5 Unsafe Exercises To Avoid In Pregnancy
It is a common misconception that exercising during pregnancy is unsafe. We are here to bust this myth! In fact, maintaining your usual workout routine during pregnancy can help you maintain your optimal physical AND mental health. It has also been shown to reduce symptoms such as fatigue and back pain.
While it is true that there are some exercises and moves that should be avoided during pregnancy, and that these change as your pregnancy progresses, there are modifications available for nearly every exercise to ensure you can keep yourself moving to keep your physical and mental health in check while pregnant!
Here are some of the top considerations you should bear in mind when approaching exercising during pregnancy:
1. Lying supine
- Exercises that require you to lie flat on your back for a long duration of time should not be performed after your second trimester. This is because the increasing weight of your uterus restricts blood circulation to you and your baby, which could lead to feelings of dizziness and nausea.
2. High intensity workouts
- The general consensus is that your heart rate should not exceed 140 beats per minute when pregnant, so if you are an avid lover of HIIT, take it down a notch and focus on low impact, slower exercises. Try some resistance training exercises, but don’t challenge yourself too much with pushing up the weights as you are likely to find it a little tougher than usual. The same goes for lots of plyometric (jumping) moves – try to avoid these! For example, a great alternative to squat jumps are squat pulses.
3. Advanced abdominal exercises
- These include full sit-ups or leg raises and should be avoided as they put a lot of pressure on the abdomen. These muscles tend to weaken as the baby grows and abdominal separation (diastasis recti) develops.
4. Holding your breath for a long period of time
- This is common in workouts such as hatha yoga, where you hold the same position for a long time, or weight training. If you find yourself holding your breath, this is a good indication that you should avoid this exercise and switch to something of a lower intensity! The same goes here for excessive stretching, or bouncy stretching. This is because your ligaments are already looser, so don’t try to go for your first splits when pregnant!
5. Deep twists
- Any exercise involving back bends or deep twists should be avoided, including movements involving deep flexion or joint extension (such as intense knee bending), as being pregnant could increase your risk of injury.
With all types of exercise during pregnancy, it is always best to consult your doctor before performing any kind of exercise, particularly if you are new to it.