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Exercise DVDs during pregnancy - can I do any?

(16 Posts)
HopingCat Fri 30-May-08 09:35:17

I lost my baby weight from dd1 by doing Elle McPherson's workout DVD and then Davina's Power of 3 DVD. Both of these say you should not do them while pregnant without advice from GP. I am ttc and want to try and stay fit when I get pg.

Has anyone ever asked their GP for advice about exercising while pg, or has anyone ever found an exercise DVD that you can do whilst pg?

ShowOfHands Fri 30-May-08 09:38:34

There are pregnancy ones. Davina has one.

I think the general advice is it's ok if you're active pre-preg (ie don't start a regime out of the blue) and pg is progressing well. And listen to your body, everything's looser when pg so damage more likely.

Swimmimg's good when pg.

mum2b1 Fri 30-May-08 10:52:11

There is a good onec called

prenatal fitness with Erin O'Brien

I got i t from amazon i think

very good.

just make sure you dont get too out of breath, drink lots and have a rest afterwards.

I was very active b4 I get preggers and now at 31 weeks I am struggling a bit with this workout but I still walk the dogs for 2 hours a day so.... dont just sit around. do some kind of exercise.
Hope that helps

HopingCat Sun 01-Jun-08 16:46:44

Thanks for advice. I've had a look on Amazon and the Erin O'Brien one is there, and a Davina one.

Anyone else got anything to add before I make a decision?

HC x

bohemianbint Sun 01-Jun-08 17:21:44

I bought the Davina one about 2 months ago. It's not been out of the box yet. blush

NoNickname Sun 01-Jun-08 17:35:35

If you want something a bit more gentle, but which really helps tone everything up, then I can recommend Pilates in Pregnancy.

JODIEhavingababy Sun 01-Jun-08 17:38:00

I've been doing the Davina one regularly, it's quite good and gentle, same advice though, listen to your body and don't let yourself get out of breath.

hatcam Sun 01-Jun-08 17:46:35

Am a personal trainer, specialise in pre and post natal fitness, write for a couple of baby magazines - Davina's pregnancy one is good but if you're already active you'll find it very, very easy! If you can play US DVDs then try Gabby Reece's pregnancy DVD as it's really, really good.

If you're already exercising then you can continue as you are (within reason) when TTC or pregnant - I am still running at 22 weeks because it doesn't feel weird and is what I was doing before.

Beware GP's advice, their remit doesn't cover exercise and fitness and if their a little ahem older then they will often say do nothing but swim, which really doesn't suit everyone.

Midwives are usually much more clued up about fitness in pregnancy.

The Royal College of Obs/Gynae made a big statement last year on exercise in pregn, and recommend every pregnant women should do 30 mins of moderate activity daily in order to be healthy during pregnancy.

This is my pet subject and get properly fired up about it - will happily offer any advice if you want!

HopingCat Mon 02-Jun-08 12:49:50

Thanks hatcam. I'll take you up on that offer of advice then.
I was concerned that the Davina DVD I currently do has a section on abs and another on upper body which is mainly lifting weights. Are there certain exercises I should not do at all when pregnant? My tummy muscles seperated during last pregnancy and I was told not to do any sit-up type exercises for months afterwards. Is it best to avoid these once I am pg even though I am doing them now (only do them once a week at moment so I'm not very fit).
I also play netball and badminton. Are these ok to continue? I stopped doing everything during last pregnancy but wish that I hadn't.

Thanks for helping.
HC x

hatcam Mon 02-Jun-08 13:52:35

HopingCat, beware long post....

Basic rules for exercising when pregnant:

Make sure your midwife knows what exercise you're doing once you're up the duff - there are some things that will mean exercise is a no-no e.g. if you find out you're having triplets grin
Don't start anything new i.e. don't start training for a triathlon...
Try not to get too hot.
Drink plenty of water.
Being out of breath is fine, as most people get puffed quite quickly when pregnant. If you think of sitting on the sofa eating pie as effort level 1 on a scale of 1-10, and 10 sprinting for a bus, try to keep your effort level around 5-7. This should be a good sustainable level where you know you're working but you can still talk!
No lying on your back from 2nd trimester onwards (puts pressure on the vena cava, can make you feel dizzy).
Be careful holding weights above your head (e.g. shoulder presses) as it can make you feel dizzy. You can get round this by doing other upper body work, or try doing your shoulder presses with one arm at a time while sitting on a swiss ball (best) or on a bench/chair.

Re abs, you should check if your tummy muscles have come back together (ignore if you've done this!). Some separation is totally normal, otherwise there wouldn't be room for the baby. Unless you have a hernia it's not really like a big 'ole in your tummy muscles, more like a thinning of the tissue that joins the 2 sides of the muscles that make up the classic 6-pack. Easy to do the check: lie on your back, knees bent as if you were going to do some crunches. Put your fingers just above your belly button (the place where max separation occurs) and you should feel a gap/softer section. Lift your head neck and shoulders up off the floor. Separation of a couple of fingerwidths is normal. Anything more, you need to do some special rehab work (v. easy) and avoid some specific exercises. Otherwise continue with Davina abs until you know you're pregnant. Let me know.

There are plenty of abs exercises you can do when pregnant (contrary to popular belief), but I would advise you not to do the abs section in the Davina DVD. Happy to give specific exercises!

Lifting weights while pregnant is fine, but you want to switch to lighter weights, poss increase the reps and ensure really good posture to protect your back. Always bend ze knees when picking up weights, even if you think they're super-light.

When ttc, there is nothing that you can't do - but to give yourself best chance I wouldn't embark on a hairy scary training regime or a crash diet, it'll just divert your body's energies from TTC.

Plenty of people continue to play netball for a bit while pregnant, but it's not really advisable, mainly because you don't want anyone elbowing your bump and don't want to be hit in the tummy. Badminton is fine, but you should bear in mind that you may find your balance goes a little and you will sometimes find it awkward to stretch to come in over the top of a shot.

Most importantly (and it sounds a bit airy fairy) listen to the way you feel. If something just feels 'wrong' or awkward, or uncomfortable then don't do it. If you feel sick, faint, dizzy etc - stop.

Always happy to wax lyrical on this topic, am a personal trainer specialising in pre and post natal, work closely with midwives and HVs to try and encourage activity in pregnancy and have a total bugbear about the fact there is so much bad advice out there - and always fuddy duddy old GPs who say you should do no more than lie on the sofa getting fat and depressed.

thebluenoser Mon 02-Jun-08 14:05:51

hatcam - it's interesting that you said lifting weights is okay. Besides contact sports (goodbye karate for me sad), it was the only thing I was told to avoid. I would have liked to weight train, but was scared off by both doctor and midwife. They said it was more to do with possible damage to core muscles than the specific muscle being trained, if that makes sense.

As a result, my formerly toned arms are quite flabby, but I've kept it at bay a bit by doing resistance exercises without weights. The Davina pregnancy DVD is pretty good for this, though at 40+4, I still find it too easy! (and I wasn't super fit before getting pregnant). I found a DVD called The Pregnancy and Postnatal Workout much tougher, and though the sound is terrible, you get a good workout - aerobically and resistance wise! You can get it from amazon. I wouldn't try it though unless you have a modicum of fitness before getting preggers.

hatcam Mon 02-Jun-08 14:32:01

This is what I mean - so much conflicting advice. Admittedly, I guess I'm not helping in that dept...

The Davina pregn DVD is easy isn't it! But it is v. safe, which is something. Her other DVDs are pretty effective I think and much tougher but equally safe.

I wouldn't advise starting doing weights apart from with a trainer or in a class, but if you're already working out then no prob. Also, emphasis on lighter weights.

Think you have to get super-logical about it and think about what you do in your every day life - you wouldn't stop lifting a shopping bag or a handbag stuffed with all the usual gubbins,or using your arms to push yourself up off the floor or out of bed so why would you stop lifting light weights? Heavy weight lifting would strain your abs or put your back out - but that would be the same if you were someone very overweight or unfit (not preggers) who suddenly tried lifting heavy weights. Think doctors especially can err on the side of caution because they don't want people to misinterpret their advice and suddenly start reaching for the macho dumbells (as if).

If you're worried about it, you can always use resistance bands or bodyweight exercises e.g modified dips and press ups. I use a lot of bodyweight exercises when I'm teaching as it usually uses lots of different muscles.

But then at 40+4, I'm guessing you're counting down the minutes now.....good luck smile

RIBS Mon 02-Jun-08 15:46:45

HATCAM is spot on. Im a gym junkie, am 25 wks pregnant and still going at it and intend to carry on as long as I can. Ive had grief of loads of people telling me I SHOULDNT excercise!! Im pregnant not a paraplegic!
Im still doing spin classes, stepper, cross trainer, walking and weights. Ive cut my 2 hour session down to about 1hr 20 mins, and ive stopped running, but only because I listened to my body when it told me it wasnt happy running. Secretly im grateful for it, I hate running but I get more benefit from it!!
But I feel tons better for continuing to excercise!
Keep at it for as long as you can, as long as you dont do too much I reckon!

micci25 Mon 02-Jun-08 15:51:40

davina has a dvd specifically for pg although through the first three months you will be fine doing your normal one as long as it is a normal pregnancy with no bleeding etc.

i went to the gym during my first few months and every was fine i had spoke to midwife about this as my mum and nan thought that i would be damaging the baby!! she said i would be fine doing my normal work out the first three months but should speak to a trainer at the gym to alter it for pregnancy after that. swimming and aqua aerobics are great for pregnancy and most lesiure centers and gyms now do ante natal yoga and pilates classes.

nappyaddict Sat 30-Aug-08 22:15:57

hatcam - you said badminton is ok when pregnant ... what about tennis or squash? also you said it is ok to carry on going to the gym - is it ok to still do sit ups, press ups and go on the treadmill?

xPennyx Thu 08-Nov-12 12:37:21

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