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Weightlifting During Pregnancy


Many women don't even realize that weight lifting is appropriate while pregnant. During pregnancy, the goal of your weightlifting would be to work every major muscle group during your routine, utilizing somewhat lighter weights than normal. The muscles you work will come in very handy during labor, and even more so during your postpartum period. If you haven't done strength training before, this is not the time to start a full-blown weight program. Definitely discuss this choice with your midwife or health care provider. Starting a weight training program is very traumatic on the body. This is not the kind of stress we want on your body at this time. The post-partum phase may be the best time to conduct a more serious "get fit" program if you have been sedentary before getting pregnant.

Who Can Weight Train While Pregnant?

If you have been weightlifting prior to becoming pregnant, you can continue your routine as long as the activities fit the constraints described below. The goal now as a mom-to-be would be maintenance and not improvement. Therefore, don't push yourself.

Tell Me The Benefits!

  • Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat.
  • Effective weightlifting exercises require less time than other types of exercise.
  • Weight training helps prevent osteoporosis by building bone.
  • It reduces stress levels.
  • Aids in rest and sleep.
  • Increases energy levels and strength.
  • Strength training improves posture, balance, and joint stability.

 Rules For Weight Training During Pregnancy

  • Increase rest periods between sets to (2) minutes.
  • Perform only (2) exercises per body part of (3) sets each.
  • Stay away from lifting to "muscle failure."
  • Don't do exercises that require you to lie flat on your back.
  • Eliminate exercises where you could loose your balance such as squats or lungs.
  • No abdominal exercises.
  • Don't hold your breath while exercising.
  • Practice proper breathing, exhale on exertion and inhale on recovery.
  • As always, consult your midwife or health care professional for approval.