Safe Weight Training for Pregnancy: A Comprehensive Guide

Mar 11, 2024


Embarking on a safe and effective weight training routine during pregnancy can contribute to a healthier and more comfortable journey to motherhood. Whether you are lifting weights as part of your pregnancy fitness at home or in the gym, this guide will provide you with some valuable insights into safe weight training. Always consult with your midwife or doctor before starting a new exercise program in pregnancy but we are here to let you know it's safe to lift weights and encourage you to incorporate light to moderate weights into your training if it's something you have always enjoyed before being pregnant. 


1. Prioritize Warm-Up:

Begin your weight training session with a thorough warm-up to increase blood flow and flexibility. Dynamic stretches and light cardio activities, such as walking or stationary cycling, prepare your body for the workout ahead.


2. Opt for weights you feel comfortable lifting:

Aim to be able to complete 8-10 reps comfortably and with correct form to determine whether the weight you have chosen is the right one for you. If you are able to lift heavy weights correctly for that many reps and feel comfortable doing it then there is no need to lower them, but use this as your gauge as you progress through your pregnancy. There is no harm in lowering the weights you're lifting so always listen to your body if it seems that it is starting to struggle a bit. 


3. Keeping your core strong:

In pregnancy it is important to keep our core muscles switched on and active to support our growing bump. Some of the traditional abdominal exercises you are used to doing like sit ups, crunches and leg raises start to become quite tricky as the bump appears so we need to adapt how we work our core. You can use breathing techniques in almost everything you do to ensure that the core is working, offsetting your balance with weights and adapting exercises such as planks and side planks to make sure you aren't putting too much pressure through your core but you're still able to do them. 


4. Mindful Modifications:

Modify traditional exercises to suit your changing body. For example, replace exercises that involve lying on your back with incline or seated variations to ensure proper blood flow to the uterus.



5. Listen to Your Body:

Pay close attention to how your body responds to each exercise. If you feel any discomfort, dizziness, or shortness of breath, pause and reassess. It's crucial to stay within a comfortable intensity level.


6. Hydration and Breathing:

Stay hydrated throughout your workout and focus on controlled breathing. Proper hydration supports blood flow, while mindful breathing aids in maintaining oxygen levels for both you and your baby.


7. Use the talk test:

This is a great way to constantly check in with how your body is coping with the intensity of the exercise. You should always be able to hold a relatively normal conversation whilst you work out during your pregnancy so if you suddenly feel that you aren't able to catch your breath enough to talk then you know to dial down the intensity level. 


8. Cool Down and Stretch:

Complete your workout with a cool-down, including static stretches for major muscle groups. This promotes flexibility and reduces muscle soreness.


Remember, every pregnancy is different, and it's essential to tailor your workout routine to your individual needs. Listen to your body, prioritise safety, and relish the empowering benefits of weight training during this special time.

Throughout our pregnancy plans - we incorporate the use of dumbbells, in the weight of your choice in our upper body and lower body strength classes. We always provide adaptations to make sure that you can choose options that work for you and your body so whether you're a beginner or have been exercising for years, this plan will suit you.  If you like lifting weights in the gym, watch this space - we've got something just for you - coming very soon!


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