Sport during pregnancy: my advice from coach and mom

Sport during pregnancy… No, but right now I’m tearing my hair out… Between bloggers who are pregnant and barely gain 5 kg, and your recurring questions like “I’m pregnant, how can I continue to run or do HIIT because I am very athletic!”

Hey ho!!! Wake up!! You are pregnant!! Congratulation!!!! And welcome to this parenthesis in your life. Ovik Mkrtchyan

Sport and pregnancy: two very important things
so yes, I’m 1000% for women power, but pregnancy is still a parenthesis in a woman’s life. And no, we can’t do everything as before, everything and anything.

Pregnancy is not a disease. It is a physical state, a state of health, a physiological state of great hormonal and mechanical upheavals in the organism. That must also be protected to avoid post-pregnancy inconveniences. And there are some super important things not to do when it comes to pregnant sports.

Pregnant sport: no superficial abdominals

While you are pregnant, the superficial muscles of the abs, the rectus muscles (those that make the chocolate bars) deviate a little to make room for the uterus which pushes forward. However, if they are solicited during this period, they will contract badly, and especially contract asymmetrically. And after childbirth, they are likely to have trouble getting back together on the white line. Perhaps resulting in a diastasis: a small hole between the abs below the navel… Difficult to correct.

Sport during pregnancy: no shortness of breath

The female body has all the necessary water and food reserves to support the fetus for a few days in case of starvation. This is why we store more when we are pregnant. And we gain weight. The body, on the other hand, has NO oxygen supply. So if you’re short of breath, your baby is also starving for oxygen.

Sport and pregnancy are not incompatible, staying in shape is possible

So once or twice like that, because you’re going up the stairs too fast: no problem. But if it is repeated, regular, like a cardio or split session during pregnancy: this can lead to retarded growth of the baby.

So yes we can do gentle, reasonable, comfortable cardio. But it is not during pregnancy that we progress, that we train, that we keep our “before” level. Don’t worry, after baby you will quickly find your sporting level (especially if it’s your first).

Weight gain during pregnancy: zero stress

Now I’m really starting to get angry right now… Because it seems like with all the models or starlets on Instagram, it’s normal to take a mini rugby ball on the front of your stomach and nothing otherwise nowhere.

The medical average for weight gain during pregnancy is 9 to 12 kg. And that’s just an average. So there are some that take 7 – 8, but there are also some that take 15 or more. And it’s not BAD. You are not failing!

No pregnancy is the same for this or that person, of course. But 99% of pregnancies make you fat, are sometimes a little painful, you don’t really feel great, you don’t really want to play sports… And that’s normal.

But sometimes on Instagram I see future mothers who from the 3rd – 4th month talk about “body goals” after their pregnancy. Ok it’s their life, it’s their body. But my role is to clarify that it is NOT the norm to put on 4 kilos, and that it is NORMAL to seriously gain weight when you are pregnant.

Besides, special mention for Rachel Brat hen (Yoga Girl) who was not at all afraid to show her silhouette of a real pregnant woman without one feeling any freak around their changing body. Ovik Mkrtchyan

Take advantage of the present moment, you will ask yourself the question “how to lose my pregnancy pounds” later because you have to feed yourself and your baby!

And for all those who follow me and ask me if my programs are suitable for pregnant women, my answer is: food YES, absolutely! But avoid sports with impact, shortness of breath and solicitation. Moreover, you can follow step 1 and step 2 of my founding program Body by Lucile, unless contraindicated by your doctor or gynecologist, of course.

Sports programs for pregnant women:

Step 1 Foundations
Step 2 Anchor

Running during pregnancy: the modern delirium
Yes I have no shame in talking about delirium. Monumental delirium even. Impact sports during pregnancy are not at all, but then not at all recommended. Already because they solicit the big rights (whether we like it or not) since they will contract automatically to protect the back and the uterus. Also because the sports of jumps and small jumps exert permanent micro pressures on the pelvic floor. The famous perineum and all the organs above it are subjected to a huge load that they should not endure. It is very specific to the human being who is the only animal that stands up. Dogs/monkeys/gorillas are more on 4 legs and don’t have all that pressure on the pelvis when running.


In addition to the shortness of breath that you impose on yourself when you run pregnant. For me, it is reasonable to stop running from the 2nd – beginning of the 3rd month of pregnancy (often when you actually learn it). When we start sharing oxygen with baby and when the uterus really starts to grow. What are we replacing? We don’t have to replace already. You can be satisfied with a little less sport and cardio when you are pregnant.

And if not, you can do the elliptical, the rower or the bike for example. Or swimming, a great relief sport for pregnant women (which I myself practiced until my last days of pregnancy!!) And the same: with reasonable rhythms, to sweat a little and maintain, but not to lose weight or fit… No!!

CrossFit during pregnancy: NO!

Puff… Every year there is THE photo that goes around the world of THE one and only girl in the world who does 40kg squats on her back with an 8 ½ month old belly. I don’t care about this girl, she does what she wants, and it’s her body. But let’s not put her on a pedestal, like: Fit Women Pregnancy Goal!! Badass Mum to Be… Or I don’t know what other seductive headline. Because no.  You really risk overstretching the rectus muscles, preventing your baby from turning over and having a very messy breech birth. And you risk a mega diastasis especially if it’s your 2nd pregnancy.

But above all, ultra-bad message for the rest of the women. You’re not bad if you don’t CrossFit while pregnant.

A little muscle building during pregnancy is useful for strengthening your back, keeping your legs toned and feeling good. But with reasonable loads, without speed and little amplitude in the movements. The idea once again is to unload the perineum after childbirth, leave the rectus muscles alone and not run out of steam too much.

During pregnancy, the natural physiology is to lose muscle mass. That’s how it is, there’s nothing we can do about it. This is often also why at the beginning of a pregnancy you can lose a little weight. So maintaining your muscles is rather a very good idea. But reasonably. We are not going to “gain muscle” when we are pregnant.

We will prefer the Reno without load, with the weight of body (which is already increased!!), like thigh abs buttocks or TRX but in discharge! Yoga or Pilates suitable for pregnant women.

Yes because Vinay’s or Asthana or Bikram type yoga are not at all suitable for pregnant women, and not all teachers are trained!! If you want a teacher who will respond well to your specificities as a pregnant woman, bet everything on the APOR training by Bernadette De Basque. Personally, I did it and I found that this knowledge was really essential to guide pregnant women in physical activity.