When it comes to pregnancy and postpartum workouts, there’s more choices out there than ever before. Gone are the days when women had only prenatal yoga classes to choose from; now you can stay fit with cardio, strength-training and more. TRX suspension training, which uses the TRX Suspension Trainer system to develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously, is one great option for the new mom or mom-to-be.
During pregnancy, it’s important to maintain and/or build strength to off set any muscle imbalances that are taking place with the shifting of weight. The TRX allows you to continue to build strength in a safe effective way. The TRX offers some support with the handles, and helps guide you through movements that might otherwise be challenging because of a growing belly, altered balance from hormones or changes in abdominal strength.
Post-pregnancy, the abdominals are still weakened and your pregnancy hormones (which stay in your body until up to four months after you finish breastfeeding affect your balance. When it comes to postpartum workouts, the TRX is extremely easy to navigate and modify, enabling you to create harder and easier workouts no matter what your body type or fitness levels.
Here’s 5 great TRX exercises for the new mom or mom-to-be.
1. TRX Wide Stance Squat
Squats are the main exercise that build strong glutes (butt muscles), which balance out the anterior pull on the sacrum (that cause the lower back curve). With the growing belly, it’s important to have strong glutes to help maintain a strong back. A lack of glutes or glute strength can lead to lower back pain, which pregnancy can already exacerbate because of the shifting weight. Squats help prepare your body for what pregnancy has in store for you, and will also help post-pregnancy because all that carrying, feeding, and caring for new baby is will create tight, overused muscles in the front part of the body. If we focus on our back body now, we will have less chance of injury and faster recovery. The TRX straps can help support the mother throughout the times when balance might be thrown off due to hormones OR again the weight shifts from the belly.
2. TRX Staggered Stance Pushup
As we all know too well, whether you decide to breastfeed or not, your breasts get larger when we conceive and even larger when the milk comes in. Maintaining strength in our pectoralis (chest) muscles can help with potential sagging in this area and ultimately postural issues and back pain.
3. TRX Seated Bicep Curl
It’s all about the work you put in before in regards to anything in life. I do not think I realized actually how much I would be holding my son (he is my first and I was clueless). Thank goodness I am a trainer because the amount of isometric (when you just hold a movement in place) bicep holds we do while holding children is CRAZY! I love the seated version of the TRX bicep curl because it strengthens the bicep muscle used to hold baby. When you put yourself into a seated position, you are really concentrating on that muscle and taking everything else out of the equation (core, legs, back etc).
4. TRX Seated Fly
The TRX fly works your mid back region. This area is particularly challenged when we have our children from growing breasts, the constant bending over and picking up, and just plain being tired and slouching. This move will help counteract these actions and strengthen the rhomboids, erector spinae, and teres muscles, which are all important back muscles to help maintain the integrity of your spine. You can do this move standing or if your growing belly makes standing uncomfortable, use a seated position with a bosu as support.
5. TRX Standing Staggered Row
This exercise is also a perfect move to counteract the developing front load during pregnancy. The Standing Staggard Row works the back muscles that help maintain postural strength, something I always focus on with my pre/post natal clients. There are so many changes happening that you want to add exercises that will help keep you comfortable but also challenge you in the right way. The staggered stance also gives some added support if balance is an issue.
Photography by Stylish & Hip Kids.