Safe strength training for pregnant women
When done properly, strength training is not only safe for pregnant women, it can actually be extremely beneficial. It can not only help you have stamina and endurance during a long, potentially hard labor, but it will definitely come in handy once that little bundle of joy has arrived and you’re constantly lifting and carrying baby and bagfuls of baby’s belongings. Check with your OB to make sure some strength training is safe for you during your particular pregnancy, and then follow these safe exercises.
Squats will tone and strengthen your thighs which will help you “lift with your legs” and help you greatly if you plan to deliver your baby in a squatting position. Simply stand facing the back of a chair and hold on lightly to it. Straighten your back, place your knees shoulder-width apart and bend at the the knees, lowering yourself slowly toward the floor. Go as low as you can with your feet still flat on the ground. Hold the squat for a count of 30 and lift slowly back up.
This exercise will strengthen your abdominal muscles and will relieve sciatica pain and pressure in your lower back. Simply stand or kneel on all fours, whichever your prefer, and rock your pelvis back and forth while keeping your back straight. Do ten pelvic thrusts, then rest for a bit, then do ten more. You should feel your abs contract when you roll your pelvis forward.
Working your upper body gently with some light weights will help make you strong for carrying your baby and is a great way to feel at least a bit toned while you’re pregnant. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and hold your arms at your sides with the inside of your wrists facing forward. Curl your arms up and lift your 3 to 5-pound weights up to your shoulders and then lower the weights slowly back down. Do 10 repetitions.