The Best Workout Exercises for Pregnant Women

Today's article will discuss the many health benefits of doing some exercises while you're pregnant. You need to follow the proper guidelines and opt for relevant exercises though. Continue reading to find out more about it.
The Best Workout Exercises for Pregnant Women

Last update: 05 October, 2020

Many people used to believe that pregnant women shouldn’t do any exercises as it could compromise fetal development. However, a series of investigations recently confirmed just the opposite.

Certain exercises can even improve the delivery conditions. In addition, they can prevent certain pathologies during pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure associated with pregnancy, for example.

Workout exercises for pregnant women

Before discussing the specific recommendations, it’s important to mention that all of them must be individualized. In other words, a pregnant woman must take her own condition and experience into account before beginning an exercise routine.

This is mainly because what’s good for one person could harm another. Especially if they’ve had a sedentary life or have some kind of pathology. Thus, always consult your doctor so they can prescribe a plan suited to your specific needs.

OK, so lets’ begin with swimming, as this is one of the most recommended exercises during pregnancy. In fact, not only swimming but pretty much any activity you can do in a pool. These moves can strengthen your dorsal and lumbar muscles and also reduce back pain.

Professionals strongly recommend exercising the pelvic floor by doing Kegel exercises. These are also great for decreasing urinary incontinence.

A pregnant woman doing yoga.
Pelvic strengthening is essential during pregnancy as it can ease delivery.

Cardiovascular exercise

A sedentary lifestyle has many negative consequences for anyone. It’s for this reason that pregnant women can greatly benefit from doing moderate cardiovascular exercises. Walks and stationary bike sessions are highly recommended for them.

Strength exercises

These are the most controversial exercises when it comes to pregnancy. However, a study published in the Revista Andaluza de Medicina del Deporte states they can ease labor and promote subsequent recovery.

In addition, the researchers observed that a series of discomforts frequently associated with pregnancy decrease when you exercise certain muscle groups. Low back pain, for example. Thus, it’s OK to work on the abdominal muscles and hips.

Keep in mind that you must avoid doing free weights and any heavy resistance. Stick to machines designed for this purpose or elastic bands in order to reduce the risk of injury. Also, opt for shorter sets with more repetitions.

Exercises to avoid when you’re pregnant

Exercising during pregnancy can have many health benefits; however, some workouts could be risky and lead to complications. Doctors recommend avoiding any activity that could cause traumatize the fetus such as:

  • Contact sports such as soccer, basketball, and volleyball
  • Those with a high risk of falling such as skiing, cycling, horse riding, and climbing
  • Demanding activities that considerably increase the heart rate such as marathons and bodybuilding

General considerations

As we mentioned above, a pregnant woman must be aware of her physical shape before beginning an exercise routine. Those who led a sedentary lifestyle up to this point must be particularly cautious. The same goes for anyone with a chronic pathology.

A study published in Revista de Clínica e Investigación en Ginecología y Obstetricia concludes that physical exercise reduces the risk of pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes. Similarly, it states that swimming decreases the incidence of preterm births.

There’s still insufficient evidence about any complications that may arise from exercising during pregnancy. However, you must be selective about the type of activities you perform during this stage.

A woman in a pool.
Swimming is a good exercise for pregnant women due to its low impact.

Learn about Treating Joint Pain During Pregnancy


Finally, keep in mind that exercise is good both physically and mentally. So you must forget about the myth that pregnant women shouldn’t move because this will only lead to negative consequences.

The most recommended exercises during this stage of your life are those that are low impact and that strengthen your muscles — swimming and riding a stationary bike. Do them in moderation and always taking into account your specific shape and health conditions.

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Physical Exercise for Pregnant Women: Good Exercises during Pregnancy
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Physical Exercise for Pregnant Women: Good Exercises during Pregnancy

Unless contraindicated by a doctor, physical exercise for pregnant women has numerous benefits for pregnancy and childbirth. Here, we share some ti...

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