Why is Strength Training Good for Pregnant Women?

By on May 6, 2015

Research shows that gentle cardiovascular and strength training are beneficial throughout pregnancy. Strength training is a great form of exercise to perform throughout pregnancy. A well-balanced strength training program, focused on correct movement, will help maintain ideal muscle and ligament length and tension. Tailored training also increases energy levels, aids weight management and increases strength; which really pays off on the big day!
At Club 360, exercises we regularly prescribe to prenatal clients are those that focus on the gluteals, hamstrings, upper/ mid back and core muscles. These areas help to align the pelvis, spine and shoulder girdle, countering the negative effects of pregnancy on your posture.
In the later stages of pregnancy I recommend performing more single-joint exercises to reduce the amount of pressure in the abdomen and to have greater control over joints as they become looser.
At each stage of pregnancy there are different guidelines and precautions for exercise training, thus programs should be tailored to each individual based on a thorough assessment.
It is advisable to consult your doctor before starting an exercise program during pregnancy, especially if you have not previously exercised regularly or have other medical conditions.

14I’ve been strength training since I found out I was pregnant.   But I’m worried that my appetite slows down when I should be keeping my weight up for lactation purposes.  What should I do?

Whilst maintaining a healthy weight range during pregnancy is important for lactation, to actually affect lactation levels you would need to be significantly undernourished. A drop in appetite after exercise should not cause any issues for you or your baby. In fact, results of studies compiled by the American College of Sports Medicine on lactating women suggests that exercise improves plasma lipids and insulin response and does not affect breast milk composition and volume, or infant growth. It also illustrated the beneficial effects of resistance training on bone mineral density in lactating women. One suggestion to maximize the benefits of your training and consume post-workout calories would be to drink a freshly made calorie-dense shake containing ingredients such as banana, rolled oats, almond milk and ground flax seed after exercise.

How do I know I am not overdoing my exercise regimen?​

It is advisable to exercise gently in the first trimester, an important time for fetal development, and in the third trimester when supporting ligaments have loosened and there is increased postural load due to the growing baby.
One good rule to follow during exercise is “Pain = NO gain!” If you experience any pain whilst exercising, particularly in the hips and lower back, stop immediately. This is often a sign you may be overdoing it or are possibly moving incorrectly. Other warning signs whilst exercising are overheating, shortness of breath and dizziness. If you have any concerns with exercise during pregnancy it is best to seek professional advice.


Did you know that by eating something every three hours, you take control of your blood sugar and keep energy levels stable? Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. Take a a snack mid-morning and another mid-afternoon, with no longer than three hours between. This will stop the highs and lows and as your blood sugar stabilizes, the stress hormone levels reduce and you will feel happier and in control.



About Nathan Schmid

Nathan Schmid is the owner and head trainer at Club 360. Club 360 specializes in personal training, physiotherapy and group classes and has helped a considerable amount of mothers safely exercise through pregnancy and beyond. Nathan has a degree in Health Science and Master Personal Trainer Certification. www.club360.jp