Posted: November 22, 2010 at 8:00 pm

I had a great Monday today. I went grocery shopping with no drama. I managed to remain pretty productive without feeling stressed. All of your comments on my “Put Up or Shut Up” post made me feel much better. We have a laid back night of leftovers (whole wheat linguine with sauteed veggies) ahead of us. And I fit in a great spin workout this afternoon. I love the instructor at that class time. She gets working out while pregnant and doesn’t feel the need to baby me or question me all the time. You know how much that means to me.

Oh, workouts! How I love thee. You have seen and heard a plethora of my adoration for maintaining exercise during pregnancy. From photos to videos -

weights IMGP8514

Even during pregnancy I seek out a good workout high. I always make sure to do so safely though. Which brings me to this reader’s question:

What type of modifications do you make for working out while pregnant? How do you work out your ab muscles? How do you avoid laying on your back for chest presses etc. I need tips 🙂

First of all, congrats to whichever reader needs these tips! I’m here for any support you may need in the months to come. As for the question, I will list out some of the things I do or keep in mind for pregnancy fitness:

  • I never try new workouts. I only participate in things I know my body can handle and that I know how to adapt for my body’s needs.
  • I never allow myself to feel winded or like I’m exerting myself much. I work out at a comfortable state – enough to feel like I’ve done something but not leave me fatigued in any way at the end.
  • I do not do targeted ab exercises. This is purely personal preference. I focus on keeping good posture and using good form in other activities (like during spin or while lifting weights), which naturally will work the core. I regained core strength just fine after M and didn’t suffer a diastasis.
  • I stay off my back after the first trimester by doing moves on an incline bench. I either use the incline benches at the gym or during Power set my step up with 3 risers on one side and 1 on the other. This mostly affects chest work, since I do not do abdominal training.
  • I don’t do high impact moves after the first trimester. So no jumping in kickboxing, no high intensity plyometric drills, no running, etc for me. Although if I had been running regularly before pregnancy, I may have felt comfortable continuing that.
  • I stop any activity that becomes painful at ALL. Don’t risk it for the sake of finishing a workout. I have had days where I have to stop after 10-15 minutes instead of completing a planned 40 minutes to an hour.
  • I take more rest days. I take two FULL rest days from exercise and one “active rest” day where I will do a lighter walk or yoga.

Those things work well for me, but as always if you have any specific questions check with your doctor/midwife. And listen to your body! Always!

  • What type of workout have you been doing the longest? How long? When I think about it I guess I would have to say kickboxing. I did some TaeBo videos before buying my own fitness DVDs and Cathe’s Kick Punch & Crunch was the first fitness DVD I purchased…8 years ago! Wow! Maybe that’s why I can still do all of that at 8 months pregnant?

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34 Comments to “modifications”
  1. Mandy says:

    You already know my answer but I definitely did all of these things you mentioned when pregnant 🙂 And I am proud to say that I was on the elliptical for 30 minutes the day before my water broke at 38.5 weeks pregnant 🙂

  2. OMG that workout video you are doing looks like so much fun (may i ask what it is:-)?) I love seeing how active you are being during your pregnancy. Makes the idea of pregnancy to me a smidgen less scary ;-).

  3. I love how you stay so active while pregnant!!! I’m sure your body will thank you when it bounces back quickly!!

  4. i’d say running and yoga are always my go-to’s…they are fun, and they make me feel good! but i’ve been loving walking lately too 🙂

  5. I love that you still workout, but you do it in a healthy way. You are careful not careless. You also don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to take a break. I know that sometimes you have to for health reasons (my sister couldn’t exercise during her first pregnancy) but I’ve seen how much healthier my friends have been when they continued to woorkout.

    • Tina says:

      Yep, working out in pregnancy can’t always happen because there are quite a few things that can hinder that…but if things check out okay then I definitely say go for it if you were active beforehand. And walking is good for anyone.

  6. Hannah says:

    I think it’s amazing that you’re staying so focused on exercise throughout your pregnancy! It’s very inspirational, particularly as I’m neither pregnant, and went for my first 15minute run this morning in over 18 months. (Well, toe surgery partly explains that, but mostly I’m just lazy :P) If I ever get pregnant (…) I’ll look back on your tips, I think!

  7. Very impressed with your dedication to working out! My friend Jessica came with me to all our kickboxing classes up until a week before she was due. She was the class’s modifer and such an inspiration to everyone there. You knew if she was kicking butt you better be working just as hard!

  8. ashleigh says:

    You really are awesome for keeping up with workouts while pregnant, and you rock them! hopefully I can use these tips..someday 🙂

    The workout I have been doing the longest is probably walking and zumba. I love to walk whenever I can and sometimes a incline walk on the treadmill really kicks my butt!

  9. I’m very impressed by the level of physical activity you have maintained while pregnant, obviously everyone is different- but someday this will be an inspiration to me.

    • Tina says:

      I truly believe that if you don’t have any other health issues going on during the pregnancy it is 100% reasonable to continue with what you were doing beforehand, simply less intense and with modifications for your body. I’m sure when the time comes for you, you will do great!

  10. Those are great tips!! I’m going to have to remember them for when I get pregnant. I’ve always wondered if it was ok to workout while pregnant, and what types of things you could do.

  11. Errign says:

    These are great tips for working out whilst pregnant. You seem like you keep very active, which is awesome! Happy Almost Thanksgiving! 🙂

  12. Wow! You are awesome! Keep up the great working! I don’t ever remember being pregnant and having the energy you have!

  13. Shelley Tully says:

    Ba ha ha ha ha, omigosh that workout video brought back memories!! Here’s me Turbo Jammin at 39 weeks with Lauchlan ….. Back when were all chatting it up on :p

  14. The workouts I’ve been doing the longest are running and playing basketball. I started playing basketball when I was very young and it is still my favorite form of exercise. I’m in the best shape when I’m in basketball shape!

    You really inspire me to keep up a good workout routine during pregnancy. I was very sick during the first 17 weeks of my pregnancy and didn’t work out. After that it was very difficult for me to get back into the routine. I hope next time the morning (ALL DAY) sickness isn’t as bad so I can keep a routine going without disruption.

  15. I’m so amazed by what you do. I, admittedly, have not managed to do more than walk, and even that’s only about 3-4 times a week. I blame it on that I’m still getting sick, but guess I need to find a way to work around it.

  16. Ameena says:

    I really didn’t modify my workouts during my pregnancy…I kick boxed and ran and did a bit of yoga. My doctor was horrified, but I felt great!

  17. You are kicking butt in that video above!! I love when I see women that are pregnant staying so healthy. It gives me confidence that when I’m pregnant one day I can stay in shape!

  18. Angela says:

    THANK YOU for taking those precautions during your pregnancy! There have been a couple of times where I’ve seen VERRRY pregnant women working out at my gym (sometimes in the classes I teach) and I get really worried that they’re going to hurt themselves or their babies. I wish more were like you! 🙂

    • Tina says:

      I’ve had some instructors show concern but I always assure them that with weights I do about 1/3 of my normal weight. In kickboxing I don’t do high impact. I never get out of breath. It’s important to me to workout to feel good and maintain health. It always saddens me when I hear of women working out in pregnancy to try to limit weight gain or because of an obsession. i definitely think there is a difference and usually if its just to feel good, modifications are happily taken.

  19. I’m not pregnant yet, but I’ve bookmarked this post for when the time comes. Great tips; thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  20. I am always so impressed when I watched that youtube video!

  21. Eunice says:

    I want to be this awesome when I’m pregnant!

  22. My mom was very active when she was pregnant with me and my four siblings, and I really believe it was for the best for her sake and for ours. Congrats to you for keeping motivated and sticking with it! The exercise I’ve probably been doing the longest would have to be running. I’ve done other things here and there but running or using the elliptical for cardio are always my go-to workouts.

  23. Kelly says:

    It’s so ironic that you posted this b/c I was just wondering yesterday if you could actually do stomach targeted exercises when you’re pregnant and was planning to ask you. I’ve heard of women who could barely do a crunch after having their baby b/c they had lost so much strength in their core and I was wondering if there is a way to prevent such extreme muscle loss. Thanks for all of the information!

  24. Wow, you are a seriously inspiring pregnant lady!

    Tae-Bo was the first workout tape I’ve ever bought. VHS-style, baby!

  25. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Annett Davis and Tina Reale, Tina Reale. Tina Reale said: modifications: I had a great Monday today. I went grocery shopping with no drama. I managed to remain pretty pro… […]

  26. You are so inspiring! I plan to stay as active as possible when pregnant, too.

    I have been running the longest. I started running consistently when I joined Cross Country in 7th grade and still do it today. Hopefully I can still run when pregnant, too.

  27. Kat says:

    You are incredible! So impressive that you continue to work out. I’m super jealous. I keep saying I’ll get back into it.

  28. […] trainer used to incorporate in his classes. I remembered how much I enjoyed that class and how good Tina looked doing a kickboxing workout, even with little B in her […]

  29. AGS says:

    I’m currently pregnant, and have modified my workouts quite a bit. The first trimester, I was extremely fatigued — and it was all I could do to get out of bed for work and my usual activities. The fourth month, I started incorporating more walks and some jogging. From there on, I’ve continued with some light weights and light jogging — my Dr. mentioned that most women stop running/jogging around 4th months, but I love running, and keep it up at a slow pace, so as never to feel discomfort/cramping.

    You asked about chest presses. I have used resistance bands to perform chest workouts — you can do these standing or seated — I prefer squatting (as this engages my core and glutes). Easy to change the resistance level, as well with bands. Of course, I can’t wait to actually use REAL weights.

    I also have chosen to do other types of core work, rather than keep up with strict ab work (used to do weighted ab work 2-3 times a week). However, I’ve been thinking about incorporating this more, as I’ve noticed my posture is getting a little more slouchy. Dr. told me there was no problem with crunches, provided I maintained a “gentle” workout style.

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