It’s easy to make excuses as soon as you get pregnant not to work out –bringing food to mouth counts as bicep curls right? But really, in the beginning it’s the morning sickness and by month nine it’s the lack of energy and all of the other third trimester issues. Honestly those are good reasons. But I’ve always felt it was important to continue some type of workout throughout my pregnancy to keep my muscles strong and body feeling good (exercise releases endorphins which helps with our mood and ability to manage pain).
Through this pregnancy I’ve been working with Helene of LA Rox. She was phenomenal during and after my pregnancy with Aden, so it was a no brainer to work with her again. Because every trimester our bodies change, Helene put together routines that target different muscles and a range of exercises to keep this momma motivated.
At the start of my first trimester the focus was on muscles that will be compromised during pregnancy. Here’s Helene’s list of each body part and why we focus on these early on:
The Lower Back – because we women hold so much weight from the baby bump.
The Shoulders – because they will be used a lot more for lifting baby and car seats etc.
The Legs – because they are the largest muscle group in our bodies and become weaker while pregnant. Most women have less energy during the first trimester and are less active. Leg strength helps with pushing the baby out of the body, so keeping those strong is the focus.
The Arms – because toned arms (biceps and triceps) make moms feel fit and leaner too.
The Chest and Hips – because they help keep the body balanced.
By combining pilates, yoga, core, strength and resistant training through intervals of 3-5 exercises – with bursts of cardio in between – Helene makes me sweat. It’s so gratifying afterward though! Strengthening my body so it can be its healthiest, along with a good diet, makes me confident that I’m doing the right thing for my baby. By trimester two we switched to a modified versions of my original pregnancy exercises. There were a little more weights and reps, but nothing too crazy.
It’s the third trimester that has been drastically different and the workouts I’m enjoying right now. We almost exclusively do aqua sessions. With a series of resistant exercises completed with Helene’s water training tools and laps of swimming with fins, kick boards and hand fins in between, it’s the perfect workout. Helene says, “The pool is a perfect environment for women to feel zero gravity pull from the baby bump.”At a time when I can barely bend over to pick something I drop up off the ground, the pool provides the perfect resistance without me struggling too badly through a workout.
By keeping my body strong throughout pregnancy we’re heightening my balance and strength. So when my girl is born, I’ll be stronger and more energized. A must when there will be plenty of sleepless nights and a family to take care of. And an added benefit to training while pregnant? Getting my pre-baby body back will be much easier. You mommas know what I’m talking about!