We like to call personal trainer Irene McCormick “The Queen of Mean” -- but she’s also the queen of making sure women know they can and should exercise during pregnancy.
“It’s more difficult to do some of the movement patterns but you’re not broken,” says Irene. “There’s nothing wrong with you, you just have to acknowledge and honor that your body is changing and work with it.”
By the second trimester, my belly was blossoming; affecting my breathing, balance and range of motion. Irene says most pregnant women may want to shorten cardio or make them less intense, and lift lighter weights. But she shows us some compound exercises that are perfect prenatal moves.
Both the squat with a lat pull-down and rotation and lunges with an overhead press build strength and endurance – which I’ll need during labor.
There are also exercises pregnant women should do to prevent diastasis recti -- it’s literally a splitting of the rectus abdominis. Some things make it more likely -- like poor posture, and doing the wrong exercises -- like full crunches or v-ups.
Moves that force you to recruit deep abdominal muscles are good choices. Any sort of side plank will do the trick, and a roll out on a stability ball also requires a lot of focus.
As you consider exercising while you’re expecting, remember Mean Irene’s words of wisdom, “Your pregnancy body may be bigger, but it’s not broken!”