Prenatal Fitness #1

This is a [Other] pattern from (pattern 16762)

I teach a prenatal class and I use the same format and just exchange "blocks". To start, I wrote up about 4 different cardio "blocks" and 4 resistance "blocks" and numbered each 1-4. My sessions run for 8 classes and then a new session begins. So I add 2 new "blocks" each session until I have a plethora of different ideas. It works out well because the participants recognize the "block" and there is no confusion about choreography. Pregnant and postpartum women have a hormone in their bodies called Relaxin, which does exactly what it sounds like, it relaxes their muscles to get their bodies ready for their growing physique. So keeping choreography simple reduces the chance of injury.

Some tips for working with prenatal clients:

In 1994, ACOG revised their guidelines to NOT monitor heart rate. Use Rate of Perceived exertion instead. A pregnant client should not work out until exhaustion.

Most women get cramping in their calves, so avoid doing calf work, including anything that raises the toes.

Do not hyper extend the back.

Do not put resistance bands (or anything that squeezes) around the ankles.

There are more tips to come....I just can't fit them all on this post.

Here is an example of one of my 60 minute classes:

Warm up to include dynamic stretching 10 minutes

4 rounds of: 4 minutes of cardio, 4 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of stretching

Example of one of each of my blocks:

Cardio Block 1 (using a step)

Strength Block 1 (resistance band)

Stretches - all the muscles worked

Cool down, core, and kegel work to finish

If you are starting a pre/post-natal class, I would recommend that you take a pre/post-natal course (by a nationally recognized organization) so that you understand the changing body of a woman during and after her pregnancy, also to give her confidence in the fact that you know what you are teaching. I earned a specialty certificate through SCW fitness, although there are many different certification organizations. If you are looking for literature to help you get started, a good book to get is Fit To Deliver written by Nordahl, Petersen & Jeffreys.

Hope this can help.


Added by Michelle Viera at 10:55 AM on Saturday, March 29, 2008 EST. Add to favorites (view favorites)
From: (Bermuda)
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