'Loaded Movement Training' & Pregnancy Exercise

‘Loaded Movement Training’ & Pregnancy Exercise

Part 1 - Defining Functional Training During Pregnancy Exercise Programming

with Laura Deitz - ViPR Group Fitness Master Trainer (pictured), soon to be mom of 2!


What is Loaded Movement Training?  

  • Moving in multiple planes / directions under load. What's so great about it? It creates a platform for fitness programming that is reflective of what moms actually do as part of their activities of daily life as well as having benefits for maintaining integration with the core/Pelvic Floor.  Loaded movement training better supports moms because of the ease of adapting to her shifting needs and abilities as the Trimesters progress.  It can also be adapted to suit the cardio/respiratory conditioning abilities of the Pregnant client throughout the Trimesters.  The ViPR facilities easily both resistance training, mobility, flexibility, agility and muscular reactivity that truly prepares the woman for the demands of her real life especially if she is also a mother to other children whilst being Pregnant. 

What do moms do for most of their day?  Lift, pick-up drag, push, pull, bend over.....mostly whilst already carrying a load and then transport the load.....so it follows that when we're really seeking to create 'functional training' for moms during their Pregnancy,  ideal programming would involve supporting and training their ability to do what it is they simply do.  During Pregnancy exercise programming.....one of our key roles as Fitness/Wellness Professionals is the maintenance of pain-free, integrated movement throughout the Trimesters with the major goal of getting the mom prepared for the end  of her pregnancy when the load on her system is greatest and of course, super strong for the demands of labour.

Introducing a progressive 'thoughtspace' for truly FUNCTIONAL Pregnancy exercise where, we're less inclined to create programmes where moms are sat on Swiss Balls, lying down or moving only in ways that don't really reflect the demands of their daily lives....enter training that is totally focused on training Pregnant women to empower them to do what they 'need to, have to and want to do'  WITH EASE AND CONFIDENCE.

Check out Laura Deitz here at 35 weeks gestation moving the 4kg ViPR in ways that will truly prepare her for the demands of her life.  She's pushing and pulling, moving in multiple planes, working high, working low, integrating functional movement patterns with core and Pelvic Floor work.......

So, as mentioned above, when we start linking the principles of LMT  with the 'exhale on exertion' principle (exhale on the 'work' or concentric phase of the exercise) we can further enhance the synergyist relationship between the breath and the Pelvic Floor/Core and furthermore, by loading the myofascial lines and muscular sling systems we'll also unconsciously load the Pelvic Floor and its supporting cast....to create a fit-for-movement Pelvic Floor exercise....adding another much needed layer to Kegels......what a bonus!

How's that work?.........Well, movements such as lateral stepping and returning eccentrically load the Pelvic Floor via the adductors on the way out and concentric unloading occurs when the woman returns to the start position (muscle movement and hypertrophy principles 101), hip flexion and extension also have the same load/unload effect for the Pelvic Floor thought the integrated connective tissue/fascial system as does squatting and lunging.....

Kegels vs Movement (ViPR)

(Click the image to enlarge)
Burrell J, Powell S, Dear L & Nourse P - Functional Movement Versus Kegels - 2011



Vaginal EMG of Pelvic Floor when performing Kegels (conscious activation) versus a Lateral Tilt & Return (unconscious activation) as pictured above

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Pregnancy is also a time of considerable change from a biomechanical and postural alignment standpoint and the ViPR here also  works as a brilliant 'release' tool for all those posture/pain/discomfort 'hotspots' that so many people experience.  Without a therapy/bodywork background you may think that you don't have the skills to 'de-kink' your Pregnant client but here you can become the master/mistress of freedom and bring your client some much needed relief virtually instantly.  Contrary to popular myth and general fitpro education, most pregnant women are not at the mercy of destablizing pregnancy hormones that render 'stretching' a no-no...those with either first-hand experience of time in the trenches will testify a nice bit of bodywork is always well received and hardly ever contraindicated. By considering 'activity of daily life' movement patterns and integrated theories that encompass the myofascial and muscular sling systems we can create 'release' programming  that truly addresses the changes.  

Look out for Parts 2 & 3 of this blog where we’ll discuss ‘release’/flexibility strategies for the Pregnant client using LMT and more on Functional Exercise for the Pelvic Floor and considerations for the client healing a Diastasis Recti.

 Other Benefits of Loaded Movement Training

  • The ViPR is simply regressed and progressed to create bespoke programming for the Pregnant client throughout the Trimesters.
  • The ViPR can be easily manipulated to create a suitable cardiovascular response throughout all the Trimesters of Pregnancy.
  • The ViPR can be used to replicate many of the movement patterns that a mom will use in her daily lift to create truly functional programming at a time when it's most needed.

Caveats, Cautions & Contraindications

Certification is a MUST when working with this population, there are no short cuts to offering a safe, effective and referral-worthy service.  Your clients deserve your dedication.  

If you enjoyed this video, I KNOW you'll enjoy any of the Pregnancy or Post Natal course on offer from Burrell Education.....if you love LIVE courses, you're in luck as we not only have LIVE courses in the UK but in Australia and New Zealand taught by Master Trainer Clare Hozack.....and if you are ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD with an internet connection, you can still join the 'movement' and access either our Advanced Pregnancy and Birth Preparation Global Online Certification or the Advanced Post Natal Functional Training and Core Restore Certification.


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