We all struggle enough to find the right exercises to do in every day life, but once you hit pregnancy it gets even harder to find the best ones to do. In a couple days, I’m going to talk about the best exercises to do when you’re pregnant, but today I want to talk about the 3 worst exercises that you should avoid when you’re pregnant.
Ready? Here goes:
1) Sit ups
As you may know if you’ve read my other blog Lose Fat At Work, I’m not a fan of sit ups for anybody, whether they’re pregnant or not. The main reason for this is because we all spend our days sitting hunched over in front of computers and in our cars so it makes no sense to do an exercise that replicates the sitting position when you’re working out! Rather, we want to try and reverse that effect in the gym.
This is extra specially important for you when you’re pregnant, since you’ll likely be spending less time on your feet and more time sitting down. So when you’re pregnant, sit ups is one exercise that you should not be doing.
2) Overhead shoulder presses
This one is a little controversial and doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone but for the majority of people, shoulder presses are something you want to avoid when you’re pregnant. The reason for this is that if you don’t do these with absolutely perfect form you can actually place a lot of stress on your low back – an area which is going to be under way too much stress already due to the added weight tugging your pelvis down during pregnancy.
The way to think about exercise in general during your pregnancy (and even when you’re not pregnant really) is that you want to make sure that the benefit you get from a given exercise must outweigh the risks by a large margin, otherwise it is just not worth it.
Shoulder presses are a classic example, since the benefit you get from them is some added strength and muscle in your shoulders but the risks include stressing your low back and injuring your shoulder girdle. It’s much better instead to do other exercises that work your shoulders while saving your back (we’ll discuss some of them later this week – make sure to check back in on the blog in a couple days!).
3) Forward lunges
Like with shoulder presses, this exercise in-and-of itself is not bad at all, it’s just that when you’re pregnant you have to always weigh risk vs reward, and forward lunges are the loser in that calculation.
You have to be careful when it comes to your knees since you’ve likely added a bunch of weight and your knees are not used to handling that kind of load. Additionally, most people don’t lunge correctly even without the added weight and put way too much stress on their knees, so we definitely don’t want to make it even worse by adding load to a bad movement pattern.
The reason why I specified forward lunges specifically is because out of all the lunging variations, they place the greatest load on your knees. However, there are other safer lunge variations that you can still do, which we’ll talk about in our follow up blog post later in the week!
Alright, so those are the 3 exercises that I want you to avoid during your pregnancy. They place too much risk on your joints and don’t give you enough reward in return, so they’re out! In a couple of days I will publish a follow up blog post that talks about some exercises you should do instead. Make sure to keep checking back so that you don’t miss that blog post when it comes out later this week! Meanwhile take care and make sure that the exercises you’re using are safe and offer way more reward than risk.
And if you have any questions about this blog post or other exercises that you should avoid, please post them in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer them!
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