If you’re searching for the best pregnancy workout, let us start by saying—congratulations! Bringing a whole new life into the world is an incredibly special experience.
While your body is already hard at work growing your baby, challenging your body with regular exercise during your pregnancy can actually lead to an easier and healthier pregnancy.1 Switching out your strength training and intense physical activity for a light pregnancy exercise can keep you on track with your fitness goal while going easy on your body.
Whether you join low impact exercise classes or opt out for an aerobic exercise, you can still find a prenatal workout to keep your body moving. If you’re curious to learn about the best prenatal workouts and develop a new exercise routine, keep reading. In this guide, we’re sharing our top five best pregnancy workouts, as well as important safety tips.
If you’re already been pregnant before, you know the toll it can take on your body. Your feet and ankles swell, and your joints and ligaments loosen, among other bodily changes. That’s what makes swimming the ideal pregnancy workout. A low impact exercise like swimming is great for getting a workout in without pushing your body too hard.
With a refreshing dip in the pool, you can benefit from therapeutic movement without putting any pressure on your feet, ankles, back, or joints.
At the very least, you’ll feel more like yourself and get a great workout in. At most, you’ll alleviate your nausea and sciatica.
However, there are some things to remember before you go for a swim:
- Take extreme care on slick surfaces around the pool.
- Never scuba dive while pregnant.
- Avoid jumping or diving into the pool, as the impact is risky. Instead, step in or use the ladder.
Walking is the most accessible form of exercise on this list. You can do it practically anywhere—even up and down the hospital hallways after you’ve gone into labor. In other words, walking is an acceptable workout throughout your pregnancy, from early pregnancy up until you’re about to give birth.
Walking is also an easy way to meet the CDC’s recommended amount of exercise for pregnant individuals (one half-hour/five days a week).2 Plus, the benefits are numerous:
- Relief from pregnancy symptoms like constipation and back pain
- A lowered risk of complications like preeclampsia and pre-diabetes
- Better sleep
- Higher endorphin levels
#3. Indoor Cycling
Cycling outdoors isn’t the safest workout for a pregnant individual. In fact, any form of exercise dependent upon balance can be risky, especially when falling over could mean making an impact with the sidewalk or street. Luckily, gearheads can still get their fix while pregnant. As long as you keep an eye on the intensity of the routine, indoor cycling can serve as a great pregnancy workout.
Here are some things to consider if you’re interested in indoor cycling:
- Experience – The start of your pregnancy isn’t the best time to start a cycling routine. This workout is intended for veteran bicyclists and spinners.
- Posture – You’ll want to sit upright during your sessions on the bike. Adjust the handlebars to accommodate this posture and prevent stress on your lower back.
- Intensity – If you’re in a class setting, let your instructor know that you’re pregnant at the start of class. During class, stay seated on the bike—standing climbs are too intense for a pregnancy workout. Also, make sure to pay close attention to your heart rate and the way your body feels, taking as many breaks as you need.
Easy-going, beginner-friendly classes are a smart choice for a low-risk cycling workout during your pregnancy.
If you’re in need of physical activity that’s not walking or swimming, barre is a great prenatal workout. Strengthening your core, pelvic floor muscles, glutes, and legs is a fantastic way to exercise during pregnancy. You’ll need these regions to be robust and capable as you near your due date, both to carry the extra weight of the baby and to better handle the strain of labor
The barre portion of a ballet class is completely focused on these areas. It’s performed while holding onto a long railing, which eliminates any worries about balance. Most dedicated barre classes eliminate the airborne aspects of ballet but check in with your instructor regardless. They can help you find pregnancy-friendly adjustments for the occasional risky move.
#5. Weight Lifting
Weight training is an endlessly customizable method of working out, which makes it a fantastic form of exercise for pregnant people. If you want to maintain muscle tone during your pregnancy, try an adjusted weight lifting routine.
As a general rule, you’ll want to use lighter weights than you’re used to. You can make up for the lost resistance by adding more reps to your routine. Consider speaking with a personal trainer for a weight training regimen that’s personalized to you.
Staying Safe During Your Pregnancy Workouts
Before starting or changing your exercise routine during pregnancy, it’s important to consult with your doctor. The relative safety of different activities may vary depending upon your unique body and prior experience. While pregnancy exercise is important, there are certain exercises to avoid during pregnancy to prevent pregnancy complications and straining your body.
Regardless of your body and experience, here are a few hard and fast rules to follow:
- Avoid any activities that can result in a bad fall or rough contact.
- Don’t exercise in a hot environment.
- Avoid lying on your back, especially later in your pregnancy.
Don’t forget that early trimester pregnancy workout will also look different from your second trimester and third as your pregnancy progresses. Keep in regular contact with your health team, and don’t be afraid to reach out when you have questions. Follow what feels good, and make sure to listen to your body’s signals.
Chuze Fitness, Chuze You
No matter where you are in your pregnancy journey—and your fitness journey—Chuze Fitness is here for you. Our gyms provide the comfort, space, and amenities you need to make your pregnancy workouts a success. After giving birth, you can continue exercising after pregnancy to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, get your body in shape, and continue your fitness. We even offer a kids club so you can exercise without having to nail down a babysitter first.
Come take a tour of one of our facilities to see the Chuze Fitness difference for yourself. We look forward to showing you, and your little ones, around!
- What to Expect. Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy. https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/exercise-benefits
- What to Expect. Walking During Pregnancy. https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/keeping-fit/week-38/walk-it-off.aspx
- What to Expect. The Best Pregnancy Workouts and Exercises. https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/exercises-for-pregnant-women