As a gym instructor working with a pregnant woman on fitness and health, it is absolutely imperative that you watch your client for any signs or cues, and know what to do when you see those signs or cues. Largely, a fitness regime for a pregnant woman will be based on her goals and her limits – if her doctor has advised her to take it easy for example or if she is carrying twins and therefore has a bigger bump than a client carrying just the one baby. Gym instructor courses incorporate modules surrounding pre-natal exercise and fitness and as with all elements of gym instructing, must be acted upon with the highest of care and attention.
Gym instructor courses make sure you know the most up to date information and guidelines when it comes to working with pregnant women in order to keep them and their baby safe and at peak health during the training sessions you engage with. You must know the correct exercises as well as the incorrect ones, the ones which are unsafe such as crunches and anything that stresses the abs and pelvic floor. Diastasis recti is a condition pregnant women can suffer from and it’s when the ab muscles split, so it’s wise to not add any extra strain on that area when there’s a little human putting pressure on the muscles already.
There’s this notion that pregnant women must never lie on their backs; this is partly true. The weight of the baby squashes all the mother’s organs and blood vessels, preventing adequate oxygen and blood flow from getting around the body and into the organs. It can make the mother feel dizzy as well as harming the baby, so pregnant women are advised to lie on their sides with a pillow between their knees for added comfort. The thing is, gym instructor courses will teach you that a minute or so lay flat will not harm the baby or the mother, so you can incorporate this type of exercise. Plus, the dizzy spells do not kick in instantly, so as long as you keep this activity brief your client and her baby will be fine.
Gym instructor courses teach you so many things. Remember that taking a pregnant client from lay flat to direct standing is a no-no due to the probability of head rushes and fainting. Put a transition exercise in between such as a position on all fours for example so that she doesn’t feel such a stark contrast, and make sure that everything is a steady pace. Quick movements are not advised at all. Squats are fine as long as your client does not overdo it as they are a great way to make sure her pelvic floor stays in good shape for labour and afterwards. Always remind your client to breathe normally and don’t be afraid to keep reminding her. Remind her about her posture and how she’s standing. A lot of pregnant women find they naturally slouch or tilt especially towards the end of their pregnancy but it’s not good for them, it puts strain on their muscles and joints unnecessarily. Deep squats are great for labouring so if your client likes them then encourage them to do more at home and in labour. Make sure they know their own limits though.
Once you’ve taken one of our gym instructor courses you’ll have the knowledge and the confidence to go forward with what you know. Make sure you’re not afraid to stop your client if she looks tired or anxious or stressed, and don’t let her push herself. You must ask her if she has any restrictions on what she can do put on her by her midwife or doctor, and you must stress to her that she needs to tell you if she’s in pain or anything feels wrong to her. Exercise is important in pregnancy to prepare for labour and afterwards but there is no need whatsoever for overdoing it. No pregnant woman will be working out to get a six pack at six months pregnant. As long as your client is moving then she’s doing great.
Gym instructor courses teach you that you must understand your client’s goals. Is she wanting to keep her weight down in pregnancy? Is she preparing for labour? Does she want to make the return to pre-pregnancy shape easier after giving birth? Or is she simply wanting to keep fit for herself and the baby for fun? You must know what she wants. Above all, remind her that her baby is safe in her tum, that he or she is well cushioned and that she won’t do her baby any harm as long as she stays safe during her workouts. Long gone are the days of resting in bed the minute a woman discovers she’s expecting. It’s better for her health if she keeps active so don’t let her give in to temptation and stay in bed all day just because she’s pregnant. At the same time though, if she doesn’t feel like working out that day then don’t push her. It’s about balance.
Gym instructor courses here at Fitness Training Solutions give you the qualifications you need to kick start your career and to get ahead in the world of personal training, health and fitness coaching and much more. Give us a call today if you think you have what it takes to be a gym instructor and let us shape you into a better version of who you were yesterday!