Last updated on December 8th, 2017
10 pregnancy Safe Exercises
Staying fit and active throughout pregnancy can come with its fair share of benefits (read about those here!). It’s not easy when you’re tired, growing, possibly chasing a toddler and generally feeling run down… but it’s worth it (you can check out my specific tips for first trimester, second and third). While the world of fitness comes with many different exercises, not all of them are suitable for pregnancy. Below are a few of my favorites when working with pregnant clients as well as some words of advice.
As moms-to-be many of us feel a strong pull to stay active during our pregnancy. We know there are benefits to remaining fit, the biggest one being post labor recovery, and we want to help both our body adjust as well as keep our little beans healthy.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information click here.
Unfortunately, the world of #fitpregnancy has somewhat made it so that it seems you must be continue on an intense workout regime while pregnant. Clearly #noexcuses doesn’t apply to pregnancy (insert sarcastic eye roll).
The truth is, staying fit, active & healthy in pregnancy looks completely different for every woman. Some of it depends on what your body is used to, your previous workout routines and conditioning. You must also take into consideration how your pregnancy is developing, are there risks? How are you feeling that day? How has your shape changed?
All of these aspects need to be considered before you rock a workout routine or exercise program. The bottom line though, is to do what’s right for YOUR body. It doesn’t have to be intense or even rigid. Just stay active as much as you can 🙂
Below are ten pregnancy safe exercises. The goals of these exercises are to help alleviate pregnancy discomforts and maintain/build strength for labor and recovery.
If you follow me on instagram you’ll know I love squats (and strength training in general). Squats are an amazing exercise while pregnant partially because they’re a primal movement. We have to squat every day in order to accomplish tasks. The stronger and more proficient you are the better daily tasks will be.
On top of that, squats help open up the hips (and we all know that needs to happen!) while keeping them strong. As your weight increases so does the effort required from the legs- keep them strong!
Lastly, I personally love squats during pregnancy because there’s so many ways to perform them. Loaded, un loaded, banded, with pauses .. the list goes on. There’s always a way to squat!
This is a great exercise to stabilize those hips in pregnancy!
As our pelvis shifts to accommodate birth, it’s even more important to make sure the muscles around the pelvis and hip joint are strong and stable. Both to prevent unwanted pain and injury as well as recover from the widening.
If you don’t have access to a TRX trainer no biggie, resistance band rows (or loaded rows if you’re a lifter) work just as well!
I like using the TRX straps because they’re low impact and allow you to adjust the difficulty of the exercise depending on your stance.
While you’re pregnant, your center of gravity shifts and your posture changes along with the baby. It’s more important now than ever to strengthen the posterior chain (your back of body) to help accommodate for the increase anterior weight.
Seated Band Abductions
Yes. I love glutes. But the truth is, keeping your hips strong and stable through pregnancy is crucial.
Seated band abductions are great the help strengthen the outer hips with a bit of added resistance… plus, you get to sit down (these are my all time favorite bands for anything hip and glute related!)
Standing Band Hip Thrust
Working your glutes is more important now than ever. Your glutes are just one muscle part of your pelvic floor which helps to support your organs. And while I adore hip thrusts and glute bridges, there comes a time in pregnancy when they become uncomfortable.
The standing band hip thrust makes it so you can recruit, activate and improve your glutes while in a stationary upright position. Just make sure not to complete the movement through the low back (which would further accentuate the lumbar extension) but use the hips instead.
A great exercise for the back and shoulders- both areas that need to be strong while pregnant. This exercise will help keep a neutral position in your upper back which is challenged as the front parts of you grow.
Band High Row
Like the face pulls, high rows target the upper back and help improve posture by strengthening the back muscles.
Great for preventing rounded shoulders and the stronger your upper back is the less back pain you’ll experience (this is my go-to band for anything arms!)
You’ll be carrying a lot of weight in babies and car seats pretty soon!
So it only makes sense to strengthen the arms. Bicep curls can be done a variety of ways and are a simple, low impact exercise.
If you’re going to train the front of the body (biceps) you need to train the back (triceps).
Training your arms to be strong on both sides will help you carry around diaper bags without using your back to compensate. I personally like overhead tricep extensions (with a cable or band) but press downs work too!
Rear Delt Fly’s
Leaving you one last one for your back of body. Our shoulders are frequently challenges in the front and side planes but rarely do we focus on the back of them.
Keep your back of body strong and your day to day functions will be easier.
All of these exercises are not only safe but hugely beneficial during pregnancy. You don’t need to do them all at once but mix and matching and placing them in your programs will be an asset. I also adore lunges in many variations for pregnancy however if you’re having certain pelvis issues during pregnancy, training unilaterally (one side or limb at a time) can accentuate them- which is why they were left off the list
Don’t forget to pin these awesome pregnancy exercises!
Exercise during pregnancy should promote feeling good, ease discomforts and prepare you for labor and recovery. It should be safe and adapted to your specific needs. Staying fit while pregnant has a huge amount of benefits so use these exercises to help you through your marathon 🙂