My Pregnancy Workout - A Wandering Scribbler
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My Pregnancy Workout

My Pregnancy Workout

I never thought I’d write about my pregnancy workout, yet here I am.  I love going online and seeing what other women are doing to keep in shape, stay healthy, and just keep living their lives while pregnant.  So, why not add to the long list of workouts online with one of my own?

Before I get into it, I want to say that I’m not a personal trainer, I’m not academically trained in fitness, and anything I know or have learned have come from my own research, my husband’s research, and personal experience. So, anything I say here could totally not work for you, or might not be safe for you (not that I’m preaching anything physcially damaging) because everyone is different. However, I love seeing what other people do to work out and this might be something to jump start your routine or give you something else to do.

As you can see, this workout is a pregnancy workout, but that’s only because I personally would be doing a lot more, lifting a lot more, and just generally pushing my body harder than this. But, because I don’t want to hurt myself or the baby, I’ve toned it down a little to ensure both of our health.

Weight Lifting

WHY? Why lift while pregnant?  The same reasons you should lift while not pregnant.  Lifting while pregnant will decrease pain and discomfort, will keep your muscles strong for labor and delivery, quicker recovery after labor, feelings of well-being and happiness, increased flexibility, better circulation to extremities, better muscle coordination, help relieve pregnancy-related constipation, and enhanced body image.

While a lot of these benefits can be found through cardio, I’ve found while when I’ve taken breaks from lifting because I feel ill (morning sickness is so fun) or because I just felt too tired, my body felt “puffier” and flabbier than when I was consistently lifting.  Even just for my own vanity, I continue to lift.

Not to mention the other mental benefits.  I feel more accomplished when I hit the gym and lift a few hundred pounds (not all at one time) and feel slightly sore in my muscles.  I feel like I’ve done something and haven’t become the couch slug that I’d really love to be most days.

Also, I feel like I have less pregnancy complaints than others I’ve spoken to. I’ve had a very easy so far, no complications for me or baby (other than some morning sickness, but that’s expected).  I don’t want to say that lifting has made me have an easy pregnancy, but it’s made me less sore overall, more likely to “get up and go” without huffing and puffing, and just in a better mood than I might otherwise be.  This could just be me being lucky or, like I think, lifting has helped ease some of the pregnancy related ailments that haunt some ladies.

 

What to look out for?  While lifting, like anything, be very aware of your body.  Make sure you’re using extremely good form, taking your time with each lift, and paying attention while you’re using weights.  This isn’t a time to day dream.  Being very focused, watching for twitches or pain that’s not normal will keep you and baby safe.  Make sure to breath throughout the entire lift, never holding your breath, and never struggling or “grinding” the weights.  This is where injuries happen.  Keep your weights manageable.  Pregnancy isn’t a time to hit PRs.

Lifting Workouts

Full Body A

Squat- 3 sets of 6-8 (with weight or 10 reps without)

Leg Curl (depending on your belly size and sensitivity)- 3 sets 8-10

Lat Pull Down- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Dumbbell Chest Press- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Barbell Curl- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Tricep Cable Push Down 3 sets 10-12 reps

Seated Cable Row- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Full Body B

Leg Press- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Leg Extension 3 sets 8-10 reps

Chest Supported Row- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Incline Dumbbell Chest Press- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Rear Delt Side Raises (Lying on Incline Bench or bent forward)- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Standing Calf Raise- 3 sets 10-12 reps

Stiff Leg Deadlifts- 3 sets 8 reps

Lower Body A

Squat- 3 sets 6-8 reps with weight or 10 reps without

Leg Press- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 sets 8 reps

Lying Leg Curl (depending on belly) 3 sets 8-10 reps

Standing Calf Raise- 3 sets 10-12 reps

Lower Body B

Leg Press- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Calf Raise on leg press- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Standing Lunges- 3 sets 8-10 reps (each leg)

Sumo Deadlift- 3 sets 8 reps

Leg Extension- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Upper Body A

Bench Press- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Dumbbell Row- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Close Grip Lat Pull Down- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Barbell Curl- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Tricep Cable Push Down- 3 sets 10-12 reps

Upper Body B

Incline Dumbbell Press- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Lat Pull Down- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Side Raises with Dumbbells- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Rear Delt Side Raises Lying on Incline Bench (or bench forward)- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Standing Dumbbell Curl- 3 sets 8-10 reps

Cardio

WHY? I don’t really need to tell you why cardio is important do I?  You’ve heard it all before, it helps blood circulation, great for stress relief, helps with swelling, and will keep weight down.  I’m not saying to run to lose weight, but even in pregnancy you need to watch your weight.  Cardio will help to keep your weight manageable so that both you and baby stay healthy, and your body can easily recover after birth.

 

What to watch out for? Just like lifting, you need to pay attention to your body.  Watch your legs, knees and ankles to make sure they’re moving in the right way.  If you’re running or walking outside, watch for bumps in the road so you don’t trip and fall or twist your ankle.  If on a treadmill, make sure you’re not going too fast that you get off balance and trip over your feet.

Watch your breathing. It’s okay to get out of breath while running, you’ll have to if you are moving with any pace, but don’t be gasping for air or wheezing.  Make sure you can have a conversation without being too hindered by your breathing. Watch out for pain in your belly. You’ll most likely feel a different sensation in your belly as it gets bigger, that’s normal since you have a lot more uterus and baby to tote around, but if it’s painful, tight, or just too much, slow to a walk or stop all together.  If the discomfort subsides it’s most likely just too much bouncing for you, so take a rest.  If it doesn’t go away contact your doctor because it might be more.  As always, if it really doesn’t sit well with you call your doctor to check.  Better safe than sorry.

Cardio Examples

Jog/walk: 30 minutes (jog 1 min., walk 2 min.)

Or: 20 Minutes (jog 2 min., walk 1 min.)

Or: 20 minutes (Jog 3 min., walk 3 min.)

Elliptical: 30 minutes

Stationary bike: 30 minutes

Yoga

Why? Yoga is amazing for your body.  It’s great for stress relief, for maintaining strength, and definitely flexibility.  If you do nothing else in pregnancy, do yoga.  It’s great for sore backs and legs, to help with breathing exercises, and to relax.  The stretching helps with labor and will keep your muscles strong to help with your stamina.

 

What to watch out for? A few good rules are not to lie on your back (especially late in the second trimester on), don’t twist too much, watch out for poses with your head down (downward dog).  In these poses I tend to get lightheaded and a little nauseas.  I still do the poses because they’re beneficial, but if we hold them for too long I go down to child’s pose to rest a little while still trying to get that stretch in my lower back.

pregnant workout

Weekly Schedule

I have six different lifting workouts and obviously four lifting days per week. I showed my breakdown with examples of lifts I might do. Just work your way through the routine without paying attention to the days of the week.

Monday

Lifting

Cardio

Tuesday

Lifting

Cardio

Wednesday

Yoga

Thursday

Lifting

Cardio

Friday

Lifting

Cardio

Saturday

Cardio

I hope this post was helpful to you in starting or restarting working out in your pregnancy.

You can download my printable version of my My Pregnancy Workout if you want to have something to hold or keep on your phone for when you’re at the gym.  I know it makes me more motivated in the gym when I have a list to go off of.

Make sure to follow along on my journey with my new pregnancy series and tell me in the comments about your own journeys so we can share in this crazy new time.

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