WHY START AT WEEK 20?
The first question you might ask is why start at week 20? Many women don’t know they are pregnant for the first few weeks of their pregnancy and go about their normal daily routine. Rightly so. Until the 12 week scan confirming a healthy and viable pregnancy there are no guidelines suggesting a change in exercise routine.
Do you have to be 20 weeks for this program?
My wish for you is to begin a workout program around 20 weeks gestation which is when your body is really starting to show change and when it’s a good idea to start modifying what activity you do. In saying this, if you wish to start this program earlier you definitely can. Just begin at week one and start progressing through. As the program gets more difficult you can then repeat each circuit twice to lengthen the weeks.
If you are in the later stages of the program I would suggest completing weeks 1-3 to learn about the program and then choose programs from the later weeks that suit the current stage of your pregnancy.
If you're not sure where to begin feel free to reach out.
DO you need a warm up?
Hey Fit Mama has thought carefully about the organisation of exercises within each workout. The exercises that are more physically demanding are generally placed in the middle of the workout. No specific warm up is required but if you're feeling stiff or cold then going for a 10 minute walk can be a great addition to the programs. Alternatively, start with the stretches that typically are placed at the end of the workouts.
What about cardio?
Hey Fit Mama is a strength and flexibility program. We strongly recommend completing cardio exercise 3-4 times a week. There is a description of other forms of exercise in the education section under 'Exercise during pregnancy' - what type of exercise to choose?' If you haven't already read through these sections please be sure to read this one as it covers conditions that are not suitable to exercise with. Before you begin Hey Fit Mama we strongly suggest discussing this program with your treating Medical Practitioner and ensure this program is suitable for you.
Do you have to follow the routine perfectly?
Here are some ways to make the program suited to your training style.
- You can follow each program from start to finish completing the full sets of each exercise before moving onto the next.
- You can select all the exercises using the same piece of equipment, for example the fit ball, and create mini circuits within the workouts.
- You can choose 2 strength exercise and one stretching exercise and create 4 mini circuits within the workout.
- Really... as long as you try each exercise there is no right or wrong way to approach this program. Let yourself be creative and just enjoy the movement and variety.
Things you need to know during this program:
- During the workouts the exercises are labelled but not described. The glossary contains a description of each exercise with the start and end position.
- 'w' means 'with'
- PF = pelvic floor muscles
- TrA = lower abdominal muscles
- 'x 2' = repeat twice. This is usually allocated to exercises that are done from side to side. This means you will do a total of four sets in that exercise i.e. twice on each side.
- 'x 3' = repeat three sets. Often given to exercises that are bilateral which means you exercise both sides of the body in the same movement.
- Stretches are done for 60 seconds if bilateral, or 30 seconds (minimum) if done on each side of the body. For some programs there will be an x 2 where you can perform 2 sets of 30 seconds or 60 seconds on each side. Your choice.
- If you don't see a number next to the stretches just perform them once or if time allows twice.