The benefits of training during pregnancy are now widely accepted. The type of training that can be done is largely dependent upon the pre-pregnancy activity and fitness levels of the mum-to-be. Training during pregnancy is a great way to maintain a healthy weight, improve posture and pelvic floor control, improve balance and coordination as your body changes shape. It is also a great way to increase strength and stamina helping with the physical demands of pregnancy, labour and post-natal recovery.
It is often recommended that you wait at least six weeks following a conventional birth before starting exercise again, longer following a caesarean birth. However depending upon the type of birth and pre-natal exercise levels training can sometimes be started straight away. Training will initially focus on recovery, postural correction and boosting of mood and sense of well-being. The focus of training will then shift to weight loss and regaining of your pre-pregnancy figure whilst developing strength and fitness.
Personal Training is also a good way to avoid or recover from injury. A stronger more flexible body that has achieved postural balance is less likely to become injured from either overuse or trauma. However if an injury has occurred, our personal trainers can work in conjunction with your physiotherapist and guide you through your rehabilitation and back to full fitness.
Greenwich Fitness also offers sports massage which is an invaluable tool in recovering from either hard training or injury. Sports massage uses a variety of techniques to break down scar tissue, reduce muscle tension and restore balance to the musculo-skeletal system. Sports massage can be booked on an hourly basis and is charged at £60 per hour.
Sport Specific Training
Strength and conditioning work should form an integral part of the training of any athlete. Whilst widely accepted as being essential for power athletes, performance in endurance sports can also be improved through a well structured strength programme. A typical sport specific training programme would contain elements of the following:
General Conditioning – Most sports involve the repetition of similar movement patterns potentially leading to muscular imbalance. It is important that these imbalances are addressed in any sport specific programme. The general conditioning phase prepares the athlete for sport by focussing on whole body multi-planar movement, developing core strength, coordinated muscle strength, functional flexibility and muscular balance.
Hypertrophy – This is the increasing of muscle mass through specific strength training. Sports that involve high levels of body contact often require larger muscle mass to help absorb the repeated impacts. However increased muscle mass can be a hindrance in some sports and a balance must be found between mass and mobility.
Maximum Strength – The use of specific lifting protocols will aim to increase the maximum force an athlete can produce. The importance of maximum strength varies between sports but maximum strength forms the basis of power and strength endurance development.
Power – Refers to how quickly an athlete can apply force. Having a high level of maximum strength doesn’t necessarily equate to high levels of power. The use of plyometrics and other explosive exercise helps to increase power by developing the ability of muscle to contract quickly.
Strength Endurance – Most sports contain an element of strength endurance i.e. the ability to apply low levels of force for prolonged periods. High levels of maximum strength can make a particular sub-maximal effort level more efficient and hence sustainable.
Speed and Agility – Although top end speed is important in most sports the ability to accelerate, change direction and react quickly are almost certainly more important. These are skills that can be trained and developed through sport specific training.
Changes to body shape are some of the most common fitness goals, be it building muscle mass, losing body fat or achieving a more toned appearance. The type of training needed to achieve the various body shape changes is very different so the training you do must be determined by your goal. The style of training completed must be in alignment with your goals else you are destined to fail. Greenwich Fitness can ensure that you are doing the right kind of training and getting the most out of the time you have available to exercise helping you to achieve results faster.
Regardless of what change you would like to make to your body or appearance exercise alone is rarely the answer. As well as doing training of the correct style, intensity and volume if you are to achieve success this must be accompanied by the correct nutritional stategy. The Greenwich Fitness trainers can offer you all the guidence you need to make sure your diet is supporting your training giving you the best chance of success.