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Prenatal Workout: Safe Exercises for Pregnant Women

Fit & Sleek Prenatal Physique- Prenatal Workout with Complete Pregnancy Training Plan

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  • Consider joining an aerobics class geared for pregnant women. This way you can enjoy the company of other pregnant women while exercising under the supervision of an instructor who is trained to modify exercises for pregnant clients.

    Over the years of teaching and research on pregnancy, Pilates, and fitness, I have found that the most beneficial type of exercise for a pregnant woman purely depends on the woman’s wants and needs.

  • To prevent common pregnancy related complications such as diastasis recti (abdominal separation), back pain, and pelvic instability, all pregnant women should strengthen their deepest abdominal muscle, their Transverse Abdominis, or TvA. This muscle is our internal “girdle” and when contracted, compresses the abdomen. As an added benefit, because the TvA is the primary, voluntary expulsion muscle, maintaining strength in this muscle greatly aids in the pushing phase of labor. Two safe TvA exercises for pregnancy can be found at:

    Walkingis one of the best forms of exercise for pregnant women. It requires littlemore than a pair of shoes and a sidewalk. If walking isn’t enough of a cardiovascularchallenge, try jogging instead. Pregnancy isn’t the time to start a runningroutine, but if you’ve kept it up through week 27, there’s no need to stopunless you have certain health issues or discomfort.

  • What about those abs? You may be used to doing sit ups or crunches to work your abs. It's fine to do sit ups or crunches during the first trimester, but once you move into the second trimester you should avoid any exercises that places you lying flat on your back. One of the best and safest ab exercises for pregnancy are planks. The easiest way to do a plank is to get on your hands and knees. Place your elbows flat on the floor. Then move your legs back so that they are straight and your toes are against the floor. (You can also do them in the push up position.) Depending on your fitness level, you should aim to hold this position from anywhere to 15-30 seconds or as long as a minute. As your belly gets bigger, you will want to do this with an exercise ball or step so that your elbows are placed on the ball or step, lifting your belly off the ground.

Safe & Effective Core Ab Exercises for Pregnancy

With mild exercise, pregnant women have a greater increase in respiratory frequency and oxygen consumption to meet their greater oxygen demand. As exercise increases to moderate and maximal levels, however, pregnant women demonstrate decreased respiratory frequency, lower tidal volume and maximal oxygen consumption. The oxygen demand at high levels of activity appears to overwhelm the adaptive changes that occur at rest. This may be partially due to the obstructive effect of an enlarged uterus on diaphragmatic movement. Subjective effort with aerobic exercise is heightened, and several studies have shown a decreased maximal voluntary exercise performance in pregnant women.