- Training pregnant clients can have associated concerns regarding body position, range of motion, and exercise intensity.
- To avoid major mistakes when training pregnant clients, trainers should have different exercises for each trimester.
- Personal trainers can be more effective in training pregnant clients by using customizable fitness software during workouts and assessments.
Breaking into training special populations, like training pregnant clients, can be a rewarding way for personal trainers to add a new stream of revenue to their fitness businesses.
To train pregnant clients, it’s important that you’re not only well-versed in pregnancy, but that you have the tools in place to make your training as effective as possible; that’s where personal training software comes into play.
By taking advantage of the features that personal training software has to offer, you can train pregnant clients in a way that works for them, not against them.
To learn more about the Exercise.com personal training software platform, book a demo today.
How to Train Pregnant clients
To learn how to train pregnant clients, it’s imperative that you have a thorough understanding of pregnancy and why it’s important to follow certain procedures with these clients.
How does pregnancy affect exercise?
Pregnancy is an important topic that can affect a large percentage of your prospective clients. While there are some limitations during training, it is safe to exercise while pregnant, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). In fact, there are quite a few benefits of remaining physically active during pregnancy.
Although pregnant women can exercise, there will be limitations throughout their pregnancy that will become more important to follow as they near their delivery date. If you want to start training a pregnant woman, you’ll want to be sure you understand the associated risks.
Do you need to be certified to train pregnant clients?
You will want to be certified if you’re looking to become a pregnancy fitness coach or trainer. To be more effective as a trainer, it helps to get advanced credentials that can better prepare you for exercise and pregnancy. Some examples are below.
- NASM Women’s Fitness Specialist (WFS)
- AFPA Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness Specialist
- NSCA Special Populations Specialist (CSPS)
There are many options available that can help you become a stronger personal trainer. A pregnancy personal training course or equivalent could help assure your clients stay safe while you maximize the results they see in response to training.
Tips For Training Pregnant Clients
Exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. When a woman gets pregnant, exercise can help her prevent excessive weight gain and also ease the recovery process post-partum. For these reasons, many practitioners recommend hiring a personal trainer during pregnancy.
Prenatal training and postpartum training won’t be exactly the same. To further complicate those differences, each trimester of a woman’s pregnancy will have different limitations. You don’t want to ignore some of the exercise adaptations for pregnancy.
As the pregnancy progresses, more specifically into the second and third trimesters, pregnant clients will want to limit or avoid exercises that are performed in the supine or prone positions. The prone position could put undue stress on the fetus whereas the supine position has the potential to cause undesirable changes in circulation or blood pressure to the mother or fetus.
One unforeseen change in a pregnant woman’s body is an increase in the laxity of the ligaments due to an increase in the hormone relaxin. This has the potential to predispose pregnant women to injuries caused by instability in major joints. Pregnant women may want to emphasize slow and controlled resistance training exercises to maintain stability without adding any risks.
As the pregnancy progresses, workout intensity becomes a growing concern albeit a controversial topic. Basically, as the intensity of exercise increases, blood is increasingly extrapolated from the organs to supply your muscle tissues with sufficient oxygen. Some sources believe the blood (and oxygen) could be pulled away from the fetus as well.
Other research suggests that high-intensity aerobic training could be beneficial to pregnant women with few added risks. Most sources suggest that pregnant women train below an intensity of 75% of their maximum heart rate for at least 150 minutes per week.
Your pregnancy workout plan should have different exercises for each trimester. Avoid common mistakes like insufficient or excessive exercise intensities, ballistic movements, and exercises in a prone position.
Use Exercise.com's custom workout software. Book a demo to learn more.
Train pregnant clients.
Software Tools for Training Pregnant Clients
Training pregnant clients can be a rewarding job for trainers. It can also be a time-consuming process as you carefully program for a variety of special needs from client to client.
Workout Software for Pregnant Clients
Every woman seems to handle pregnancy differently. Some won’t skip a beat with routine workouts while others might feel lethargic and struggle to get to the gym twice per week. Offering your pregnant clients resources to help keep them on track will help them overcome any barriers to exercise due to pregnancy.
With anticipated changes during each trimester, it’s important that your client understands exactly what they should and shouldn’t do while in the gym. It’s easy to monitor a client face-to-face, but what happens in they want to exercise while you aren’t there?
Exercise.com’s workout software helps guide pregnant clients through structured workouts. As a trainer, you can create workouts that fit the needs of each client regardless of any limitations. You can automate the delivery of those workouts to convenient prompt your clients to train while programming in your spare time.
Fitness Assessments for Pregnant clients
Many women won’t work with a personal trainer until they feel that their safety is in jeopardy. Once they get pregnant, the added health risks often lead them to a personal trainer. As always, every client is different. When we add in another variable like pregnancy, client expectations can become even more complex.
Thankfully, Exercise.com offers fitness assessment software that helps trainers stay prepared by organizing custom-made fitness assessments for every client. The trainer can create, log, and track assessments to monitor a client’s progress. Clients can even log their assessment data themselves if there are assessments that can be performed without the trainer.
For pregnant clients, trainers may want to assess weight, body fat percentage, anthropometry, muscular endurance, cardiorespiratory endurance, balance, and more. As you continue adding assessment results, you’ll be able to track progress to make sure your programming is working effectively.
Customizable Exercise Library for Pregnant clients
Offering convenient workouts and assessments is helpful, but not every client will be able to perform workouts or conduct assessments without some help. Pregnant clients might be using new exercises like plié squats or cat-cows that aren’t very familiar. If that’s the case and you’ve included those exercises in your program, they might need some guidance.
With Exercise.com, your clients will have access to an exercise library that helps explain exercises alongside a video that shows clients how to perform the movements. These features are available to your clients from a custom-branded fitness app so they can train on the go without any major concerns.
Training Pregnant Clients: The Bottom Line
Training pregnant clients requires a lot more than just general knowledge. It requires education, empathy, and a host of software tools built with customization and adaptation in mind.
To learn more about how Exercise.com can help you train pregnant clients, book a demo today.