fitness pregnancy

Bodybuilding and pregnancy: Compatible or not?

This article is for experienced and seasoned athletes. If this is your case, you will have to take it upon yourself to slow down considerably.

Pregnant women are often considered to be fragile. In general, this is not the case and it is even recommended during pregnancy to exercise to keep fit. If the possibility of continuing to do weight training is a controversy for pregnancy, experts speak rather of a question of dosage. Find out useful information and tips on how to enjoy weight training during pregnancy.

Weight training: an activity compatible with pregnancy

sport pregnancy

As a precautionary measure, many pregnant women believe that pregnancy is a period of rest. Provided she has no health concerns identified by her gynecologist (such as a short cervix, high blood pressure due to pregnancy...) this is a false belief, because a woman carrying a baby is neither ill nor handicapped. She is in full possession of her strength at every stage of pregnancy, right up to the 8th month. The first month is a delicate period, but if you have your doctor's or gynecologist's permission, you can do a little sport, always in moderation. There are contraindications for certain women, such as those with high blood pressure, those expecting twins or those who have already suffered miscarriages. That's why it's so important to seek the advice of a health professional before embarking on any physical activity.

Weight training and pregnancy: It's all a question of moderation

There is no need to lift weights or do deadlifts or even to do CrossFit in the gym while pregnant. You can do body weight exercises or possibly light weights. If you don't want to continue with weight training, you can also turn to other sports such as: Walking, yoga, pilates (stretching) or even swimming in the pool. These activities are very good for your health and less intense than weight training. In addition, it prepares you for childbirth.

However, if you want to continue with fitness, it is important to listen to your body and adapt the weight training exercises to your own rhythm. It's all about limits, a woman who does weight training can continue to do it even with a baby in her belly. You will have to adapt your training. Finally, only 2 to 3 short sessions per week are largely sufficient.

In addition, each woman is unique and it is proven that regular physical activity facilitates childbirth. For a strength training session for pregnant women, the assistance of a coach is recommended. He or she knows which muscles to use for each set of exercises. For a pregnancy that is just beginning or even advanced, it is preferable not to do the exercises that work the lumbar and abdominal muscles.

Strengthening exercises adapted to a pregnant woman

To make the most of strength training during pregnancy, it's advisable to start with lighter sessions. Whether it's weight training, gymnastics or fitness, the most important thing is to listen to your body.

For a muscle-strengthening program, a pregnant woman can start with swimming sessions to increase her strength. Afterwards, the trainer can suggest exercises for squats body weight or use rubber bands to strengthen your muscles. Squats, lunges, lateral raises on a bench and curls with light loads to target the arms are all doable.

sport during pregnancy

The intensity of training for a pregnant woman is not the same as for a normal woman. It will be gentler, with slow, well-targeted exercises. Short 30-minute sessions, with warm-ups before your session, and of course, some stretching after your workout. Some movements are not suitable for pregnant women.

That's why it's so important to be accompanied by a coach. He'll be able to tell you which fitness exercises you can do and which you shouldn't. In any case, virtually all bodyweight exercises are compatible with pregnancy.

Choosing a trainer who already has experience with pregnant women is a good idea for your research. You can practice weight training at your own pace until your eighth month of pregnancy, always with the doctor's approval. Physical activities are recommended so that at the time of delivery, the mother-to-be has all the strength necessary to expel the baby. It has been proven that a pregnant woman who practices sports is stronger on D-day than one who does not.

What is not recommended: Cycling because of the risk of falling, horseback riding, combat sports, hiit cardio...

Don't forget to eat properly and hydrate yourself It is also essential to stay healthy.

The benefits of physical activity for pregnant women

  • Better blood circulation
  • Provides energy
  • Exercises such as the squat are quite similar to the birthing position. This improves flexibility to prepare for the big day.
  • You will gain less weight than if you do not exercise at all
  • Exercise and good nutrition strengthen the placenta
  • Improves recovery after childbirth as your body is always prepared for the effort
  • Reduces water retention
fitness pregnancy

Finally, find out about the re-education and muscle strengthening of the perineum that will take place after your delivery. The pelvic floor exercise can be done at home for example.

When you return to sport, you should continue to do light exercises, as your body will need to readapt. Finally, if you have free time, which will not be easy.

Now you know that sport and pregnancy are compatible, but only under certain conditions. Exercise is useful for preparing for childbirth. During your pregnancy, you should take it easy, as practising a sporting activity will never be the same as usual. Finally, there's no such thing as a perfect sports program, since every woman's needs will be different. Listen to your body and adapt your mini-workouts.

Other articles to read :

The massage roller as a complement to weight training

Focus on macronutrients and micronutrients

The energy ball, a good snack in bodybuilding

The importance of breakfast in bodybuilding

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