placing pressure on your joints, stressing your pelvic floor, or aggravating back pain. AquaNatal gives you a lovely sense of freedom and lightness as you and your baby grow and some sources suggest that it may help you have a shorter, active birth and reduce the chances of having an assisted delivery. In short, aquanatal is one of the best pregnancy workouts you can choose to do.

Aquanatal pregnancy exercise

What to watch out for

 

  • As your bump grows, vigorous sideways movements in the water are not a good idea, as the water will place pressure on your bump.
     
  • Make sure that the water you are exercising in is deep enough i.e. around bra line height. This will reduce impact and keep your joints and bump well supported.
     
  • If you develop pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy (also known as Symphasis Pubis Diastasis) then sideways movements in the water are contraindicated, as are exercises which involve taking the legs wide e.g. jumping jacks.
     
  • Do not confuse a standard AquaAerobics/AquaFit class with AquaNatal: an AquaNatal class should be taught by a specialist in pregnancy fitness and will, therefore, include pregnancy exercises.
     
  • Finally, make sure you are 100% clear on all the "dos and don'ts" of pregnancy exercise by getting hold of my FREE guide on how to keep exercise safe in pregnancy

 

Download it at the top right of this page

 

For the perfect companion to aquanatal, try my online tailored   week-by-week pregnancy Pilates programme for FREE.

 

 

Walking: top pregnancy exercises #4

 

Why do it?

 

I always say to mums-to-be and new mothers that being outdoors is good for the soul. Admittedly, it's probably not so good for the soul if you are surrounded by a spaghetti junction but if you have a town park, a country park, or farm land nearby, then exercising outdoors is most certainly good for one's mental wellbeing.

Given the huge changes that one's body is going through in pregnancy, it is not surprising that some of us can end up feeling a little low at times. Taking your pregnancy exercises outdoors into beautiful surroundings has been proven to help lift one's mood. So how about taking half an hour during your lunch break to take a brisk, invigorating walk? It really is one of the best pregnancy exercises you can do, especially if you combine it with a few sets of pelvic floor exercises (no one will know you're doing them!).

 

What to watch out for

 

  • Make sure that you focus on posture whilst taking your walk, as this will help reduce back pain and relieve any build up of tension in the neck and shoulders, caused by sitting at a desk.
     
  • Be sure to use proper walking shoes or trainers - no Ugg boots or high heels please!
     
  • Take a walk with a friend - it is safer and it is a lot more sociable.
     
  • If you develop pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy then walking is very likely to aggravate the condition and so you should stop walking as one of your chosen pregnancy exercises and consider taking up something like pregnancy Pilates.
     
  • Be sure to catch up on what you should and shouldn't be doing in the way of pregnancy exercises by getting hold of my FREE guide on how to keep exercise safe in pregnancy

 

Download it at the top right of this page

 

For the perfect companion to walking, try my online tailored week-by-week pregnancy Pilates programme for FREE.

 

Free 2 week pregnancy Pilates programme

PF exercises: top pregnancy exercises #5

Why do it?

 

Most of us don't think of Pelvic Floor Exercises as falling into the category of pregancy exercises, but the fact of the matter is that the pelvic floor is a hammock of muscles which effectively keeps our internal organs safely inside us. I frequently use the analogy of a shopping bag: it's not very glamorous but if the bottom of the shopping bag gives way, everything falls out... and in human terms this can equate to urinary incontinence or even a prolapse.

Pregnancy places a huge strain on the pelvic floor with the weight of your growing baby bearing down on this sling of muscles for 9 months, the raised levels of the hormone relaxin which softens and loosens your ligaments and joints, and finally the effects of childbirth. In short, if you could choose only one form of exercise out of this list of pregnancy exercises, then I would certainly urge you to consider daily PF exercises.

Pelvic floor exercises for pregnancy

What to watch out for

 

 

  • The first thing you need to do is make sure that you are actually doing your pelvic floor exercises correctly. This is easier said than done, given that one cannot directly observe a pelvic floor pull up! For step-by-step instructions on working the pelvic floor correctly, make sure you download my FREE guide to Pelvic Floor Exercises which you will find in the top right hand corner of my page on Pelvic Floor Exercises.

 

My online tailored week-by-week pregnancy Pilates programme goes through exactly how to do your pelvic floor exercises and gives you pelvic floor workouts. Try it for FREE.

 

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Pregnancy Exercise
Now that you are pregnant you need to make sure that you know the "dos and don'ts" of prenatal exercise. Here's the perfect guide for you!


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