How MMA Superstar Ann Osman stays fit during pregnancy

By Natasha Sim | Parents Avenue’s Writer

When it comes to fitness, there is certainly no slowing down for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) superstar turned entrepreneur and mom-to-be Ann Osman.

Ann trains hard despite having retired from professional athletics in 2017 to wholly focus on her adventure tours business Xtreme Peddlers


Now in her third trimester, the self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie and boss babe walks us through her pregnancy fitness regime, and talks to Parents Avenue about keeping physically fit for herself and baby. 


#1 Exercise based on how you feel


Fitness and keeping active is certainly important before and during pregnancy, but it is especially crucial to be aware of how you feel during and in between workouts. 


Ann suggests to rest when necessary and stop when you need to. Especially now in her third trimester, where she finds that she tires more easily. 


“I get sore faster and my recovery is slower now that I’m pregnant. Which means that I do take more breaks in between training,” said Ann. 


“I definitely find the low energy during pregnancy a challenge but it’s not something that I can’t pull myself out of,” she continues. “If I find myself especially tired, I manage with a good night’s rest or take extra naps before any workout session.” 


“Definitely listen to your body,” she said.

Ann Osman MMA Superstar
#2 Do modifications based on your bodily changes


“I found out about my pregnancy at 8 weeks and was still sparring at the gym around that time,” Ann continued. “I immediately stopped all the hardcore stuff after I found out.”


However, Ann was adamant about continuing her regular fitness regime during pregnancy because “if I did stop training, that would mean having to start back from square one after I give birth 7 months later.” 


Her solution: consult with her doctor, as well as do plenty of research on how to train safely. According to Ann, it’s important to workout based on which trimester you’re in to accommodate the physical changes at each stage of pregnancy. 


“Right now, I’ve stopped doing high-impact and close combat sport and have shifted to daily 30-minute circuit training,” said Ann. 


She has also reduced training to once a day six times per week. Previously, Ann trained twice a day with cardio and strength exercises in the morning, and training with her squad at night that includes combat sports such as Muay Thai and Brazillian Jiujitsu (BJJ).  


Lucky for her, Ann did not experience bad morning sickness so she’s able to up her intensity from time to time.

#3 All-rounded workouts work best 


“I like my workouts to be ‘bang for my buck’,” said Ann. Since pregnancy, some workouts can be too strenuous so Ann likes to focus on easy drill exercises that works her entire body. 


Right now, Ann focuses on strength and mobility. And her favourite exercises in her routine include boxing and tetherball swings that work her arms, body and core. 


“You’d think that as pregnant women, we shouldn’t work our core too much. But in fact, working the core reduces diastasis recti,” said Ann. Diastasis recti refers to the separation of the abdominal muscles that commonly occur during pregnancy and after labour.


“All-rounded workouts lessens the stress on my body,” said Ann. 


She also loves mixing it up by including slower prenatal yoga in her routine, which she says helps immensely with opening up her hips and lower back.

#4 Eat clean and everything in moderation


“Generally, I’ve always kept a clean diet,” said Ann. So, it’s not surprising that even during pregnancy the soon-to-be mom has been craving plenty of fruits and vegetables. “I guess my body just wants all the right nutrients for my body and my baby,” she said. 


Another rule that Ann abides by is to control sugar. And as all pregnant moms know, there’s a higher chance of contracting gestational diabetes if our sugar intake is too high, which puts us and our baby at risk during labour. 


“While the common advice is to just give in to cravings and eat whatever, I found out through my own research that it’s really only necessary to add 300-400 calories per day to what I’m already eating,” said Anne. 


Her last words of advice, “keep everything in moderation. Do what’s best for your body as all women’s journeys are different.”

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