Don’t do this…. when training a pregnant woman!

Don’t do this….

Hi guys! It’s Jono here today. So I wanted to talk a little more about exercising while pregnant (sounds funny coming from me right :p)! Apart from the pre screening and warning signs – the next important thing to know is the ABSOLUTE DON’T’s! Now I say “absolute” but nothing is really absolute… Every person is different and every pregnancy is different… So the tips i’m going to give below are still “general” but if I have a pregnant woman in any of my sessions – I would not do any of the following…

– High impact / jerky movements (e.g burpees)
– High intensity / long duration sessions
– Sudden change of intensity and position (e.g. burpess)
– Any exercise that involves breath holding (stress this)
– Any exercise that places excessive stress on the abs / pelvic floor (e.g. sit ups, crunch’s, planks)
– Stretching beyond comfortable range of motion
– Weight bearing activities beyond comfortable range of motion
– Exercises lying supine for extended periods of time
– Any exercises that will increase the risk of fainting
– Contact activities (e.g. some warm up games)

So a lot of the above are common sense and fairly easy to modify… e.g. if you’re running a HIIT session – the client wouldn’t train at “high” intensity – they would go at a “moderate” intensity… If you’re session runs for 60mins – your client may only train for 45mins… Have a few “go to” exercises that the client can use at all times – the popular one is the “bird dog” / “4 point kneeling” and it’s variations – it’s a good exercise for balance and core without placing a “huge” amount of stress on the abs / pelvic floor and the client is not in a supine position… I’d also recommend bringing a resistance band to training as it’s a good way to add moderate resistance to the session without any of the above happening! I also strongly recommend you give your pregnant client a list of the “do’s” and “don’ts” so if they are performing a particular exercise – and they feel any of the above – they know to stop!

So if you’re pre screen properly, are aware of the warning signs and don’t use any of the above contra-indications in your session than your sessions will be much less risky for a pregnant woman to participate in!

In saying that though… If you are going to be training a pregnant / post natal woman – i would strongly recommend completing a CEU course! The basics aren’t enough and if you’re not 100% certain and what to do and what not to do – it’s not fair on your client… And chances are – insurance won’t cover you anyway!

If you haven’t completed a course on pre/post natal women yet, check out our Pre Post Natal Fitness Certification – registered with both NASM and AFAA.

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