Knowledge about the gym and pregnancy evolves, mentalities and beliefs must follow. Today the benefits of sport while pregnant are no longer to be demonstrated. The medical profession widely advises the regular pregnant gym. Discover a program of 5 easy exercises to do at home throughout your pregnancy.
The benefits of the gym during pregnancy
The benefits of the gym during pregnancy are well established, even if for a long time in France, physical activity while pregnant was not recommended except walking. Today the medical profession knows that a sedentary lifestyle is bad for mothers and babies during pregnancy. Pregnant women who do not have medical contraindications are encouraged to play sports during pregnancy and to exercise.
Walking is the # 1 recommended pregnant gym exercise, along with swimming and prenatal yoga. These pregnant sports are excellent preparation for childbirth.
Practiced regularly, the gym for pregnant women has real benefits such as:
- reduces the risk of: hypertension, diabetes, postpartum depression or baby blues, arthritis and cancer …
- less pain during pregnancy.
- less stress, and increased sense of well-being.
- increased self-esteem.
- easier and faster childbirth.
Today, the follow-ups of pregnant women allow good supervision, with the possibility of integrating a gym program during pregnancy followed by the gynecologist or the midwife.
Exercise 1: The Front Lunge
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, back straight, take a step forward. Bend the front knee without going past your toes, then return to a standing starting position. You can put your hands at the hips, or spread your arms out to the side to keep your balance.
Regions and muscles used: the curve of the buttocks (glutes), above and below the thighs (quadriceps and hamstrings), lower back (lumbar muscles) used as stabilizers.
Do 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions depending on your abilities and your current form.
Variant for pregnant athlete or athlete: take small weights of 1 to 2kg, or small bottles of water in the hands to increase the difficulty.
Exercise 2: Squats
Equipment: With or without gym ball (big ball).
- standing with your back against a wall or against the ball on the wall.
- spread your feet a little more than your hip width.
- keep your back straight against the wall or the ball.
- inhale, bend the knees at an angle of 90 °: lower the buttocks against the wall, or roll the ball against the wall towards the floor, at the level of your hips maximum
- hold the position for 2-3 seconds.
- breathe out and lift your buttocks, pushing off your feet, back against the wall or ball. The balloon rises and then rolls upwards.
Regions and muscles used: curve of the buttocks (glutes), above and below the thighs (quadriceps and hamstrings), lower back (lumbar), abdominals.
Variant for beginner, athlete or athlete: Use a rubber band with a handle. Place the elastic under your feet grab a handle in each hand. By keeping the back straight, sportswomen and athletes can dispense with the wall and do squats.
Exercise 3: The Table in Balance
- Stand on all fours, shoulders above wrists and hips above knees.
- keep your back straight.
- bring the pubis towards the navel, you will feel a slight contraction of the abdominals, and a slight stretch of the lower back. Hold throughout the exercise
- inhale and extend the right arm forward. Your arm stays at your ear
- blow, hold
- inhale again and extend the left leg without lifting the left hip towards the ceiling. The arm, spine and leg are aligned
- keep your head in line with the column. Imagine holding an orange against your breastbone and throat with your chin
- keep the posture for 3 to 5 deep breaths (inhale + exhale = 1 breath)
- then release into the child’s posture (buttocks on heels, knees apart, toes touching each other, forehead with the hairline against the ground. Relax by breathing through your back
- repeat on the other side (left arm with leg right leg)
Practice between 3 to 5 times on each side depending on your ability and form.
Region and muscles used: gluteus maximus (contour of the buttocks), hamstrings (back of the thighs), lumbar muscles (lower back), posterior deltoid (back of the shoulder), abdominal muscles that help keep the back straight.
Variation: sportswoman or athlete, practice with an elastic band attached to the hand and to the foot of the extended leg.
Exercise 4: Scissors
material: 1 elastic with handle + 1 chair
- Take a chair and stand behind the backrest
- place your elastic on the floor in the direction of the chair
- stand in profile in relation to the chair, and release the tailbone towards the ground (pubis towards the navel)
- place the foot closest to the chair on the elastic
- put the other foot in the handle
- inhale, grow taller, imagine a thread at the top of your head pulling you up
- breathe, lift the foot in the grip to the side, toes turned inward to work the gluteus medius. Your foot moves away to the side of your supporting leg. You do a side elevation (or abduction)
- bring the leg apart the width of the pelvis
- practice 5 to 10 times
- change sides
Do 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 10 repetitions on each leg.
Regions and muscles used: shapely buttocks + side (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and tensor of the fascia lata), quadriceps and lumbar muscles.
Variation: beginner, athlete or athlete, do this exercise with weights (weights that attach to the ankles).
Exercise 5: Legs on The Walls
The benefits of this posture:
- relieves heavy legs and edema
- soothes the mind
- stretches in the pelvis and legs
While lying on your back, put your buttocks against a wall, as close as you can. With each breath, loosen your back muscles a little more and relax. Lay your legs against the wall, feet up.
Spread out your arms, palms facing up. Relax the shoulders, neck and trapezius. Let your body get heavy. Feel that feeling of heaviness. Take 5-10 deep breaths, relaxing a little more each time you breathe.
Tip: If you lack flexibility, place a pillow under your buttocks and lower back.
Variation: Bend your knees and pull them away from the wall, bringing the bottoms of your feet together. Your legs are like a butterfly, your feet against the wall.