Being in ultimate shape during your pregnancy will significantly lessen the chance of needing an invasive surgery
Kettlebell Training During Pregnancy
By Lauren Brooks Miller
"Being in ultimate shape during your pregnancy will significantly lessen the chance of needing an invasive surgery".
"Do not let your heart rate get past 140bpm!" "Don't lift anything heavier than 10kg!" This is exactly the out of date misinformation that doctors or nurses have advised pregnant women in the past. These are the type of misconceptions which can quickly instil fear and uncertainty when it comes to exercising during pregnancy. Then the pregnant mum ends up doing almost nothing, gaining 40kg, getting depressed and creating complications down the line. There are numerous studies all over the world proving the undeniable benefits that sticking to a training regime, designed for your fitness level, not only has remarkable benefits for yourself, but for your baby.
To make a blanket statement and tell every pregnant woman to have the same guidelines is basically stating we are all exactly the same. Lucky things are starting to change. ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) has revised the guidelines and is now telling women to measure their intensity with the RPE (Rated Perceived Exertion) scale rather than concentrate too much on heart rate, since no one person has the same fitness level. On a scale from 1 - 10 ACOG recommends women should keep their intensity between 5 - 8 during pregnancy. If you currently engage in a resistance training program and your doctor says you should not do anything more than walking, without a valid reason, it's probably time to find a new doctor or care provider that is familiar with the current research.
Who wouldn't want to give their baby a healthy start? Women who have been through labour and/or recovered from having a C-section, know that there is nothing easy about it. Preparing your body for one of the most physical and emotional events in one's life is the most important thing you can do for yourself and baby. I don't know too many women that actually want to have a C-section. Being in ultimate shape during your pregnancy will significantly lessen the chance of needing an invasive surgery. Although, if the baby is breech or there are complications such as placenta previa, you have to have a Caesarean. But never fear, if you kept your body strong, you can and will recover quickly and eventually regain your strength. Unfortunately I was one of the unlucky ones that had no choice in the matter and ended up with a C-section both times, due to reasons I could not prevent. Nevertheless, I have surpassed my strength and fitness goals after each pregnancy in record time.
Today I am sharing with you some of the most common questions and answers I receive from my pregnant clients or their personal trainers.
Question: - I am brand new to kettlebells and I just found out I am pregnant. Can I continue to use them?
If you have already learned some of the basic exercises and are sure you are using them properly, there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to continue with the exercises.
Question: - I have never used kettlebells before and I am 6 weeks pregnant. Would it be safe for me to start using them?
Because your body has never experienced this type of movement pattern, it's not recommended to start during pregnancy. You can go through the motions without a kettlebell without the explosive components. Although, when it comes to the full explosive hip power, you should wait until after you have your baby.
Question: - I've been taking kettlebell classes and working out to kettlebell DVD's for over a year. Can I continue with it now that I am pregnant?
As long as you have the okay to exercise from your doctor, you should be able to do almost everything you are currently doing, during your first trimester. The only thing you will want to eliminate is V02Max Training. Now is not the time to perform a challenging snatch test or test your body to the limit. All out Tabata drills or trying to beat your current pull up record should absolutely be avoided.
Question: - I'm in my 2nd trimester, feel great, and my pregnancy is going smoothly. Can I continue with the same routine I had during my first trimester?
Yes with a few exceptions. Once your belly gets larger around 16 - 20 weeks, you are going to have to make some adjustments. You will have to eliminate exercises that have you lying directly on your back such as Floor Presses, Get Ups and Sit Ups. Twisting and pressurizing your breath is not advised. Twisting exercises such as the Windmill and any exercises that require you to lay flat on your belly should be completely eliminated. Other than that you can continue with your training.
Question: - I am confused as to how to design my program. Should I aim for long workouts that are easier or short workouts that are more intense?
Short workouts that are more intense will give you more bang for your buck. Long workouts can tire you out afterwards and really leave you even more winded than before you began. Keeping the workouts short without overheating will give you that recharge of energy your body will desperately need to possibly do another mini workout later that same day. Or tend to other activities that you are involved with.
Question: - Can I use kettlebells to the very end of my pregnancy?
Absolutely! You will definitely have to modify the weight that you use and scale down many of the exercises. Remember you should not practice any pressurized breathing, therefore, pressing heavy weight overhead should be prohibited. If you were proficient with Snatches prior to pregnancy, then you should be able to snatch a comfortable bell over your head. Swings, Squats, Cleans, Rows, knee push ups, and Presses are usually great exercises to continue as long as the body allows and are able.
Sample Kettlebell Pregnancy Workout
Start with a 5 - 10 minutes joint mobility warm up. Set your timer for 30 seconds. Take a 30 second break in between each exercise. Repeat this circuit 2 - 5 times depending on your current fitness level.
Suitcase Dead Lifts
2 Handed Swings
Squats to Tricep Extension
Hand 2 Hand Swings
Push Press (Left)
Push Press (Right)
Cool Down with light walking and stretching
If you have any more questions about program design you can check out my pregnancy DVD "Baby Bells". You will find a follow along workout that is appropriate for all stages of pregnancy with modifications. The most important thing is to really listen to your body. Your body will be the best judge. Follow the guidelines and let your body do the rest.
Lauren Brooks Miller is the owner of On The Edge Fitness and Co-owner of BuggyBellz. She is the creator of the worldwide selling DVD's "The Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells" Volume 1, 2 and 3. Her 2nd DVD "Baby Bells", is the first and only Kettlebell video, designed specifically for pregnant woman. Lauren is a full-time working mother of 2 beautiful young girls. Her passion for leading a healthy and active life is an inspiration for mothers, parents, and woman everywhere.
To purchase any of Lauren's Products or for more information about kettlebells, visit Kettlebell Fever , the official UK home of Dragon Door RKC kettlebells – the UK’s premier resource for everything kettlebell related. Alternatively contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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