The Importance of Strength Training Before, During, and After Pregnancy

The Importance of Strength Training Before, During, and After Pregnancy

Pregnancy and early parenthood bring new challenges, not just emotionally and mentally, but physically as well. Strength training plays a crucial role in preparing for and recovering from pregnancy, and in keeping up with the physical demands of new parenthood. From carrying a car seat to lifting your growing baby, the activities of daily living as a new parent require a strong, resilient body.


Preparing for a Healthy Pregnancy

Strength training before pregnancy can improve your overall health, making it easier for your body to cope with the changes pregnancy brings. It can increase your stamina, strengthen your muscles, and improve your balance—qualities that are particularly beneficial as your body changes during pregnancy. Moreover, starting with a strong foundation can help minimize pregnancy-related pains and complications.


Maintaining Strength During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, your body goes through significant changes that can impact your physical comfort and mobility. Engaging in strength training can help support a healthy pregnancy by:

  • Maintaining muscle tone and strength: This is crucial as your body adapts to carry the weight of your growing baby.

  • Improving posture and reducing back pain: Strong muscles help in maintaining proper posture and alleviating back pain, a common complaint during pregnancy.

  • Enhancing stamina and energy levels: Regular activity keeps your cardiovascular system healthy, which is beneficial for both you and your baby.


Supporting Recovery and Adaptation Postpartum

After giving birth, your body needs time to recover. Strength training can accelerate this process by restoring muscle tone and strength, helping you return to your pre-pregnancy condition faster. It also prepares you for the physically demanding tasks of new parenthood, like bending and lifting.


Essential Exercises for Pregnancy and Parenthood

Here are some exercises that are particularly beneficial before, during, and after pregnancy:

  • Floor Get-Ups: Learning to get up from the floor without using your hands is not just a cool party trick; it mimics the actions you’ll need as a parent picking up toys or tending to your baby on the floor. This exercise builds functional strength and balance, teaching you how to leverage your body weight safely.


  • Suitcase Marches: Mimicking the act of carrying a heavy car seat or grocery bags, suitcase marches strengthen your core, hips, and balance. This mimics the uneven weight distribution of real-life carrying tasks and helps prevent back pain.


  • Glute Bridges: During pregnancy, the glute muscles can weaken and lengthen as the pelvis tilts to accommodate the baby's weight. Glute bridges activate these crucial muscles, supporting the lower back and stabilizing your pelvis, which is essential for reducing pain and improving mobility.
  • Core Canister Holds: Strengthening the deep abdominal muscles helps in supporting the spine and reducing the load on the lower back. The core canister hold involves engaging the core muscles gently but firmly to create a supportive "canister" around your spine. This exercise is beneficial for maintaining spinal alignment and overall core strength.



Strength training is a critical component of preparing for and recovering from pregnancy and adapting to the physical demands of parenthood. It not only helps in maintaining good health and physical fitness but also equips your body to handle the new challenges of everyday activities with a baby. Incorporating exercises like floor get-ups, suitcase marches, glute bridges, and core canister holds into your routine can offer significant benefits in terms of strength, balance, and endurance, making your pregnancy journey and the transition to parenthood smoother and healthier. Always consult with a healthcare provider or a fitness professional specialized in prenatal and postnatal exercise before starting any new workout regimen.

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