Prenatal Strength Training
By: Jessie Mundell
Exercising through pregnancy can be so important to improving physical and mental health. The body undergoes some major changes and physical activity can help support the body through them. Movement can help ease the aches and pains of pregnancy, make labour and delivery smoother for mum and babe, and aid in postpartum recovery.
The big things you need to know for prenatal workouts:
1). Alignment and technique are extremely important:
We need the body to be in optimal alignment (think: posture) in our daily life to avoid wear and tear, and chronic injuries. When we load the body in exercise, weight training, running, etc., it becomes even more important to ensure we’re well aligned.
Being in “neutral spine” or neutral posture means you are standing tall, think about growing UP out of the top of your head. Your lower back has a small curve in it; do NOT tuck your bum under, but do NOT have an excessive arch that creates lower back pain. Get outta those heels, girls!
Your upper body has a slight forward curve, but try to gently lift your chest bone up and relax your shoulders down. Most importantly, try to think about your rib cage being stacked directly over top of your hips.
2). Core training will likely look different than pre-pregnancy.
Our main goal with “core” training is to support the pelvis and lower back, to help you feel stable, and to support your alignment. These goals can be accomplished through exercises that perhaps don’t look like you’re training your abdominals, but in fact your whole core is working throughout the move (such as squat, lunge, and row variations).
In your core training during pregnancy, we want to prevent the severity of diastasis recti (abdominal separation), ensure the pelvic floor muscles have proper tone, and make sure the deep stabilizers of the core are working properly.
I like to give this example: say you signed up for an Ironman event. This event is major. A 2.4 mile swim, 112 miles on the bike, and capped off by running a marathon. Most Ironman events have a time limit of 17 hours, which is well within the normal ranges of a first-time childbirth.
Now, would you train for months in advance of the Ironman event or would you just show up to the start line on race day and wing it? Yikes! Pretty sure we’d all do everything we could to prepare for the race, so I encourage you to look at labour the same way. This is a major physical event that requires strength, stamina, mental focus, mobility – all great stuff that can practice!
Your Prenatal Workout:
Here is a simple (not easy, though!) at-home workout you can do, that fits all the requirements above. All you need is a COREFX Strength Band or COREFX Advanced Toner and your body!
Do this workout for between 3-6 rounds depending on how much time you have, your energy, and your exercise experience.
Start and finish each workout with 2 sets of 10 Core Breaths: Video HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gyVREUFO68
1D). 2-arm Rows (with COREFX Strength Band or COREFX Advanced Toner ): 12 reps (Advanced exercisers: Hold the row at the back for a 2-second pause) Video HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzVo40u_8cg
Rest up to 30 seconds between exercises. Rest 60-90 seconds between rounds
The founder of Mundell Lifestyles and JMG Fitness Consulting, Jessie Mundell is a fitness and nutrition coach, recreational writer, and a lady who lifts. A native of Kingston, ON, who now spends her time in Calgary, AB, Jessie has been in the fitness and coaching world for over 10 years and is passionate about helping women elevate and transform their lives. Jessie’s training specialties lie in female strength training, fat loss, and pre and post-natal exercise. Connect with Jessie at: