If you've ever looked up from your leisurely elliptical ride to see a heavily pregnant woman banging out squats like it ain't no thang –well, then you know the type of expectant mama Ginger Ressler is. As a former college track star, fitness model, and the current Chief Stylist of Fabletics (Kate Hudson's killer-good affordable activewear line), Ressler is committed to staying as active as possible during this, her fourth pregnancy.
And when she hits her five-days-a-week sweat sessions (a mix of bar method, pilates, yoga and strength training), boy does she look fierce.
Here, Ressler shares her top tips for working out while pregnant, dressing her baby bump for the gym, and more.
You are such an inspiration! What is your current fitness routine like now that you're pregnant again?
"It didn’t change that much. But it has changed a lot since I had my first child to now being pregnant with my fourth. Nowadays, you can continue what you’ve been doing throughout your pregnancy. Before, they advised you not to do any core work, but now it’s lot more flexible with what you can do for your core.
For my own sanity, I work out Monday through Friday. As a mom, my kids are my first priority, so my goals are more day-to-day or week-to-week so that I can maintain a consistent workout routine.
Now that I’m pregnant, I’ve made some adjustments to my core workout. Instead of doing full situps, I don’t come all the way up or go all the way down, I keep the movement in the middle. I’m keeping my abs at a constant contraction – no pun intended!"
How has working out during pregnancy made your pregnancies and recovery easier?
"A lot of people are surprised to hear that I didn’t work out with my first two kids! I was a track athlete and worked out every day, and with my first two, I said, “Oh man, I’m taking this opportunity to take a break!” and didn’t work out at all. It was actually the worst thing I could do because my body wasn’t used to not being active. I worked out during each of my pregnancies after the first two, and was able to compare my experiences. For me, maintaining my workouts made me feel 100% better – it kept me more energized, and it made bouncing back easier. Your body is already used to working out and in the routine, so workout-wise, cardio-wise, it’s like your body never stopped. I think maintaining your routine while pregnant keeps your body stretched, flexible and ready for the most important workout of all – giving birth."
A lot of women are hesitant about working out while pregnant. What advice would you give them?
"If you’re considering having a baby, start working out before you get pregnant so it’s not a pregnancy shock and a workout shock all at once. If you haven’t worked out before, start with something light.
A lot of women think they have to taper down their workouts, but you can continue them as long as you watch your heart rate. If you were exercising before you got pregnant, it should continue to be a part of your routine, but of course, you should consult your doctor on what’s right for you."
How do you adjust your fitness wear wardrobe to accommodate your changing body?
"We’ve come a long way in fashion! We’re so lucky now to have such a great range of fashions and brands that you don’t need to stick to maternity brands anymore. It’s not the first time around the block for me, so I prepare ahead of time, getting clothing in a size up so that I have something to put on that’s cute and will make me more excited to work out. I’ll roll down the waistband of my workout pants, or as the pregnancy progresses, switch to our Fabletics capris with a foldover waistband ($60). Looser, flowy tops like our Norwalk tank ($60) and Aruba wrap top ($35) are great for accommodating a belly. I always tell pregnant women that they should put on something that’s comfortable and makes them feel good – you’re pregnant, and comfort is key!"
Outside of the gym, which maternity (or non-maternity!) brands do you love for everyday life and special occasions?
Any specific beauty products you use during pregnancy?
"I really try to stay moisturized while pregnant, so I use a lot of different oils to keep my skin hydrated. Epicuren Bulgarian rose oil ($52) is one of my favorites. Exfoliation is important to remove dead skin cells, so I like to use a body scrub to help the oils penetrate my skin. A lot of women develop pregnancy masks on their faces, so I use skin tone enhancement pads from Lancer Skincare to cut down the pigmentation on my face. I also use as much cocoa butter as I can for stretch marks!"