Spin Classes During and After Pregnancy
Spin Classes During and After Pregnancy
This is the first in a series of posts on popular exercise classes and what to keep in mind if you’re pregnant or a new mom. Today we’re talking about spin classes during and after pregnancy. Be sure to sign up to receive our blog posts so you can read about all of the classes we’ll write about in this series. If you’d like us to write about a specific type of class, let us know in the comments below.
Before we get into the specifics of spin classes, here is some general info to keep in mind regarding exercise classes…
If you’re pregnant:
- Number one rule – listen to your body. Do what feels right and don’t compete with others in the class. We know it’s tempting to want to do everything others are doing but resist the urge and instead tune into your own body and go at a pace that feels right for you.
- When possible, take prenatal specific classes (that are taught by QUALIFIED instructors). Unfortunately, there aren’t that many prenatal specific classes out there. The most common prenatal class is yoga. Prenatal Pilates classes are popping up here and there but definitely not as widespread as prenatal yoga classes.
- Tell the instructor before class that you’re expecting and ask for modifications. This is also important so the instructor doesn’t push you to do things you’re not comfortable doing (which they shouldn’t do in the first place but some classes and instructors are taught with a “tough love” philosophy).
If you’re a new mom:
- If you’re just getting back into exercise, don’t be surprised if it’s more difficult then before you were pregnant or even when you were pregnant. Take it slow and do what you can. You might not be able to finish an entire class and that’s okay.
- The same tip applies here as for pregnant moms – listen to your body. It’s tempting to be competitive and do what everyone else is doing, but that could lead to injury or overdoing it if you’re not careful.
- If you have urine leakage, changes in bleeding or pain, these are all signs that your body isn’t ready for that intensity/type of workout. Don’t ignore these signs.
Many group exercise instructors (not all) aren’t educated about prenatal/postpartum women. They might know some modifications but they probably won’t know what’s going on with your body or how to address questions/concerns that come up. Again, this doesn’t apply to all instructors but quite often this is the case. This makes it even more important to listen to your body and only do what feels right. If you’re unsure, seek out a qualified pre/post natal exercise specialist.
Now for the specifics about spin classes during and after pregnancy…
- We’ve said it before but we’re going to say it again…listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard. We mention this specifically in regards to spin classes because they are often pretty high intensity classes. You can definitely modify the intensity by how much or how little you turn the resistance, but it’s still a pretty high intensity class. Monitor your intensity by stopping before you feel overexerted or fatigued or use the talk test (you should be able to comfortably speak…if you can’t, decrease your intensity or take a break). As we’ve written about before, monitoring your heart rate isn’t the recommended way to monitor intensity during pregnancy. If you missed our post on the topic, click here to read it.
- Don’t do everything the instructor says if it doesn’t feel right to you. For example, getting up off your seat often, as is usually done in spin classes, might be too intense.
- Be careful not to get too hot. Dress appropriately, stay hydrated and make sure there is plenty of cool air in the room.
- Spin isn’t the type of class you’d want to start during pregnancy if you haven’t done it frequently before pregnancy.
- Be sure to adjust the seat and handles appropriately. Arrive to class early and ask the instructor to help you set up your bike if you need help.
- Upright bikes are uncomfortable for many pregnant women. If that’s the case for you and you’d still like to ride an indoor bike (outside of class), try a recumbent bike.
- Spinning might be uncomfortable depending on your birth (for example, if you had an episiotomy, a tear or a c-section) and the healing process. As we said before, pain and bleeding are signs not to be ignored.
- Be sure to adjust the seat and handles appropriately to prevent back pain, which you are at an increased risk for due to weakened abdominal muscles in the postpartum period.
- Spin classes are usually pretty high intensity so we wouldn’t recommend this type of workout until you have built up a good foundation and have done other less intense forms of exercise first.