Should pregnant women do pushups?

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Should pregnant women do pushups?
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Pushups, being a fundamental exercise for the upper body, are often recommended for everyone and considered safe. But what about pregnant women? Should mothers-to-be also do pushups, an exercise that requires one to get on all fours and lower the body until the chest touches the floor? Answering this question is pre and post-natal coach Vinti Maheshwari, who took to Instagram to share that “pushup is an easy and effective way to train your core throughout the pregnancy, while also strengthening your upper body”.

According to Maheshwari, the muscle groups that are trained during pushups are chest muscles, triceps, shoulder muscles, and core.

Is exercise essential during pregnancy?

Of late, there has been a lot of emphasis on exercise and fitness, especially during pregnancy, as is it very important for the health of the baby and the mother. However, at the same time, it is essential to ensure that pregnant women maintain proper caution and form, and do not over-exert themselves, said Dr Neha Bothara, obstetrics and gynaecology, Fortis Hospital Vashi.

“While pregnant women can do many forms of exercise, they must learn a safe method to do them. The general rule is to not begin any form of exercise or training that you have not done before conceiving. Although pregnancy is essentially a normal state of physiology, succumbing the body to new forms of strain is not a wise decision,” Dr Bothara added.

Pregnancy exercises might help maintain or improve your fitness and prevent excess weight gain, suggested MayoClinic.org. “Before you get started, be sure to avoid moves that make you feel unstable, which could increase your risk of falling,” it noted.

How to do and what to keep in mind?

To alleviate the risk of injury and unnecessary pressure on the core and pelvic floor muscles, Maheshwari listed two modifications that pregnant women can make while doing pushups.

*Elevate your hands by 15 degrees or more
*Wall pushups

Pregnancy needs utmost care (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

According to MayoClinic.org,

*Start with wall pushups, which work the pectoral muscles in the front of your chest wall and the triceps muscles in the back of your upper arm. Stand up facing a wall.

*Lean against the wall with your hands. Keep your knees comfortably apart. Place your hands on the wall at the level of your shoulders, slightly greater than shoulder-width apart.

*Slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest until your chin reaches the wall. Keep your back straight. Then return to the starting position.

Multiple push-up variations may be performed in the initial trimester, particularly if you’ve been doing them prior to becoming pregnant, said Varun Rattan, co-founder, The Body Science Academy, Noida.

“Switching to incline and wall push-ups can minimise joint and core stress in the second and third trimester. It would be a smart move to hire a professional trainer to assist with form and progression of the activity. Like with any new exercise, master the right form with minimal weight and incrementally build the difficulty,” Rattan added.

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