What do we actually do and why?
The main purpose of pregnancy exercise is the well-being of the expecting mother. Both mentally and physically, which together form quality of life. Why exercise during pregnancy from a kinesiological point of view is as follows:
- maintaining the natural posture,
- strength and flexibility (of course with the necessary adjustments to fetal growth),
- eliminating and preventing pain in the lumbar spine, shoulder girdle, sacroiliac joint and elsewhere,
- and promoting cardio- vascular ability to maintain lung capacity, improve metabolism, and prevent the accumulation of excess fat and the development of diabetes.
Learning and effectively performing the correct movement patterns will also come in handy after childbirth. Baby is not an light thing! They are usually already born heavy as a small shopping bag, and gain in size and weight very quickly. This means more stress on your body, more fatigue and more chances of poor psycho-physical well-being. Do you know the saying healthy mind in a healthy body? In fact, there is research that confirms the link between exercise and postpartum depression. Unlike physical activity around the house and at work, guided, directed and correctly measured and presented physical activity after childbirth reduces the possibility of feeling unwell.
So how do you go about exercising, what can and cannot I do, and how do we do it?
The easiest way to exercise is to just go for it. Without delay and without the excuse of following Monday. Just choose a proven professional and join a guided group or individual exercise for pregnant women. If you work in a bank you definitely know more about money business than I know and chances are I know more about exercising pregnant women than you do. So read some scientific literature and consult an expert so that you can solve all the burning issues and easily and safely and effectively practice during pregnancy.
What you can do is mostly up to you. What were you doing before you got pregnant? How intense and how many years of experience do you have? What are you afraid of and what are you not? Does the activity increase the chance of falling / hitting the abdomen? Write down this and all other possible questions that come to your mind and answer them honestly. This way you can find a suitable workout for yourself, which will bring better results and greater joy. So, how do we do it?
It all starts with testing the elements of posture in Synovia physiotherapy. We look at the front, back and side image, the influence of the head on posture and balance, we measure the inclinations in the joints and the pressures on the feet and the center of gravity. This data is not only used to monitor progress / regression through pregnancy, but also gives us additional information about fitness, asymmetries and past injuries around which we build an exercise program.
Pregnant women are divided into 3 groups: those with little or no experience with exercise, avid recreational athletes and professional athletes. Yes also professional athletes as the body goes through changes in pregnancy that are vastly foreign to the vast majority. Based on these three groups, we select progressions or regressions of dominant exercises in each trimester of pregnancy.
We will process the first trimester very quickly, as the vast majority do not yet know that they are pregnant or are waiting for a nuchal translucency examination for safety reasons. However, those who continue or start exercising are advised to move as before and listen to their body. We place great emphasis on breathing and relaxation of the body, which will come in handy during pregnancy and after childbirth (p.s .: you will be able to find out more about breathing in the next blog post). In addition to breathing in the first trimester, we experiment with yoga exercises and learning the appropriate activation of the “abdominal corset” and exercises for the pelvic floor. Given that the abdomen is still very small, you can also easily learn to move from lying to sitting, up and down and vice versa, which will be the biggest problem with the bigger belly. The last activity we do is balance and cardio.
The second trimester could be the most important and also the most effective. The vast majority no longer have morning sickness, they feel capable and good in their skin. Therefore, we can address the main muscle groups that a pregnant woman needs or will be most affected during pregnancy. These are the muscles of the upper back, the buttocks and hind thigh muscles, the arms and of course the strong abdominal muscles. The body is very adaptive, but it needs its time to adapt. In particular, soft tissues develop more slowly than muscles, which must be taken into account when advancing in exercise. During this period, the most optimal exercise is 3x a week, so that the stimulus is large enough, as the intensity cannot be the same as before pregnancy. One of the training units could look like this: diaphragmatic breathing, calming and talking about the well-being and effect of the previous training, stretching exercises (if necessary because women are usually more mobile than men, targeted), the main part of the exercise, calming with breathing. The main part of the exercise in 40% is based on the development of control over the abdominal part and the development of the surrounding musculature, and 60% covers all other muscles. For example, you could perform 2 sets of 3-4 series of exercises such as plank, side plank, pallof press, suitcase carry, TGU,… followed by a set for the back chain, especially the buttock muscles, back thighs and upper back (e.g. : 4 sets of 12 leg curls on the ball and 4 sets of 15 facepulls with elastic) and ended with an arm and accessory assembly (usually legs with balance aspect) for example 3 sets of push-ups and 3 series of lunges with rotation.
The third trimester is delicate due to a larger belly, body weight, water retention, softening of ligaments and other problems of pregnant women. If everything goes normally, we can continue the concept of the second trimester with a similar exercise and lower intensity. We usually add stretching exercises and devote some time to finding positions that are relaxing for the pregnant woman, as back pain can occur. More work is on balance and perfect execution of exercises to prevent injuries due to stretching and preparation for childbirth. Some of the exercises suitable for this trimester are: Romanian deadlifts on 1 leg, push-ups with push-ups over the head, hip thrust with knee extension, bird dog and spinal decompression.
Did you find yourself in what you read? Then don’t delay, we respond to all emails we know completely free of charge and with the greatest pleasure. For everything else, we may be able to direct you to someone we trust and knows more than we do. No workout is optimal, the best and guaranteed to be successful. Come, try, give up or stay. What suits Jane will not necessarily suit Alice. Experience enriches you, which you will be able to pass on to your baby.
Till next time,