OK, I originally started this blog because I was quite dissatisfied (read: pissed off) with the available information out there regarding exercise in pregnancy. It was both a lack and inaccuracy of good information.
Over the past two years I thought the evidence was getting a bit better, with less focus on ‘taking it easy when pregnant’… So I was royally pissed off to read the following article in one of the world’s leading pregnancy books.
I won’t name it but let’s just say it starts with “What To Expect” and ends with “Expecting”. Sneaky eye roll.
According to ‘the experts’… Well obviously not because I wasn’t consulted 😉
“You don’t need to be a body builder (after all, you’re doing that already).”
- Seriously, the morning sickness is bad enough, why make me gag even more?
2. Biceps exercises
“Biceps curls are great so that you can carry your baby and nappy bag at the same time;
Start with 3 or 5 lb weights;
Do a couple of lame curls; (OK, they didn’t use the word ‘lame’ but that’s what they’re implying)
Take breaks if needed;
You will feel a burn in your muscles.”
- Biceps curls are great because then you won’t have old lady arms. Bicep training alone is not going to get you through your parenting days… you’ll also need alcohol and baby Valium;
- They are advising you to train with a dumbbell half the weight of your newborn… Er, logic?
- Take breaks if needed… INCORRECT, there are no breaks with parenting. You should start poor-posture-sleep-deprived-hungry-heavy-weight-lifting. NOW you’re talking baby…
- You will feel a burn in your muscles… Er, no you won’t. If you do, you should hang your head in shame…
3. Pelvic floor exercises
- They always LOVE this topic;
- Apparently they prevent urinary incontinence: er, not necessarily, check out the evidence on pelvic floor exercises here;
- Also (wait, this one is good): they “tone your pelvic floor in preparation for labour, and help you avoid an episiotomy.” I’m not even going to go there, because some of you may be eating your lunch right now.
4. Leg lifts in pregnancy
- I honestly didn’t know these had survived past the Jane Fonda era (admit it, now “Physical” is playing in your head. Check out the video immediately – I don’t know which is better, the 80s-man-style, or Olivia Newton-John’s front wedgie);
- “Leg lifts use your own body weight to ‘tone’ your thigh muscles.”
- What does ‘tone’ even mean? I think it means softer muscles? Or firmer fat? I’m not really sure…
4. Squats during pregnancy
“Feet shoulder width apart, keeping heels on the ground, slowly lower down, hold for 10 seconds, repeat 5 times.”
- FIVE body weight squats? DARE I exert myself that much when pregnant? Surely it’s harmful for the baby?
This is more what I’m talking about:
Then your baby ends up like this: