As soon as one of your female clients finds out that she is pregnant, she will likely come to you with dozens of questions—Do I have to stop running? Will strength training cause injury? Can I still work my abdominals? While it's safe for many (but not all) to continue to work out during pregnancy, you'll have to make some modifications to your client's regimen in order for her to stay safe, while still gaining the benefits of training.
Here are 4 prenatal workouts you can incorporate into your client's program today:
#1: Weight training
For many pregnant women, weight machines are a safe and effective way to stay strong and lean during the duration of their pregnancies, especially over the alternative—free weights. That's because your client can control her range of motion and only perform as many reps as physically able. Weight machines also provide a number of additional benefits, including increased muscle strength. Research also indicates that for some, exercising can even help the baby maintain a healthy weight—just another great reason to hit the gym during pregnancy.
While weight training does provide a number of different benefits, your client may have to use lighter weights and avoid any machine that presses against her stomach. And it's very likely that you will have to continue to make modifications as she reaches the second and third trimesters.
#2: Make strides
One of the most gentle-yet-beneficial workouts your client can perform during her pregnancy is swimming. Since swimming is a low-impact workout, some women have found that they can swim for at least 30 minutes, especially during the first trimester. And, as you may already know, exercising for just 30 minutes a day can help to prevent heart disease and even lower the risk of injury.
For this exercise in particular, the benefits are vast: Swimming improves circulation, provides cardiovascular benefits and can help your client maintain a healthy weight during her pregnancy. Don't forget to share a few safety tips, such as to avoid diving and to stay hydrated before and after each swim.
#3: Prenatal yoga
Prenatal yoga classes have by far become one of the most popular exercises, not just in 2015. Not only is yoga a way to stay in shape during pregnancy, but also it provides a number of emotional benefits. Pregnancy can be a stressful time for women, especially since they will go through a number of different physical demands. But with prenatal yoga, your client can practice breathing techniques, build strength and muscle and even improve her balance. It's a form of exercise that can be safe and effective throughout her entire pregnancy.
Pilates is a hugely beneficial workout—especially during pregnancy. This core-strengthening exercise is often celebrated for improving the posture, preventing pain or injury and making for a more comfortable delivery. While every Pilates studio or gym is different, many offer prenatal classes. Do your client a favor and go the extra mile by researching a couple of different class opportunities in her area. When she isn't training with you, she can participate and reap the benefits of one of these classes.
For most, the best place to start is roughly 30 minutes of exercise, for about five days a week. But just remember, your client should always consult with a doctor before she continues training with you or exercising on her own.