The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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The Right Form
While performing each exercise, breathe steadily and pay close attention to form. Remember that as your pregnancy progresses, your center of gravity will shift and you may find it difficult to maintain your balance while performing some exercises. Make sure you support yourself so that you can complete each movement properly. This routine combines machines and free weights. “Machines are good during pregnancy, because they help you with balance and control,” Cole says, “but free weights work with any body size. As your pregnancy progresses, some machines just won’t accommodate you.”
The amount of weight you lift will depend on your strength at the beginning of pregnancy and how you feel during subsequent months. We’ve suggested a beginning range for each move; just make sure that your last few repetitions of each set are somewhat challenging but not overly difficult. Also, don’t be surprised if you have to drastically cut back your weights, especially in your last trimester: Most pregnant women find they must do so as they begin to feel less agile, coordinated and energetic.
Savor this time in the gym; chances are, you’ll spend most of the next few months focusing on your baby, so use the weight room to focus on yourself. “My pregnant clients tell me that weight training makes them feel like they’re not just baby machines,” Cole says. “They feel like they’re doing something for their own strength and peace of mind.”