Correct me if I’m wrong, but you do want to make your clients’ hour of exercise with you once a week, worth their while, whilst keeping it safe and effective.
There are a few hints and tips of the trade to help you, the Pre/Postnatal Specialist, ensure that you’re applying the ‘Goldy Locks’ method whereby you’re getting things ‘just right’ for your clients, without skimping on safety.
BPM / Music speed – If you do an aerobics-style warm up/cardio element with your clients, I’d suggest a bpm of 130-135 for pregnancy, and around 135-140 for postnatal. I personally don’t tend to do resistance-based exercise set in time to music in any of my classes, pre/postnatal or not – I just demonstrate the exercise at an appropriate speed and leave the music playing on in the background for a bit of motivation.
Number of reps – Contrary to belief, you can work your pre/postnatal clients fairly well, without actually breaking them. The pregnant client NEEDS strong arms and legs for what’s to come (labour), and your new mums NEED to regain their strength to meet the demands of motherhood. I don’t count reps, I watch technique and reiterate that if they want a rest, that’s fine.
Resistance level – Every pregnancy is different, everyone’s strength will be individual and some new mums will join you for the first time postnatally having not exercised formally since Secondary School! Taking all of this into consideration, in a group exercise environment, if you’re fairly equipment-poor like me, provide everyone with the same resistance band, but get clients to work at their own pace, provide a few advanced options for the postnatal ladies who are still coming along at 9 months, and watch their technique.
Interval training – If you’re NOT doing interval training or circuits with your pre/postnatal clients, they’re missing out. Interval training needn’t be HIGH on the intensive scale. I term mine MITT (Mummy Intensive Interval Training). Choose 3 exercises, perform them 3 times through for a 9 minute workout with a ratio of say 45-50 seconds work and 10-15 seconds rest.
Hills – If you operate a postnatal outdoor buggy class, you have simply GOT to find somewhere that has a hill. Seriously – adding any sort of incline for a new mum who’s buggy is already laden with the morning’s shopping plus her baby and change bag is one awesome workout! Be strict on technique though – get clients to keep the buggy close and get them heel-striking, rather than pitching their weight forwards.
And, there you have it – a few hints and tips from my years of experience teaching over 1,000 pregnant and postnatal women.
There’s plenty more where they came from too, so if you have a question, pop a comment below, or join my Facebook Group.