We have just started offering the Natal Strength® program to those who want a safe and structured return to strength training. It's great, I'm excited about it and I'm getting lots of questions about it...so I've written down all the answers in one place!
Wondering if Natal Strength® is right for you? Read on...
What is Natal Strength®?
It's a training program designed by brilliant health and fitness professionals who developed it to create a safe route to strength training that works with the pregnant and post natal body.
Why Natal Strength® if you're pregnant?
During pregnancy your body is changing rapidly and there are hundreds of differing opinions, YouTube videos and blogs giving contradictory information about what’s safe exercise and what’s not.
Natal strength is a way of continuing to strength train safely throughout your pregnancy. It is not focusing on reaching new personal bests but more improving techniques, maintaining strength and doing the brain work of movements before you have a little being that will occupy most of your brain cells once it’s on the outside.
Why Natal Strength® for Mums?
Movements such as a deadlift, push up, pull up or overhead press can be learned or re-learned in a safe and controlled way.
How does it work?
We breakdown different ‘summit’ movements (eg the deadlift) into 10 progressive levels. The levels start with very basic movements and progress until the ‘summit movement (eg the deadlift) is reached.
How do you do this?
At the initial consultation we discuss where you are now and where you need to be or want to be. We assess which level you are at on some or all of the movements and build a strength programme from there.
What’s the difference between going to a Personal Trainer in the gym and using Natal Strength®?
The short answer is experience. I am a Physiotherapist who is highly specialised in ante and post natal care with over 10 years experience in this area, my Natal Strength training is an extension of this background.
With no disrespect to the PT at your local gym, it is unlikely that they will be from the same background and have the same level of experience. So they may prescribe a graduated training program, but it would possibly contain a number of risks to your body which would cause undue stress, risk of complications and injury.
Within the Natal Strength® programme our highest priority is teaching correct techniques and quality of all the movements.
Only once all the systems of your body (yes this includes the muscles and joints but also the brain, lungs and hormones) have adapted to the exercise we have asked it to do, will you then move up to the next level of the movement. We call this ‘earning the right to progress’. We don’t rush the body but give it the time it needs to adapt.
By using this method you minimise the risk of injury and post natal complications. You are also future proofing your body for strength training in the long term. Learning good habits right at the beginning of your journey will set you up for life and your body will thank you (don’t even mention what happens during the peri-menopausal season of joy!).
How often do I need to come?
In order to see the results that you want it is recommended to do a Natal Strength® session at least once a week. Homework can be set once your technique is reliable (just so you don’t reinforce the wrong technique at home).
Who can do Natal Strength®?
Those with a bump who have been doing strength training before they got pregnant or anyone (whether they have done strength training or not) who has had core retraining after giving birth.
Who shouldn’t do Natal Strength®?
Those having complications with their pregnancy or have been advised by a medical professional not to.
How soon can I start after having a baby?
As we know Mums JUST WANT TO START ASAP!! We talk a lot about future proofing your body so there is a process of healing from the inside after a traumatic event called pregnancy and birth (however it happened).
Then there’s re educating the body on how to engage your deep muscles of the core (which let’s face it, they have no idea what they're doing anymore) and start to strengthen them.
Once that is on lockdown then...IT...IS....TIME!!!!
Of course everyone is different, it will depend on what you were doing before you got pregnant and throughout pregnancy. If in doubt please do ask! Have no fear if your body is not ready there’s no chance we will be starting Natal Strength.
Where does it take place?
We use the M20 Health facilities at The Northern in Didsbury.
Why is it not cheap?
Ha! Natal strength can only work on a 1:1 basis due to the bespoke strength programme that you will undertake.
What you can expect?
A fully bespoke programme set to your individual needs. Each session will provide you with precise instructions and demonstrations of the movements, feedback and guidance all the way!
With patience and perseverance you will gain strength in every area of your body as we work in the vertical, horizontal and transverse (rotational) movements of your body.
You will gain incredible knowledge about your body and hopefully realise your potential!
Can I bring my baby?
In an ideal world a family member or friend would do you the biggest favour and look after your baby for the hour (there is a cafe at The Northern which would be perfect to sit and play in).
If that’s not an option of course you can and we shall do as much as we can with them there (I’m pretty partial to a baby cuddle as well)
What do I need to wear?
Something you can move in and something that you are able to see what’s going on with your body (ie leggings/shorts/trainers and a vest rather than a massive T-shirt and jeans)
Can you take photos/videos for my Insta stories?
I mean yeah...it won’t be the top priority but when that first push up happens I will hold your phone and press record so you can inform the world of your achievements!
Where can I book?