There are many benefits to keeping fit during your pregnancy. Being pregnant is tough on the body. Maintaining a good exercise program will help you bounce back to your original weight and shape following the birth of your child, but even more, it will help you through the delivery and provide many important benefits to your child as well.
What is TRX?
TRX is an amazing development that lets you take all of the benefits of high-powered gym equipment anywhere you want to work out. You can use this system at home, in your yard or at the park. It uses your own body weight to create a more powerful workout without the high cost and space requirements of heavy duty machines.
Benefits of TRX for Pregnant Women
The TRX system is easy to use at any fitness level, and you can adjust your training to accommodate your body’s development during pregnancy. It provides an excellent workout with 100s of different exercises so you won’t get bored, without pressuring you into positions that might be unsafe for you during pregnancy. The TRX creates a powerful total body workout that engages the abdominals and trunk muscles while using compound movements that are typical to the way you move in everyday activities and sports.
Five TRX Exercises You Can Do for a Better Pregnancy
Stand with feet hip width apart facing the TRX straps. Hold one grip in each hand with your upper arms close to your sides, elbows bent at a 45-degree angle in front of you. Slowly lean backwards while straightening your arms, keeping your back and legs straight. Pull back up to an upright position.
To increase the intensity of the workout, hold both hand grips in one hand and do the exercise with one arm and then switch to the opposite arm.
Stand with your feet at hip width apart facing away from the TRX system with one-hand grip in each hand. Keep your feet in place and your back straight as you lean forward and bend at the elbows until your upper arms are horizontal with the ground. Push back against the hand grips slowly to a full upright position.
Stand with feet hip width apart, arms straight down at your side with one grip in each hand, facing away from the TRX system. Keep your hips level and your back straight while raising your arms in front of you and leaning into the hand grips keeping your elbows straight. Extend your arms until your elbows are at your ears. Slowly push down on the hand grips and push yourself back until you are upright.
To increase the intensity of this exercise, allow yourself to lower further with your arms extending further behind your head.
Stand facing away from the TRX system. Hook one foot through the grip behind you with your knee bent at a 45-degree angle. Place your hands on your hips for stability. Keep your shoulders straight and bend at the knee on your supporting leg. Squat as deeply as possible without losing your balance, and return to an upright position. Switch legs and repeat on the opposite side.
Lateral Lunge and Hop
Stand feet together facing the TRX system with one hand grip in each hand in front of you, elbows bent at 45 degrees and upper arms close to your side. Jump to the right and lunge, bending your outside knee, keeping your inside leg straight and extended out to the side while straightening your arms as you lunge. Push back up with your bent knee and hop up to your starting position while bringing your arms back to the original position. Without stopping, jump to the left and bending your outside knee, keeping your inside leg straight and extended out to the side while straightening your arms as you lunge. Push back up with your bent knee and hop to your starting position.
These exercises work effectively your arms (biceps, and triceps), your midsection (abs, lower back) and your legs (quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings).
Tips for Exercising During Pregnancy
- Eat properly and increase calorie intake: Always be sure to eat enough to compensate for the extra calorie burn when exercising during pregnancy. Exercise for pregnancy women isn’t as much about losing weight as it is keeping fit and strengthening cardio and muscular fitness. While pregnancy is not the time to try and lose weight in general, if you were overweight before becoming pregnant ask your doctor the best way to stay healthy and maintain calorie levels while increasing your fitness levels.
- Avoid dangerous activities: Exercise is great for pregnant women, and there’s no reason to worry about staying active. However, this is not the time for extreme sports, or activities that can bump or throw you.
- Always warm up: Your muscles are under a lot of stress just from the normal pressure of pregnancy. It is even more important now to make sure you warm up slowly and thoroughly before a workout, and cool down properly following your exercise session so you protect your muscles and ligaments.
- Avoid exercises that require lying flat on your back: After the first trimester, lying flat on your back increases pressure on a major vein that runs from your heart to your extremities, called the vena cava. The reduced blood pressure caused by pressure on this vein can make you dizzy and nauseated as well as causing shortness of breath. If you really want to do a particular exercise that requires lying on your back, put a pillow under your hips to help keep the pressure off of the vena cava.
- Drink lots of water: Staying hydrated is important any time you exercise, but even more so while pregnant. Dehydration can cause contractions or increase your internal body temperature to a point where it is dangerous for the fetus. A good rule of thumb is to drink an 8 oz. glass of water prior to beginning a workout and one every 20 minutes during your exercise session.
How Long should Pregnancy Workouts Last?
One of the most common excuses for not exercising is that there’s no time to fit in a regular workout routine. It really doesn’t take much time at all to increase your overall fitness levels. According to prenatal fitness specialists, just 30 minutes a day is all you need to create the extra muscle strength and cardiovascular levels that will propel you through your pregnancy, child birth and give your baby a great start in life. You can exercise every day as long as you alternate the types of exercises you do so that you do not overstress any one muscle group.
TRX is a fantastic way to increase both cardiovascular and muscular strength. Some of the benefits of exercising during pregnancy are:
- Shorter labor
- Better tolerance for pain during childbirth
- More stamina for the labor and delivery process
- Lower incidence of gestational diabetes
- Faster recovery following birth
Many of the benefits of good muscle strength above are easy to understand. Some benefits of TRX exercises during pregnancy have an impact on metabolic health, and include health benefits you might not easily associate with working out. Lessening the incidence of gestational diabetes is one of those things.
Pregnancy causes abrupt changes in hormones that the body is not always equipped to deal with. When you’re pregnant your pancreas has to work overtime to produce enough insulin to combat the hormonal insulin resistance and keep you healthy. If the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin the results can be disastrous.
I had gestational diabetes during both of my pregnancies. It had nothing to do with my general health when not pregnant. I didn’t have diabetes before being pregnant and haven’t had it since. So don’t assume that just because you don’t have a problem with diabetes under normal circumstances that when you’re pregnant it isn’t going to be a problem. Exercising helps you metabolize the sugars and hormones in your system better and keeps your body working more efficiently even when under the stress of pregnancy.