Last blog was about training during the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy. Now what I want to do is review what I believe to be the best training guidelines for training 12 – 20 weeks of pregnancy! This is about the time in your pregnancy that you will start to feel better! Typically this is when the morning sickness (for most) subsides. This is the time to get moving and enjoy it! You are literally becoming the best physical version of yourself during this time. The female human body is pretty amazing!
Here’s what we want to focus on! Learning to master stability breath and functional progressions. This is best learned from a coach but you could do some googling and youtubing to see videos that teach Intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) breathing. Yes, that is a fancy term for stability breath. As simply as I can put it, you are filling your belly down to your pelvic floor along with creating a 360 degree pressure all at once. Think about when you blow up a balloon! Then once you have mastered the breathing then the goal is to add the stability breath to function progressions like Dead Bug and many others. I believe the best time to put this all into practice in your warm up before your workout and sometimes during your workout.
A big modification that comes up at this point is the burpee. This is the time that some mama’s bellies start to grow or even pop out overnight, especially those second time mamas. With the burpee, we want to think about the original intent of a burpee. That is to get up from the ground as quickly as you can and then back down to repeat for however many repetitions you have to do in your workout. This is where I would have my clients start in a shin box or ninety-ninety, whatever you call the movement, on the ground to standing. This is a great workout for your core as well as keeping the original intent of the burpee. We avoid the elevated plank version or up-downs, where you just jump your feet out staying in a plank, because this can be a lot on the core during pregnancy. This is because you would have to stay stable in your position and your core with breath while jumping your feet in and out. It’s a lot to think about when trying to move with some speed so it’s easier to avoid this kind of movement.
Ok runners! If your technique starts to slip this is where it is time to really scale back. The technique breakdown is when we start to heel strike as we run. This is not beneficial for anyone so we would change their run to either walking or sled walking. For anyone who has pulled a sled behind them for 200-400m you know that it’s a lot of work and not easy. It’s a great modification when it comes to knee and ankle issues too!!
Now for my weightlifters! If your belly is starting to show or pop overnight this is where we would decide to use dumbbells instead of a barbell. Why is this? Well you have worked so hard to get a great bar path through your lift, why do you want to mess with that? Now if you feel your barbell path is still good because your belly doesn’t feel in the way of you then stick with the barbell. But as soon as you can feel yourself having to avoid the bump, it’s time to pick up the dumbbells. And another true statement, if you have worked with dumbbells, is that they are not easier by any means just different! You will definitely get some work in with them.
Usually what we have to work on is our mindset throughout our pregnancy. A lot of these modifications might feel or seem frustrating. But they are all setting you up for a much easier recovery once in postpartum. I believe it always comes back to that thought, just because you can does not mean you should. I hope this thought process is helpful now or in the future for any future mama. I hope the modifications are helpful too! If you have more questions just email me and I would love to help you through your pregnancy.