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Yes! Lifting weights is a great way to stay in shape. A few important things to keep in mind:
- Warm up with a 5-10 minute brisk walk and some gentle stretching. This will get your muscles ready and reduce the risk of injury.
- Always lift with good form. Never extend beyond your natural range of motion or lock your knees or elbows or arch your back while lifting. Never compromise your balance. If you’re not sure your form is correct, check your alignment in a mirror and/or ask a trainer at your gym.
- Go slowly. Jerky motions make you more likely to be injured.
- Consider finding a workout partner to spot you and make sure your form is correct.
- Be careful about not pushing yourself to the point of injury. Pregnancy softens your ligaments and makes you more vulnerable, so injuries can be more severe. A good rule of thumb: lift so that your last repetition in your last set is difficult but not painfully hard.
- Stay hydrated. You don’t need a sports drink, a bottle of water will do.
- Don’t work your abs. While you’re pregnant your abs stretch over your uterus, and any exercise you do to build your abs will train them to go out instead of in.
- Do work your arms, shoulders and upper back. You’ll appreciate this the hundredth time you take a baby, diaper bag out of the house!