Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy (2023)

The excitement (or panic) you felt after seeing those two blue or pink lines appear is probably something you will always remember. And now that you’re pregnant, you may be wondering what needs to change and what will stay the same.

The good news? Stay active as the list of things to stay for the next nine months.

And whether or not you want to continue your current fitness routine or start a replacement, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about remaining active throughout pregnancy, from cardio and weight training to stretching and core workouts.

Benefits of Exercising While Pregnant

Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy (2023) Benefits of Exercising While Pregnant
Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy

If you think exercise is just the way to adjust to a smaller pants fit, you need to change your perspective (and priorities) now that you’re pregnant.

According to the Yankee School of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), physical exertion throughout pregnancy will cause a lower incidence of:

It’s also a great way to:

  • Keep fit
  • Reduce lower back pain (hello, growing belly!)
  • Manage symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Reduces stress
  • Improve postpartum recovery

Brooke Cates, prenatal and postnatal fitness specialist and owner of Studio Bloom, says that a few exercises can be applied each trimester to help the body through its physical changes as it prepares for a better return to exercise postpartum.

She emphasizes a shift in focus to core and waist awareness, which could help you build a deeper core-based affiliation before major shifts start to take place.

Safety Tips for Exercises While Pregnant

Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy (2023) Safety Tips for Exercises While Pregnant
Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy

When considering exercise for pregnancy, Cates says there aren’t many activities that require being far from her current schedule.

“While most exercises can be continued through each trimester, modifying and reducing them when necessary will make it easier to increase strength, stability, and fitness as your body changes,” she says.

With that in mind, here are some general safety tips to consider after physical exertion during pregnancy, according to ACOG.

  • Get clearance from your doctor if you are not used to exercising; if not, you have a health condition that makes it advisable to exercise.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and when you exercise.
  • Wear validation clothing such as a validation sports bra or belly band.
  • Don’t overheat, especially during the first trimester.
  • Avoid lying on your back for a long time, particularly during the trimester.
  • Avoid contact sports and hot yoga.

Cardio for All Three Trimesters

Cardio exercises like walking, swimming, jogging, and stationary sports are top choices during all 3 trimesters.

Unless your doctor has told you to change your physical activity, follow the US Department of Health and Human Services’ physical activity advice for Americans, which recommends having access to at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity at hebdomadally moderate intensity.

If you’re used to vigorous-intensity exercise like running or your fitness level is high, ACOG says you’ll continue these activities throughout your pregnancy—with your doctor’s clearance, of course.

Exercises to Do in the First Trimester of Pregnancy

Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy (2023) Exercises to Do in the First Trimester of Pregnancy
Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy

The first 3 months of pregnancy can be a wild ride of emotions. From elation and pure joy to worry, concern, and even worry as you begin to understand that you are responsible for nurturing, growing, and keeping this little future soul safe and healthy.

As long as it’s not considered a miscarriage, therapist Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, says she’ll continue her regular exercise routine through the trimester.

The foundation of a comprehensive prenatal exercise routine should encompass a minimum of 150 minutes of weekly physical activity and two to three days of strength-training exercises that target the major muscle groups.

You should focus on certain activities that will help you relax during pregnancy and prepare you for birth and delivery. (It may appear far away, but it will arrive sooner than you think!)

One area of ​​importance, says Jeffcoat, is to think about body awareness to orchestrate changes in your posture. Doing associate degree exercises like wrist curls can be a great way to start working on the quality of the spine and strengthening the abdominal muscles that will support your belly as it grows, she says.

Pelvic Curl

Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy (2023) Pelvic Curl
Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy
  • Lie down on your back, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  • Take a deep breath to set, then exhale as you tuck in your pelvis (your “hips”) to impact your spine on the floor.
  • Hold that tucked position as you continue to exhale and roll through the movement so you’re lifting your spine out of that impression, one bone at a time.
  • Stop after you reach your shoulder blades.
  • Inhale at the top of the movement, then exhale as you bend your body backward, inserting one bone at a time into the ground until you reach your starting position at the back of your pelvis (your “hips,” as many says). ). you can visit them as).
  • Do twelve to fifteen repetitions. For an added challenge, bring your legs up

Pelvic Brace

Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy (2022) Pelvic Brace
Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy

Do this during pregnancy as long as you don’t have lower back symptoms such as pain with intercourse or urinary urgency.

  • Lie down on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, hips apart.
  • Bring your pelvis and lower back into a “neutral” position. To find this, check that you are resting on the back of your pelvis and making a small area on your lower back (your back should not be flat on the floor).
  • Inhale to organize, then exhale to perform a Kegel contraction gently closing the openings (canal, vagina, and anus). As you play this contraction, notice how your lower abdominal muscles must work accordingly.
  • Lightly draw the lower abs with the Kegel. Inhale, relax the abdominals and the floor of the girdle, exhale repeat the contraction.
  • Do a couple of sets of eight to fifteen repetitions for 3 to 5 seconds, once or twice a day.

Kneeling Pushups

Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy

This exercise strengthens the core and upper body.

  • Lie down on your abdomen, then push up onto your hands and knees, keeping your knees behind your hips.
  • Contract your abdominals (the girdle) and slowly lower your chest toward the floor as you inhale.
  • Exhale while pressing copy.
  • Start with six to ten and gradually work your way up to twenty to twenty-four repetitions.


Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy (2023) Squats
Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy

Squatting can also be induced during the first trimester! You can also utilize the leg press machine if you have access to a gym. Squats, particularly bodyweight squats, are frequently done during pregnancy.

Also, since squats strengthen all the muscles in your lower body, as well as your quads, glutes, and hamstrings, Jeffcoat says that keeping these muscles tight can be a good way to protect your back, so employ the legs instead of the back once. lifting.

  • Stand facing the sofa with your back to it. Spread your feet wider than hip-width apart to begin. Use the couch as a reference to ensure that you write correctly.
  • Squat down as if you were getting ready to sit on the couch, but come back up when your thighs start to touch it.
  • Make sure it’s taking five seconds to travel down and three seconds to back up.
  • Exhale as you squat down; inhale while standing.
  • Do a couple of sets of fifteen to twenty repetitions.

Bicep Curls

Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy (2023) Bicep Curls
Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy

This simple but effective movement is another great choice in physiological conditions. Jeffcoat says the biceps curl area unit is a key move to include in his workouts, as he wants to assign his arms to the school to repeatedly lift and hold his baby.

  • Holding 5- to 10-pound dumbbells, stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and your knees slightly bent.
  • Exhale as you slowly bend your elbows, delivering the dumbbells toward your shoulders.
  • Inhale and slowly lower the pedal of the weights.
  • Take three seconds to raise the dumbbells and five seconds to lower them.
  • Do a couple of sets of ten to fifteen repetitions.

Some additional strength training variations and movements to incorporate within the trimester, by the French region Robles, MD, CPT include:

  • Weighted lunges
  • Glute bridge (if you are experiencing girdle pain or have a history of girdle pain with pregnancies, you can also add ball squeezes between the thighs along the glute bridges)
  • Standard pushups

When it comes to what she should avoid during her first trimester, Robles recommends stopping her high-intensity interval training (HIIT), as it’s an easy way to burn out early under physiological conditions.

Robles also recommends avoiding any exercise where you might experience trauma, such as contact sports.

Exercises to Do in the Second Trimester of Pregnancy

Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy

Once the truth is established, you’ll be in it for the long haul, noticing a sense of calm and even an increase in energy for several weeks in a row. Many women say this is the trimester when they feel their best, so it’s a good time to focus on your exercise routine.

That said, Robles wants to say that since your uterus is getting bigger, you need to be a little more careful about physical activity.

Activities to avoid during the trimester, according to Robles, include any high-impact exercise that involves jumping, running, balance or exhaustion. Also, you may need to avoid any exercises that have you lying on your back for long periods.

In addition to the exercises within the quarter, consider adding some variations to your squat like skinny squats, single-leg squats, as well as wide stance squats. Incline pushups, which target the chest, triceps, and shoulders, are another move that will be introduced during this trimester.

Now that the core foundation has been established, Cates says that training the core as the core expands can be a much easier idea. And with things starting to shift and grow even more right now, she generally recommends that moms-to-be continue to work on balance strength with an added focus on the inner thighs and glutes.

Incline Pushups

Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy (2023) Incline Pushups
Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy
  • She stands in front of a ridge or railing and places her hands shoulder-width apart on the surface.
  • Get your body into a standing plank position along with your back for a line.
  • Bend your arms and slowly lower your chest toward the railing or ridge.
  • Return to the beginning posture by stretching your arms.
  • Perform a few sets of ten to twelve reps.

Hip Flexor & Quadriceps Stretch

Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy

Due to changes in body properties, Jeffcoat says the trimester is the ideal time to develop a stretching routine that targets the hip flexors, quads, lower back, glutes, and calves.

Due to its ever-changing center of gravity, the belly tends to drop forward, causing the skeletal muscles of the hip to shorten. This exercise allows you to stretch deeply in physiological conditions.

  • Get into a half-kneeling position on the floor. Place your right knee on the floor and your left foot in front of you, with your left foot flat on the floor.
  • Maintaining a nice, upright posture, lunge toward your left foot until you feel a stretch in the front of your right hip and thigh.
  • Hold for thirty seconds, relax and repeat a few more times.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

Side-lying Leg Lifts

Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy (2023) Side-lying Leg Lifts
Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy

To prepare for its ever-changing center of gravity, you need to energize the muscles that facilitate balance and help stabilize the girdle more strongly.

  • Lie on your right side with both knees bent and stacked on top of each other.
  • Slightly raise your right side off the ground to form a small gap between your waist and the ground. This also levels the pelvis.
  • Straighten your left leg and rotate it slightly forward. Rotate your hips so your toes point toward the ground.
  • Exhale as you take about three seconds to raise your leg; inhale for three seconds to backpedal. As you lift your leg, make sure you don’t lose that little space you created between your waist and the ground.
  • Do a couple of sets of eight to fifteen repetitions on both sides.

Mermaid Stretch

Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy

As your baby grows, he will begin to put pressure on your diaphragm and ribs, which will be painful.

  • Sit on the bottom with each of your knees bent (or bent) and your feet facing to the right.
  • Raise your left arm toward the ceiling as you inhale, then exhale and bend your torso to the right. The stretch should be felt on the left side during this example. Hold the position for four slow, deep breaths. This could be the direction to stretch if you experience discomfort on the left side.
  • Reverse directions for pain on the right side. To reduce the risk of this happening, start stretching in both directions during the trimester.

Exercises to Do in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy (2023) Exercises to Do in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy
Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy

You will notice a delay, if not an abrupt halt from time to time, during your trimester as your body begins to organize itself for labor and delivery. this may be a good time to specialize in cupping activities and maintain your core quality and strength with:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Prenatal yoga
  • Pilates
  • Pelvic floor exercises
  • Bodyweight movements

These help keep your upper and lower body muscles strong.

For safety features, Jeffcoat says to avoid any exercise that puts you at risk of falling. “Because your center of gravity is dynamic every day, it’s wise to avoid exercises that result in a loss of balance, leading to a fall and possible abdominal impact that could harm your baby,” she says.

It is also common to experience symphysis pain, that is, pain in the front of the pubis. Therefore, Jeffcoat recommends avoiding exercises where the legs are spread too far apart, which can make this pain worse.

Diastasis Recti Correction

Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy (2023) Diastasis Recti Correction
Movements That Are Safe In Pregnancy

Diastasis recti [separation of the abdominal muscles] can be a concern for girls right now, and it will show up as a bulge that runs across the plane of the abdomen,” she says Jeffcoat. To combat this, she recommends doing a rectus dislocation correction exercise.

  • Lie on your back with a pillow under your head and shoulders. The knees are bent and the feet are flat on the ground.
  • Use a crib or double sheet and roll it up to be three to four inches wide, and place it low on your back (over your pelvis and below your ribs).
  • Take the sheet and cross it once over your abdomen. Then pin the edges together and the sheet should write Associate in Nursing X as you pull on either side.
  • Take a deep breath to get organized, then press your back flat against the floor as you lift your head and shoulders off the pillow. Throughout this movement, you are gently “hugging” the sheet around your abdomen to support your abs.
  • Inhale lower and repeat ten to twenty times. If your neck or shoulders hurt, start at ten and work your way to the end.
  • Do this twice a day.

Other lightweight or bodyweight-only strength training exercises to focus on during the trimester include:

The Takeaway

Staying physically active throughout the physiological state is helpful for both mom and baby.

Including some variety of exercise most days of the week will help keep your core strong, your muscles working, and your circulatory system in tip-top shape. and it will do wonders for your mental state (good for the endorphins!).

Make sure to focus on your body and stop if you feel any discomfort or pain. And as always, talk to your doctor if you have questions or problems related to how your body responds to an exercise program.

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