Tag Archives: pre & post natal fitness

Training in Pregnancy is Functional

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

 

 

10 Reason’s Why you should take more notice of what a female coach has to say.

I have been a fitness professional for give or take 10 years. I started in humble beginnings in a council gym in South-East London.

Fitness is still pretty male dominated but back then even more so. I remember walking into the weights section of the gym and feeling like a freak. Heaven forbid that I actually tried to give one of the guys a few lifting tips.

Since moving to CrossFit and in particular CrossFit London I have never been around so many strong female coaches and I love it.

This is my ode to all female coaches out there. I know how hard you have had to worked and want to shout out why having lady parts probably makes her a better coach.

  1. Unlike most male coaches she is more likely to have had to prove her worth around the gym/box, which typically is pretty much a male dominated place of work. -I bet she can banter like the best of them.
  2. She has had to work hard for every inch of upper-body strength and knows exactly how it feels to be chasing that elusive pull up or ring dip. -Give her the respect she deserves.
  3. Further to point 2; She is more likely going to have that drill or tip to get you there as she has had to hunt for it herself. Lets face it if you have never had to fight for a skill then how do you know the easiest and best way to get clients there???
  4. Her first venture into the weights section of a gym was a pretty intimidating experience. Stop the press girls can lift weights too! This makes her the beginners best friend.
  5. Being a girl can be a raw deal at times; I wont go too deep but trust me periods, pregnancy, labour and breast feeding aren’t a walk in the park and you have never heard of girl flu have you??? This makes your female coach way tougher and far more resilient for it.
  6. Pound for Pound she can probably lift a lot more then her male counterparts and with a touch more grace and finesse.
  7. She is more likely to focus you on technique and form before lifting heavy. Pound for pound you lift better and more if you spend more time getting this right, which explains point 6. (Hand on heart boys you love to jump to the heavy weight- I am not trying to be mean)
  8. She has way less ego then her male counterparts, which make her far more approachable to ask that question you feel sounds silly.
  9. Her inner mother means she wants to nurture your talent and encourage you rather then shout in your face when you don’t get it right for the hundredth time. This doesn’t mean she is a puss, more like that motivating but strict teacher you had at school.
  10. Because of all of the above, because she has busted her proverbial balls to get where she is, because she has built herself up from nothing and can sure as hell do the same for you. She is certainly not the soft touch in the gym/box.

 

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach/Personal Trainer specialising in pre & post natal fitness  in East London.

Bullet Proof your Double under

A few weeks ago a video was posted by CrossFit HQ highlighting the embarrassing urge to pee when performing double unders.

I was staggered by how many women this affects.

What annoyed me about the video was that there was no explanation or fixer for these women. It was simply referred to as exercise induced peeing and that was that.

I can tell you exactly what is going wrong.

The impact of the double unders on a weakened pelvic floors is the problem.

I can almost lay my life on the odds that most of the ladies experiencing this have either had a baby or are reaching menopause.

In both cases the pelvic floor is weakened by pregnancy or the change in hormones affecting muscle elasticity.

I believe that this can be fixed/improved by addressing correct neutral alignment during double unders.

I learnt how to double under from my good friend and fellow CrossFit London coach Phillip Rolling. He coached me to always start on my toes with a squeezed butt, big chest and eyes gazing ahead.

I have never experienced anything even close to exercise induced peeing despite my pelvic floor having had a battering from pregnancy, labour and a C section.

I now know from reading Becoming a Supple Leopard, where Phillip takes his double under cues from.

Starrett,2013.pp:32 states Whenever you’re in an overextended position, your pelvic floor turns off, which can unleash problems galore, especially among women -they have trouble controlling their bladder. (This is one of the problems with doing a piked double under) Fixing this problem is really simple: squeeze your butt to set your pelvis in a neutral position, and then get your belly tight to brace the position. What you will find is that a lot of the issues caused by pelvic-floor dysfunction spontaneously resolve once your pelvis is locked into a neutral position.

I propose a test ladies. Let us experiment with our double under form and find out just how much our form affect our pelvic floor.

photo (16)

 

Sally Dixey is a Foofoo Ambassador & Crossfit London Coach in East London.

For further information on pelvic floor recovery, pre & post natal fitness email Sally directly on Sally@crossfitlondonuk.com

 

Starrett,K.2013,Becoming a Supple Leopard,Victory Belt Publishing inc,USA