Useful exercises in pregnancy
The idea that an active life during pregnancy is synonymous with the well-being of both mother and baby is becoming increasingly popular. And this is also supported by scientific evidence: exercise during pregnancy it helps muscle toning, improves circulation and breathing and therefore the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the baby; it also prevents the onset of pregnancy pathologies such as gestational diabetes and pressure pathologies and last but not least, it keeps the mood elevated.
Clearly everything must be done with knowledge of the facts, some of them useful exercises in pregnancy others may be performed, it is better to avoid them to avoid overload. Excessive sport, especially in non-professional women, can cause more harm than good. There are specialized figures in the organization of courses or personal training for pregnant women, it is always better to rely on them to structure a program. Here I can give you some indications, some very simple exercises, valid both for mothers who have never played sports and for athletes.Read also: Guide to sports during pregnancy, useful for the body and mind
Pregnancy exercises to do at home
To exercise, it is not necessary to enroll in a gym or a class, you can easily do exercises from home with the few objects we have available. What you need is: a mat, some sneakers, some water and then ... sofa, chairs, closed water bottles, bed, etc. Clearly during pregnancy they will not train the abdominals, or rather, not in the traditional way. We can focus on limbs, back, and perineum essential for a balanced body structure during childbirth (including caesarean). Let's now give some examples of exercises that can be done at home using two closed whole bottles and a chair.
- To train the arms it will be easy to use the two bottles as weights: with the bottle in hand, slowly bend and extend the elbow 10 times. Always holding the bottle in your hand and your arms extended at your sides, raise your arms up to shoulder height and slowly return downwards, again 10 times. Biceps and shoulders will thank you
- The chair we can use it as a support to train the legs and buttocks: squatting (squat) with both legs or with one of the two legs. But leg jumps forward, to the side, or back are also a great way to exercise your lower body.
Exercises for not gaining weight
Let's open a fundamental parenthesis, during pregnancy it is impossible not to gain weight. Or rather, it is impossible not to gain weight. This is due to the simple fact that the baby has a weight, that the placenta has a weight and that the amniotic fluid has a weight. So try to do extreme diets and not indicated by a doctor, or of losing weight is useless and indeed harmful to the health of mother and baby. Those who start from an overweight / obesity condition may be able to control weight gain, but women of normal weight should not do this in any way. There may be some exercises to avoid accumulating excess fluids, or to control the growth of fat mass. For example, a great way is the Swimmingpool, swimming helps to drain excess fluids especially on the legs, thanks to the skin massage performed by the water. Also there fast walking, Nordic walking (walking with sticks) can be useful because they are total body, and slightly cardio, i.e. they increase the heart rate and therefore accelerate the metabolism.
Exercises for the back
The back is known, it is one of the painful points of pregnancy, we are often subjected to lower back pain, sciatic pain etc. etc. Surely the back musculature is a musculature that can be trained during pregnancy and can also be done with a free body, ie without weights. Here are some exercises.
- Il cat: pilates exercise in a four-way position. It involves arching your back upward while inhaling to your maximum and exhaling arching it in the other direction to your maximum.
- Lateral twists of the back. Lying on one side, rotate the upper arm and head towards the side opposite the legs and remain in position, breathing for a few seconds
- Shoulder bridge: bridge on the back. This exercise is more difficult for mothers with a big belly but you can try it anyway. Starting supine, raise the pelvis from the ground to its maximum while exhaling, and inhaling you return to position.
Pelvic / perineum floor exercises
In recent years it has been rediscovered the importance of also training this muscles both during pregnancy and outside to prevent incontinence and sexual dysfunctions. Furthermore, training the pelvic floor means ensuring good awareness and ability to manage the muscles during labor and delivery. The most famous and simple exercises that can be done to train the pelvic floor are the Kegel exercises. They are simple exercises of contraction and relaxation repeated of the muscles of the pelvic area. They can be done in all positions: I contract the muscles for 5 minutes, release and rest for 10 seconds. Clearly doing this type of exercise makes sense if we are aware of what the pelvic floor is and how it works. For this reason it is useful to do other exercises first, for example the Hipopressive gymnastics. This type of gymnastics at a very very basic level helps to perceive the pelvic floor and its way of working.
Here is an example of an exercise:
- I inhale and exhale the letter S (only the sound s) and listen to what happens in the pelvic floor area. I repeat the same thing with the syllable SC (like sci) and with the letter f (only the sound of the letter not "eff") By becoming aware of this, you can then start working on toning first and then relaxing in view of childbirth
Pelvic Floor Exercises | PHOTO
A series of exercises useful for strengthening the pelvic floor
Exercises to prepare for childbirth
La preparation for childbirth in a physical sense it is quite simple, you must first try to rest as much as possible and understand how to relax and coordinate breathing with contractions. I deliberately used the word understand and not learn because every woman knows exactly what needs to be done, she just needs to understand how to listen to what her body is saying. Yoga and relaxation exercises can be very helpful in this regard. While if we talk about real fitness there are exercises for relaxation of the pelvic muscles which can be useful before childbirth. Eg
- Sitting on the ground with legs crossed, I bring attention to the spine which stretches upwards, taking weight and pressure off the pelvic muscles which relax and stretch towards the floor. It may also be interesting to try the various thrust positions for childbirth, in order to "remember" the movement that will be recalled at the right time during labor. For example, repeatedly try to squat with your legs apart. Or in position on the side, pull the bent upper leg towards you.
Pregnancy workout card
It may be helpful to fill out a pregnancy training sheet. With progressive and separate exercises for muscle groups. A form that also takes into account nutritional needs, medical history data and any relevant conditions of pregnancy such as anemia, joint pathologies, muscular or even generic pathologies of pregnancy. However, this must be done by a professional, it cannot be a DIY. For this reason, I first mentioned a specific personal training figure for pregnant women. They are professionals who know the changes, physiological and otherwise, of pregnancy and can adapt the exercises to the individual person. Let's try to understand together which exercises are best done, which body areas to train invarious trimesters of pregnancy.
Exercises in first trimester pregnancy
In the first trimester of pregnancy it is not advisable to do any physical exercise, no effort other than the usual daily activity and possibly light walks or swimming but always light. In this trimester, however, it is possible to start focusing on the pelvic floor, to understand what it is and how it works. Here is an interesting video about it.
Exercises in second trimester pregnancy
In the second trimester of pregnancy it is possible to carry out the workouts on all major muscle groups with the exception of the abdominals as we have said. Maybe it would be better to alternate the work on the muscles, that is to say one day to carry out exercises for the arms and the next day those on the legs and so on. A few minutes a day are enough, even 10-15 the important thing is to be constant.
Exercises for the third trimester
In the third quarter, on the other hand, it is necessary to slow down the pace of the exercises a little, focus on the pelvic floor and on relaxation, as we have already said. Below is a video with some simple yoga and breathing exercises you can do to prepare for childbirth.
Clearly these are only small hints, the work must be done individually and in depth, each of you mothers is unique and therefore the physical work to be done can be unique.