Exercise during pregnancy is essential to promote healthy weight gain. It also helps women in preventing many pregnancy-related complications such as preeclampsia and swelling. Women who exercise throughout their pregnancy experience greater body strength during childbirth and the postpartum period. However, jumping a rope during pregnancy does not sound so cool.
Most doctors do not allow pregnant women to carry out jumping exercises especially jump rope. Jumping may contribute to undesirable loosening of ligaments. It also increases the chance of injury to the fetus leading to miscarriage. We will discuss some risks associated with jumping rope while you are pregnant. We will also guide you about jump rope alternatives for pregnancy.
Harmful Effects of Rope Jumping During Pregnancy
Generally, rope jumping is considered a safe exercise during pregnancy. However, it may have some harmful effects; therefore, you need to be very cautious if you chose to jump rope while you are pregnant.
Increased Risk of Ligament Injury:
When a woman becomes pregnant, she undergoes an extensive change in hormones. For example, the body produces a hormone called Relaxin, which loosens the ligaments of the pelvic region. These softened ligaments are more susceptible to injuries. Strenuous exercises such as rope jumping may cause injuries and fractures of ligaments and joints.
Increased Risk of Miscarriage:
As the pregnancy progresses, the center of gravity in a woman’s body shifts. This change in the body’s physiology makes a woman prone to losing her balance or falling while rope jumping. The serious consequence of this imbalance is the danger of miscarriage.
Dangers of Preterm Labor:
As the weight and size of the fetus increases, it exerts pressure on the cervix. Due to this, pressure jumping may induce preterm labor in pregnant women.
Increased Risk of Vaginal Bleeding:
Rope jumping may cause detachment of the placenta resulting in light or heavy bleeding. In such a case, a woman must immediately rush to the hospital for a proper check-up.
Can you jump rope during pregnancy?
Workout guru Amanda Kloots, founder of ‘AK! Rope’ considers a helpful activity that strengthens the pelvic floor, legs, and upper body. However, there are some essentials of safety that a mama-to-be must follow while jumping a rope.
According to Dr. Iffath Hoskins, MD, an ob-gyn at NYU Langone Health, “Jumping rope is a good cardio that helps women develop good balance and flexibility of the joints and muscles gave that they have a healthy pregnancy.”
Safety Tips for Jumping Rope During Pregnancy
For women who do not jump rope often, even before getting pregnant, it is better to wait for the first trimester to pass before starting this exercise.
To remain on the safer side, Hoskins advises that women should start slowly and remain at an intensity where they can breathe and talk without difficulty.
She further recommends that starting with a running motion (one foot is in front of the other during the exercise) is safer. It is essential to adjust your posture with rope jumping activity as the pregnancy progresses towards the third trimester. It is because of the changes in posture and body balance due to the weight of the growing fetus. If you notice any cramping, bleeding, general discomfort, or any other unusual symptoms, it is essential to stop the exercise urgently and contact your doctor.
How to Jump Rope During Pregnancy?
If you have decided to jump rope during pregnancy, take your doctor’s opinion before starting. You will require a sturdy pair of sneakers, a jump rope, and a supportive bra.
Another essential exercise that you will require while you are pregnant is support for your uterus. Use a high-end maternity support belt to hold everything in a while doing high-intensity CrossFit, such as jump rope and box jumps.
The place where you are going to jump rope must be flat and smooth but not slippery. Make sure that there are no obstacles to prevent injuries.
For Beginner jumpers:
Keep your arms straight at 90 degrees in a way that your elbows touch your waist. Hold the handles lightly in both hands. Keep your neck relaxed. Create some tension in the arms. Feet should be close together, and then you have to squeeze the inner side of your thighs. As you jump, keep your shoulders aligned with hips and abs in.
During pregnancy, you should not jump high. It is enough to jump just about the thickness of your rope. Even if you are barely above the ground, you’re doing low-impact cardio. In this way, you make it easy on your joints.
Increase your speed and time of rope jumping according to your practice and comfort level.
Another variation of rope jumping is Straddle Jumps. In this exercise, you keep your feet slightly apart while jumping. The exercise aims at reducing the inner and outer thighs. For inner thighs, heel forward jumps are suggested, in which you have to tap your heel down and keep toes up while alternating your feet.
Safer Jump Rope Alternatives for Pregnancy
Instead of risking your baby by jumping ropes during pregnancy, you can do specific aerobic, cardio, and strength training exercises. Some of them are;
- Cycling on a stationary bike
- Low impact aerobic exercise
- Lightweight training
- Prenatal Yoga
- Light stretching exercises
- Handstand push-ups
- Pregnant Burpees
Benefits of Light Exercises During Pregnancy
If your doctor is not in favor of rope jumping, you have many other exercise options for keeping yourself fit during pregnancy. Some safe prenatal exercises are walking, stretching, swimming and yoga. A proper fitness regimen during pregnancy will provide many benefits to the mother-to-be.
- Exercise helps prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy.
- Exercise helps overcome mode swings. It boosts your energy levels and mood.
- Exercise during pregnancy improves blood circulation. It means that the fetus will receive a better supply of oxygen and nutrients from the mother.
- Exercise promotes strength and endurance. It also improves muscle tone. It means that the mother will feel better during and after delivery.
- Exercise helps a pregnant woman overcome pregnancy-related feetincreasesuch as bloating, constipation, acid reflux, backaches, and swelling.
- Exercise improves the quality of sleep by relaxing the body and mind.
We are not in favor of continuing jump rope during pregnancy because of the activated ‘relaxin’. Even if you feel perfectly fit for the exercise, you need to consider that your body is making more and more relaxin after each passing week. So there is no need to put yourself a risk when you can accomplish your fitness goals with other beneficial exercises. For example, you can try Knee Repeaters or any other suitable moves.
It is essential to carry out cardio or any other exercises under the supervision of a qualified fitness trainer. They can guide you about the safest and most appropriate jump rope alternatives for pregnancy.