How to Get
Beach Pregnancy Body Ready
Last summer I decided to start working on making my body ready for pregnancy.
Firstly, any intense exercise classes only featured once in my week (mainly because I enjoyed them), I also added in yin yoga for its calming effect on the nervous system and finally I thought about my body from a physical standpoint and how it would feel if I were to get pregnant.
My hips, glutes and core have always been issues of mine (I’m not the best at walking if you’ve ever noticed) and knowing full well if they’re not good now, they’re going to be a literal pain during pregnancy.
In short, your growing bump is supported by these areas of the body, as well as the back. And a growing bump means a lot of weight on your front, and if your body isn’t supporting it, it causes all sorts of aggravation.
I talk a lot about training before you’re pregnant as it’s a lot for your body to go through and also having a different goal in mind can begin to help you work with the changes that happen.
He sat me down to ask what my goal was.
To sort my hips out.
For example, I can put my hands flat on the ground while keeping my legs straight and have always been pretty flexible but in my case, because I couldn’t control it, it was most definitely a weakness. And a weakness I never worked on. Mainly because I hated doing anything I was really bad at (as do we all!).
Enter a programme filled with cossack squats, pistol squats, hip drills, front squats, single leg hip thrusts plus a load of other exercises working on weaknesses such as much core, plus a load of mobility. (Obviously, we also got to work on strengths because you can’t take that fun away!).
Having previously trained for aesthetics thanks to the pressure of getting married (more on that here), training for my body’s health was so much more satisfying than anything I’ve ever done before.
That said, it was humbling doing things I purposefully avoided or had never done before. Albeit, at times frustrating (you could probably hear me swearing at myself if you were training in The Gym Wandsworth).
But week in, week out, you progress.
And boy does it bring a sense of satisfaction.
Being female, there are weak weeks and you wonder what the hell is going on (but then you check in with your cycle and realise why you feel the way you do). But looking back, although you may lift less or not move as well compared with the weeks prior, however you look back and in the time to date you realise you’ve made progress, and more importantly those niggles have become something you once had.
Although I mentioned weights going up. I’m weaker now in a lot of lifts that I’ve been before but it’s a lifestyle and mindset change.
Lifestyle wise, I was strong when I first became a PT as I’d come from a desk job where I had a routine that meant I could hit the gym on a regular basis, I was sitting down all day so recovery was quicker, I had bags of energy and believe it or not, a lot more time than I do now. Like a 2 day weekend for example.
In terms of mindset, pregnancy is a tricky thing.
Throughout our lives we’re taught to exercise and eat to make our bodies look a certain way (this is slowly changing but it’s still very much there!). However, dieting is a stress on your body which isn’t what you want if you’re TTC or pregnant, as your body needs all the energy it can get and you want it to be functioning as best as it can (aka homeostasis).
With this in mind, it’s about being comfortable in the body that you’ve got, being in awe of all the changes it goes through to create a baby and accepting them too.
So, using my knowledge and experience of working with clients, I figured that by focusing on building a body that can withstand pregnancy when it happens as my goal would be the best thing for me. Focusing on exercise for feeling good and moving well.
These days, numbers on a scale mean nothing; I’m happy with numbers on my bar staying where they are as a reminder of consistent training; my ego is left at the door as it’s about training for a healthy life, and to hopefully bring a healthy life into the world one day.