Aches? Back pains? Swollen ankles? There is no running away from it during your pregnancy. However, regular exercise may reduce many of the aches and pains that come with carrying your child.
Not only that but it reduces stress and increases the possibility of faster labor and fewer complications – who would not want that? It can be confusing on what the best machines are for you to use and which ones are the safest?
Not to worry, here are the best machines for pregnancy workouts. As a disclaimer, please seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider before starting an exercise program.
There is nothing like a classic treadmill machine. These are great to use whether you are running, jogging or just simply walking. As you progress through your pregnancy you will need to cut back.
A treadmill is an ideal machine as you can change the incline and speed.
A treadmill is better to use than walking around on pathways as it has additional cushioning to reduce strain on your joints.
Don’t forget to use the handrails if you need to ensure you stay balanced – your center of gravity is different and you could stumble. Remember to listen to your body and take a break when you need to.
Stationary Bike/Recumbent Bikes
Cycling can be incredibly fun and safe, especially when you take a group class. Cycling allows you to get your blood pumping while minimizing pressure on your joints.
You can adjust the tension to increase or decrease the difficulty of pedaling. If you are new to cycling, join a class for a session so you can gain some experience before working out on your own.
If you do make the decision to join a class, do not forget to let your instructor know you are pregnant. If you become overheated or tired, take a minute to yourself and either slow it down or stop – you can always start again!
As you progress through your pregnancy, you will probably prefer to move to the Recumbent Bike.
This is due to the additional support and comfort it provides you while cycling which is beneficial for back pain and joint aches during your pregnancy.
Unfortunately, during your third trimester, your belly may get in the way of your knees.
An Elliptical Trainer is a favored machine for pregnant women. This is one of the best machines due to its low-impact, guided motion.
This assists in reducing pressure on joints, while still allowing you to get your cardio and strength workout in.
Due to the motion of the Elliptical, you may feel discomfort if you are experiencing SPD (Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction) which is a pain that occurs in the front of your crotch.
Check out this mother-to-be routine when it comes to the treadmill, stair climber and the elliptical!
This machine you have to use with caution. You can use a rowing machine for cardio and strength.
Go slow and steady, remember to pace yourself and take your time so you don’t strain your body.
Later on in the pregnancy, you may have to alter your form or give up this machine altogether due to your belly.
When it comes to weights, there is no harm in deciding to continue your strength training, or even pick it up!
They are great for strengthening your muscles and toning up your whole body. You should always use strength machines as they provide you with additional support, balance and restrict your range of motion during your workout to prevent injury and strain.
Remember, you need to stick to low weights with higher reps.
This is great for increasing your endurance so you are able to carry the additional weight of your baby. Not to mention all the carrying after delivery!
A few great strength machines to use while pregnant include:
- Seated cable row
- Seated chest press
- Seated leg curl
- Leg extensions
With this machine, you need to take extra care when working out. You can adjust the stair climber speed, tension and incline to make the workout better for you. If you begin to lose your breath, take a break and slow it down.
The further along you get in your pregnancy you may have to decrease the speed, incline, and resistance.
Listen to your body and concentrate on your steps so you don’t accidentally take a tumble.
Tip For Using The Heart Monitor
If any of the machines you are using has a heart rate monitor, don’t pay to much attention to it.
During pregnancy, your blood volume increase and so does your resting heart rate, so a heart rate rating won’t be an accurate gauge of your intensity.
If you don’t feel up to using a machine, not to worry. Here are a few additional options that don’t require a machine and are favorite for pregnant women.
Picking up yoga during your pregnancy can be rather beneficial. It is low impact, assists in maintain muscle tone and improves flexibility.
With Yoga, it is centered around breathing and mediation which is going to help you ease any stresses you have and allow you to find a place of calm.
Once you reach the halfway mark of your pregnancy, it is best to avoid any movements that could tug on your belly ie twists, require you to lay on either your back or your belly for a long period of time and of course, anything that like a headstand!
Being in the water will do you wonders. It takes the additional stresses of your pregnancy off your joints and muscles.
Not only that, but you won’t overheat! If you decide to join a water aerobics class, it is a good idea to wear a pair of aqua shoes to improve your grip on the bottom of the pool.
This will just decrease your chances of slipping or losing your footing.
If you want something to minimize your back pain and tone your abdomen to help support your growing belly, pilates is definitely a good option.
Not only that, but due to your toned abdominal muscles, it can allow you to have a little extra push during labor.
After your first trimester, avoid laying on your back and take caution the further your progress during your pregnancy.
Things To Avoid
Working out while pregnant if great for your physical, mental and emotional health. However, there can be a few things that you need to be wary of to ensure that you are safe. Things to avoid include:
- Laying on your back for long periods of time
- Laying on your belly for long periods of time
- Contact or collision sports
- Anything with too much motion or the possibility of falling ie horseback riding
- Unstable surfaces ie wobble boards
- Increasing your body temperature too high
- Objects flying towards you ie a ball or puck
So there you have it, the best machines for pregnancy workouts. Just remember to reduce the intensity of your exercises as your pregnancy progresses.
The benefits of exercise during your pregnancy can improve your mental, emotion and physical state.
Remember to always consult a physician before taking on a fitness routine. Take your time, listen to your body and enjoy your pregnancy!