There are so many benefits in preparing your body prior to conception and will not only be beneficial for you, but your future baby as well.
Creating good habits can help you:
Improve your own relationship with your body, allowing you to better understand how you feel in your own body. This will prove invaluable for labor, delivery, and recovery
Practice specific movement patterns and exercises that will give your body the support it needs during pregnancy, labor, delivery and the postpartum.
Give you that head start, allowing you a better chance of continuing the exercise habits you love through pregnancy.
Create a positive environment in your home, giving that baby the right environment to learn and grow when they arrive.
But what about exercise…
It is always important to work backwards from our goal… and yes that goal should be beyond birth… Postpartum (Long Term Goal) Pregnancy (Short Term Goal). This blog will however focus on the short term.
Imagine this.. a pregnancy without aches or pains, that will optimally carry your baby safely and comfortably, that will put your baby in a good pelvic position and will leave you feeling strong, supported and with a huge amount of energy. .. now who wouldn’t want that?
Our Top Exercises To Prepare Your Body For Pregnancy
Below are out top 5 exercises.
Squats for Pregnancy
One of the best exercises you can for full body strengthening… yes you heard that right ‘full body’ not only does it work your lower body, it also works your core and upper body too.
A movement that we do hundreds of times a day, sitting down, picking something up off the floor, picking up your baby, sitting on the toilet, standing up and sitting in a chair.
Squatting is also a great labour and birth position, be it squatting on the toilet… like Pip did and nearly delivered Finley in, squat whilst holding onto something, squatting on a birthing ball… all these positions allow your pelvic floor to relax and allow gravity to do its job and help the little make their way down.
For those wanting to implement some more strength based squatting into your daily practice give these a go:
Hinging Exercises for Pregnancy
Think of a door… then you are halfway there to understanding how your body needs to move to ‘hinge’. A movement that seems so simple but needs a lot of focus and body awareness to do properly. A hinge movement is key for maintaining neutral spine.
Movements that can help develop this pattern, improve him function and protect our lower back are:
Single Leg RDL
*RDL = Romanian Deadlift
Pelvic Floor Exercise for Pregnancy
A super important area… and you should definitely know this if you have been reading some of our other blogs
In short our Pelvic Floor is there to support your bladder, uterus and bowel. As pregnancy causes damage and stress on these important set of muscles it is important you train them like the others. For a detailed Pelvic Floor Programmes please READ my previous blog where I cover this in detail… it is a must read for those of you who are pregnant or postpartum.
Pulling Exercises for Pregnancy
Our posterior chain… the muscles at the back of our body are really important to help us keep our posture, allow us to stand upright and help elevate some of the issues that pop up during pregnancy, like neck and shoulder pain, lower back pain and much more.
Any pulling exercises will help strengthen the muscle in our back and help support better movement and reduce chances of pain, injury and issues. Some exercises that you may find useful to do are:
Dumbbell Bent Over Rows
TRX or Supine Rows
*These are just a few exercises, there are many many more available that will positively affect your pregnancy.
These are a mixture of key exercises that will help prevent injury, correct dysfunction, restore biomechanics, optimise movement and allow you to keep fully functioning through pregnancy and postpartum.
A coach should make sure that the fitness programme is balanced and progressed in the right way to create the right adaptations. These Accessory exercises are extremely important to include on top of your main exercises to allow your body to work most effectively and to give you the very best results. For a range of pregnancy and postpartum fitness programmes check out what we have to offer here… having worked with thousands of women with proven results, we guarantee we can support you whatever your goal or ability.
p.s. have you checked out Midwife Pips Courses
The Author: Coach James
James is an Exercise and Nutrition Scientist with a specialist interest in pregnancy and postpartum health and fitness. He has a Sports Science degree and is a fully qualified Pregnancy Personal Trainer. James believes that pregnancy is a powerful time to optimise your own health as well as your child and family's health for the future.
James has an extensive portfolio having worked within elite sports for many years from Premier League Football to Olympic and Commonwealth athletes and within leading independent schools. Being NSCA 'CSCS' accredited ensures that you can guarantee your pregnancy exercises and workouts designed by James will be both safe and effective.
Understanding that pregnancy and parenthood are precious times that can also encompass many challenges James's vision is to ensure that exercise and nutrition need not be one of those challenges for you.
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