Swimming during pregnancy in WEST swimming technique.
What’s very important to know?
What changes in swimming technique do pregnant woman need to take into consideration? What is allowed and what is not? And why do pregnant woman suffer from lower back pain from 6-9 months?
The main thing is that the center of the body is the lower back, and weight gain during pregnancy causes lower back pain. Most pregnant woman should gain 10-11 kg – 22 pounds. When more weight gained, all the balance of the body gets hurt, but even with only 11 additional kg, the body changes. Unlike gaining weight as fat – that is spread out the entire body, in pregnancy it all goes to one place, to the stomach which means you need to adapt to the change.
Because the weight is all concentrated in the front, and pulls down the body causing the back to arch, and this jeopardizes the balance in our bodies from front to back. All the pressure of the body is put on the spine, and this is what causes the pain pregnant woman feel in their back.
*Dana Eden swimming in swim WEST technique while she was pregnant
What is not allowed when swimming while pregnant?
- Swim Hypoxia– meaning swimming without breathing, because you need the oxygen for the baby. Make sure not to hold your breath too long and to get that oxygen in.
- Not to work hard on abdominal muscles as this can cause pain. You need to glide your hands when swimming freestyle, a little bit lower than you are used to, so that you elongate your lower back muscles and put less pressure on the back neck and even ankles.
- Pulse- it is important to swim fast as you are used to but not to go above the pulse of 156, (26 for 10 seconds ) which means not to go over the pulse of 80% which is dangerous for the baby, but swim as you like, and listen to your body.
Another thing pregnant woman experience is the swollen ankles – there is a lot of pressure on the ankles and the only place you don’t have to stand up and the blood doesn’t flow down as fast – is in the water. When swimming while pregnant, you need to let the legs be dragged in the water so the water will gently stroke your legs, rather than kicking and working hard, and this will help release all the pain and pressure on your lower back.
Last and most important, stretch your arms with very loose palms, but not to the end like normal swimming. You need to glide very slowly, straight with loose palms, and just before the next stroke, start to pull the water easily and not strong. What happens is we can cause belly cramps and this is a good technique to avoid that.
In conclusion, swimming while pregnant is great, if you do it right – you can relax, you can work very hard, you can do almost everything, but with little changes that will allow you to balance your body properly and feel so good in the water – and out of it.
And sometimes it’s good just to relax:
A month after the baby is born start your swim WEST program
Fill in the questionnaire and an swim WEST, learn to swim online program will be send to you (according to your flexibility and swimming level) https://swim-west.com/diagnosis/
The writer of this article is Ori Sela founder of swim WEST technique and the owner of Water World Israel – one of the biggest and most professional clubs for Hydrotherapy in the world