Khloe Kardashian is just one celebrity who came under fire recently for exercising while pregnant. What is okay, and what’s going too far when you’re looking to stay fit with a baby in tow? Are celebrity workouts unrealistic or inspiring?
Kardashian, 33, is about six months pregnant according to E! News. The site reported that people criticized her online for working out while pregnant. She fired back by noting that her doctor approved her workouts.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends exercising while pregnant. But what’s safe and what’s off limits?
Rui Li, a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer from New York, has experience working with pregnant clients.
“Celebrities working out during their pregnancy don’t necessarily create a false sense of reality because I’m sure most of us are aware of the cushy life that they are able to afford, so they have the freedom to get into great shape, pay for fantastic trainers and nutritionists, and continue that routine into their pregnancy,” she told HelloFlo.
During the first trimester, it’s okay to continue the fitness routine you had prior to becoming pregnant.
“There are very little risks as far as movement goes because the fetus is so small so major
physiological changes have not occurred in a pregnant woman’s body yet,” she said, adding that it is important not to start any new regimens.
“Whatever your fitness level was pre-pregnancy, that’s the limit you’ll have to hit during pregnancy,” Li noted. “Only work to the extent that your energy levels will allow. Many women tend to feel tired throughout their entire pregnancy, so workouts should be decided on a day-to-day basis.”
During the second and especially third trimesters, Li said it’s vital to avoid aggressive crunches. “You do want to strengthen the lower abdominals and hips through proper core stability work, such as mat Pilates, but you never want to engage in any kind of weighted or past-paced crunching movements,” Li explained. “Oblique exercises should be limited to anti-rotation exercises and chopping exercises.”
As for lying on your back during the third trimester, Li said short periods of time in the position are alright. Just sit up during rest periods to allow blood flow in the inferior vena cava. Other experts say to avoid it completely.
Be aware that the weight of the belly during the third trimester can cause difficulty breathing and a general sense of discomfort, so it’s always good to sit or stand up in between sets of core exercises, she added.
Joanie Johnson, a pre/postnatal corrective exercise specialist in New York, said that working out during pregnancy is healthy. But doing what you were doing physically prior to pregnancy while you are pregnant is “dangerous.”
Her practice believes that pregnant and postpartum women need to train differently in order to correct muscular and postural imbalances, protect loose ligaments due to the increase of the hormone relaxin, protect from a potential diastasis recti (abdominal split), and bring full functionality to the pelvic floor and core,” she said.
For example, don’t try crunches or a one-minute-long plank while pregnant—something Johnson has seen trainers do.
“We do believe that many celebrities and social media stars are doing a huge
disservice to the world prenatal fitness,” Johnson said.
As for Khloe’s workouts, people have different views about what they see her doing online. Me? I could care less what she does, but hope expectant moms are safe when they’re working out.