Weight lifting is an important part of exercise for anybody and has even been proven to be beneficial during pregnancy. There are a number of weight lifting exercises that are especially great for pregnant women and don’t require any complicated equipment or hours upon hours of dedication.
The key to weight lifting during pregnancy is to use light weights. Keeping your weights light enables you to gain the appropriate weight you need to deliver a healthy baby, but also keeps you from gaining excess weight that is difficult to lose postpartum. Strengthening your leg, back and pelvic area has been shown to decrease difficulties during pregnancy, so it is especially important to work those areas.
The first part of any weight lifting routing is a proper warm up. Begin your routine with a 10-15 minute warm up walk. You don’t have to sprint, but walking at a slightly quicker pace than normal will help warm up your muscles and get your heart rate up enough to burn a small amount of calories.
Two Simple Weight Lifting Exercises
You want to avoid creating too much stress for your body while you are pregnant, so as you lift weights, concentrate on how you are breathing and how fast your heart rate is. You do not want to be panting by the time you are done working out, but you should feel like you worked your body.
Lunges are great exercises because they work your legs as well as your pelvic region. Start by standing up straight with your knees slightly bent. Carry a light weight in each hand, arms hanging down your sides and palms facing toward your body. Using your lower abdominal muscles to keep your lower back straight, step forward with your right leg, leaning your hips into it. Be sure to keep your bent knee at a 90 degree angle (keep your knee straight over your foot) and keep your back leg straight. Hold for 3 breaths. Using your back leg for strength, lift your body back up to a standing position and repeat with the other leg forward. Repeat this movement as needed to complete one set.
The next exercise works your lower body as well as your shoulders, arms, and back. Begin by standing with your legs under your hips, knees slightly bent and arms hanging at your sides with a light weight in each hand. On an inhale, push your arms straight up above your head, and lift up your heels so you are standing on the balls of your feet. On an exhale, relax your heels back down to the floor and bring your arms down the sides of your body so that they are back to hanging by your sides. Bend your knees and squat down, keeping your knees directly over your feet. Return to your standing position and repeat as necessary to complete a set.
Light weight lifting can be extremely beneficial during pregnancy, both for the mother and baby. Use these exercises to feel good and stay fit. Although daily exercise is good for moms-to-be, it is imperative to consult a doctor before beginning any workout regimen.