In the last month I have had a wave of new clients taking their first few steps through pregnancy with lots of questions.
One question which will never fail to crop up usually has come about because some ‘do good’ stranger has questioned the safety of my pregnant clients. I am sure they have genuine heart felt concern but that concern is pretty miss guided and at worse scare mongering. Just this week my new client who I see once a fortnight as a supplement to her regular gym sessions, was happily squatting away when a concerned man questioned the safety of her choice of activity. Suggesting that perhaps she should have been in the pool doing a few gentle laps instead.
Quite naturally she came to me for a bit of reassurance.
My answer to her was as always; how do you sit down in the bath? Do you need assistance to use the loo?
My client understands my dry humor and hopefully you do to.
With the safety concerns of movements in mind, let us take a look at the functional transfer from the gym to your really life and put to bed once and for all the scare scaremonger’ers.
Squatting – Unless pregnant women have to start peeing standing up I can not understand how anyone can not see the value in this. Half of the preferred styles of birthing these days are some sort of squat. Adding to that the fact that past 6 months pregnant you won’t want to bend over to pick up anything off the floor and are going to need to use some sort of squat.
Pressing over head- I have heard some coaches expressing fears of taking a pregnant clients arms over head. Something to do with blood pressure I think. Seriously though I remember during my pregnancy I was forever pressing objects overhead while nesting and preparing for my son. Even stacking food shopping in the cupboards is a press. Surely it is even more crucial to learn correct form as a pregnancy progresses, since it appears unavoidable in normal life?
Farmers walk- ever carried shopping home? Well that’s a farmers walk, and every time you rest the bags and have to pick them back up, it’s technically called a deadlift.
Talking of Deadlifts I would say its a no brainer. Who does not need to pick stuff up off the floor? And would it not be useful to the pregnant exerciser to pick stuff up with good form? And besides it used to be called the Health Lift.
Any type of pull- Ring rows or hinge rows depending on your ability is vital for the pregnant exercisers posture, which as you know takes its toll during pregnancy.
I hope you are starting to get my drift.
There are without doubt some contraindications to the suitability of exercise during pregnancy but for a generally fit and active mum to be there is no reason why she can not continue to enjoy the same active lifestyle she has enjoyed pre-pregnancy.
So next time someone questions your judgment you can let them know that you will stop squatting when pregnant women have the ability to pee standing up.
Sally Dixey is a Pre and post natal Fitness coach in East London. Find her @ CrossFitLondonuk.com