Prenatal fitness is becoming more important & visible. No longer is it a sentence for a sedentary lifestyle. That being said, each woman is different when it comes to exercising while pregnant depending on preexisting conditions, health risks, and exercise history.
Exercise boosts mood, improves sleep, and reduces pregnancy aches and pains (source). More importantly, it prepares you for childbirth by strengthening your muscles. Bonus: it makes it much easier to get back in shape after baby is here (<–I hope so!).
The Baby Center, a prenatal resource, listed the best exercises for pregnancy.
Top 7 Exercises for Pregnancy:
3. Low-impact aerobics
7. Strength training
Again, each individual is different. So, listening to your body is likely the best cue!
I have to keep walking throughout the pregnancy. My Cooper requires daily walks, so my bump needs to cooperate!
Additionally, strength training has also been on my list to do for the entire pregnancy. I want to maintain my strength and lean muscle even when it goes into hiding! Plus, I’m teaching circuit training and use the HIIT method for class format, so I will likely have to dial it back or modify exercises. Stretching is a part of every workout.
While I don’t swim, dance, do low-impact aerobics, or yoga right now, that may have to change with time (and belly size).
My First Trimester:
I didn’t modify much if anything my first 12 weeks. That was partially due to how I was feeling; I didn’t have any nausea, so I kept proceeding as normal. However, I did withdraw from the CrossFit Competition that Spencer competed in. At the time of the competition, I was at 12 weeks and have no regrets not competing. Those WOD’s were ridiculously difficult and something my body was not prepared for!
A couple of 1st trimester highlights:
- 10k PR
- Omaha Half Marathon
- Runner’s World Half Marathon
- CrossFit WOD on Local News Station
- Reebok CrossFit ONE WOD
Once I found out I was pregnant–right before the Runner’s World Half Marathon–I was more aware of intensity.
There was an option to run the Hat Trick that weekend, which included a 5k, 10k and the half marathon. Many of my fellow FitFluential ambassadors took on that challenge, but I was content with a hilly 13.1 miles!
With CrossFit, I didn’t feel any more fatigued than normal, and I wasn’t showing, so I didn’t need to modify. But, keep in mind, I had being doing CrossFit well before the pregnancy, so my body was conditioned for it…or as conditioned as it can be for tiresome WOD’s!
My 2nd Trimester
I started to feel tired much quicker during my workouts. This was a hard pill to swallow and something I’m still dealing with. My belly is growing, so gone are the full sit-ups. At 21 weeks, I’m decreasing my intensity and enjoying Garmin-free runs with Cooper. I still do CrossFit, but it’s becoming more difficult for me–it’s tough to dial it back in a group setting!
Home workouts are a great option for me because I can take breaks when I need to and still get in a great sweat!
For this workout, I set my Gymboss timer to 6 rounds of 30 secs on: 15 secs off for the following:
1. DB swings w/ (2) 10# dumb bells
2. Modified push-up to plank with knee tuck
4. Half burpee to lateral hop
The 15 seconds were just enough for me to recover for the next set. I will continue to adapt and listen to my body for the rest of the trimester and into the third. That’s all we can do, right?
Continue moving! Scale back heavy strength training as tendons and ligaments are stretching. Focus on back and core strengthening. Listen to your body: if running, jumping, etc. feel good, then do it. Now, is not the time to for gains to be made, so reduce intensity (source).
Note: I will also be posting about CrossFit & Pregnancy specifically! Found some great resources out there. The Baby page is updated too!
1. What’s your favorite at-home exercise?
2. For moms out there, did you continue to move during your pregnancy?
*Disclaimer: Although I am a NSCA-CSCS trainer, you should consult a physician before starting any exercise program or diet plan. If you choose to do any of the workouts featured on this website, you do so at your own risk. All opinions expressed are my own.