What You Need to Know About Group Fitness and Pregnancy
February 13, 2015
As a pre and post-natal expert and fitness instructor, I commonly get some of my client and their friends in my "normal" group X classes. Which is truly wonderful. My mom-to-be clients get to experience the comeraderie and fun of group fitness and it inspires the rest of my students to, well, not get outdone by the pregnant lady :)
With all exercise during pregnancy, you'll had to have had some experience in the class you plan to take and be cleared by your physician. Here are my top tips to keep you healthy and safe during class that your physician may not know. Please share any experiences, questions, or comments below!
1) Get there early and introduce yourself
Now is not the time to hide your pregnancy. You MUST notify your instructor before you start. There are some exercises that you absolutely cannot do while you are pregnant (see my trimester guide for details), and your instructor must know that you will need modifications to their routine and to not push you as hard.
Not comfortable sharing your news with your classmates? Instructors should arrive at least 10 minutes before class starts, so this should give you enough time for some one-on-one before the rest of the class arrives.
2) Get a Spot in the Front
Being in the front of the room will ensure that you get a little extra attention and the instructor can keep an eye on you and give you any modifications you may need. Most often, the front will give you a little extra space, too!
3) You get room for 2
I realize in most group X classes that the room can get crowded and some students get a little over possessive of their preferred spots. However, you and your baby will need a little extra space. The main reasons are that you will need to prevent any collisions with other students or their equipment. Especially in classes like boxing, kickboxing, bootcamp, or anything where weighted equipment is being used.
If the class is truly packed, skip it.
4) Scout out the fans or air vents
Ask the instructor where the best source of air flow is. You'll want to prevent any overheating. This is particularly important during any cardio-based class like spinning or bootcamp. It is 100% okay for you to ask the instructor to open a door, turn an extra fan on, or up the AC for you.
5) Modify modify modify
There is absolutely no reason to risk it. Mostly you'll want to skip any exercises where you could potentially fall or get injured. You may need to use different equipment so you aren't laying on your back or interfere with your growing belly. Stick to marching in place over burpees, pelvic tilts over crunches, and donkey kicks over bridges. You'll have plenty of time to do those once you've fully recovered from birth. Your instructor should be able to inform you of any potentially harmful exercises they've planned out, but just in case, stick to what feels comfortable.
Want to try one of my spin classes? Download my 20 minute HILLS cardio program to your phone and bring it to the gym. This is an amazing workout that will have you safely drenched in sweat. You can modify the resistance to make it as easy or as difficult as you need. Click here for your copy!