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Safe Pregnancy Workouts | Exercises for Every Trimester

prenatal exercise
Safe Pregnancy Workouts | Exercises for Every Trimester

Pregnancy Workouts at Home

Today I want to chat about finding the best pregnancy workouts at home that are safe and effective for you. The problem today is that there are too many unqualified trainers prescribing dangerous exercises to pregnant women.

PregActive solves this problem by only giving you safe exercises specific to your trimester of pregnancy.

It's important to have access to workouts you can do in the privacy and comfort of your own home at a time you may want to be avoiding the gym.

I want you to participate in safe workouts that will continue to motivate and energize you to keep doing throughout each trimester. So let's get right into it with the following 6 workouts.

They are just a sample of what you will find in our member's only portal where you will discover over 200 workouts.

Are you looking for safe and effective pregnancy workouts that you can do from home?

Look no further! In this post, I will guide you through a series of gentle exercises specifically designed for pregnant women to help you stay fit and healthy throughout your pregnancy journey.

I will demonstrate various low-impact exercises that are safe for both you and your baby, focusing on strengthening your core, improving your posture, and enhancing your overall well-being.

These workouts are suitable for all fitness levels and can be easily modified to suit your individual needs.

Remember, it's important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine during pregnancy.

So grab your yoga mat and join us for a safe and enjoyable workout session that will benefit you and your baby!

Don't let pregnancy stop you from staying active and healthy – try our safe pregnancy workouts at home today!

Recommended Exercises and Activities

  1. prenatal yoga
  2. walking
  3. cycling on a stationary bicycle
  4. jogging
  5. muscle strengthening exercises
  6. pelvic floor exercises
  7. exercise in water
  8. prenatal stretching
  9. Pilates
  10. swimming
  11. pregnancy exercise classes.

Resistance Exercises for Pregnancy

1. Standing Arm Circles

1. Start by standing tall.

2. Then I want you to raise both of your arms out to the side so they are parallel to the ground.

3. Begin by making small circles with your hands in a forwards motion for 15-20 repetitions then backwards for 15-20 repetitions.

4. You should feel your shoulder muscles working and mid back muscles working to help stabilise.

2. Pelvic Floor Breathing Exercise

1. It is important to continue with your pelvic floor exercises throughout each trimester of your pregnancy.

2. Start by getting in a relaxed seated position with legs uncrossed.

3. Place one hand on your chest on one hand on your stomach.

4. As you breathe in, you should feel you stomach and chest expand and your perineum relax.

5. Then when breathing out, your rib cage and stomach will drop. Start to think about lifting your pelvic floor upwards.

3. Side Lying Leg Raises

1. When doing this exercise you will want to use a yoga mat on the floor for comfort.

2. Start by lying on your side and bend your bottom knee slightly. Then roll forward so your top hip bone is slightly in front of the bottom hip bone.

3. You will slowly raise your top leg, while keeping the knee straight. Squeeze your glute muscle, then slowly lower back down.

4. Static Lunge for Pregnancy

1. This is a great exercise except if you have any pelvic girdle pain. If this is you then I want you to avoid this exercise.

2. This movement begins with you taking a big step forward. Be sure to keep your balance and hold onto a chair if needed. Keep your feet as wide apart as your hips. You don't want a narrow stance because it will make you unbalanced.

3. Then bend your back knee towards the floor, while keeping your body nice and tall; no leaning forwards!

5. Kick Backs

1. Stand facing your wall for support. Start by turning your tummy muscles on and do a pelvic tilt which involves tucking your tailbone under.

2. Squeeze your glutes and with a straight leg, extend your leg back away from the wall. I want you to focus on using your glute muscles for this exercise.

6. Hip Thrust

1. You may have done this exercise in the gym using a bench press and barbell. But now you're pregnant, I want you to NOT use the barbell and instead use the edge of your couch or bed.

2. Start by resting your mid back off the edge of the couch, with your feet out in front and knees bent. You can use your forearms to support your while you set your feet up.

3. Then complete a pelvic tilt and press through your heels and thrust your hips upwards. Slowly lower back to the start position.

7. Sit to Stand

1. This exercise involves the use of a chair. Begin by placing the chair behind you and make sure it is stable and will not move.

2. Take a small step away from your chair. Start with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart. Keeping shoulders relaxed, put your arms out in front of you.

3. Now you can start the movement by moving your hips back, reaching for the chair with your bottom. Bend your knees until your bottom touches the chair. Just touch the chair slightly without actually sitting down on it.

4. When you stand up, push through your heels and squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.

8. Wall Slides

1. Start with your back to a wall. Approximately about 30cm away it and leaning against the wall.

2. Keep your arms by your side and with elbows against the wall. As you do this, bend your elbows 90 degrees. The back of your hands should be flat against the wall.

3. Keeping elbows bent and wrists touching the wall slide your arms up the wall. Then raise them until your upper arm is parallel to the floor then slowly lower back to starting position.

6 Pregnancy Workouts at Home

There are various forms of exercise you do do during pregnancy. However, the key point is that these pregnancy workouts must be modified in order to be safe for you and baby.

For example; I love yoga but there are some poses you should not do when pregnant. Below I have provided you with some sample PregActive workout which can be found in my online program.

Pregnancy Workout Video

Throughout each trimester of my pregnancy I included a yoga workout into my weekly exercise routines. There are so many benefits with this type of workout. Try this workout video if you enjoy yoga.

Your Pregnancy Workouts at Home Must Be:

1. Safe

Safety for both you and baby is non-negotiable. Without having an instructor right there with you to correct technique, or advise you from performing certain exercises, you MUST follow a guided video workout.

A qualified instructor know the exact movements and exercises you must avoid. They also have experience an knowledge in prescribing exercising accordingly to your week of pregnancy.

2. Effective

So while you are not pushing yourself to maximum exertion, you can still improve on your fitness level. Effective pregnancy exercises involve strengthening your core and pelvic floor muscles.

3. Designed for pregnancy

I cannot stress enough that when pregnant, you must modify your workouts to ensure they are safe for your week of pregnancy. Prenatal yoga is recommended.

But certain yoga poses that were safe before getting pregnant are now not safe when pregnant.

Related: Yoga when Pregnant

4. Designed by a prenatal exercise specialist

Most personal trainers do not receive sufficient training when it comes to pregnant women. How you exercise in the 3rd trimester and 2nd trimester is different to how you exercise in the 1st trimester.

You must have trust in your instructor that they know what they are talking about. That they know what is safe and what is not.

Our PregActive team consists or prenatal exercise specialists, pelvic floor experts, prenatal yoga instructors and Exercises Physiologists.

5. Take into account your growing belly

As your body changes with each week of pregnancy, so must your workouts. Your growing belly starts to get in the way. Your balance is affected. You must avoid lying on your back in pregnancy after 16 weeks.

6. Keep you motivated

If you are not motivated to workout then you will likely stop exercising. While taking a break when required is fine, stopping all together is not ideal. If you enjoy and look forward to your workouts then you will stay motivated as you focus on WHY you are exercising.

7. Adapt to each trimester

My workouts are designed for each week. If you someone gives you one workout to do for your entire pregnancy then you know it's not right. As you approach childbirth, your workouts must be modified.

8. Convenient

If you have to drive to and from the gym, battle with other members for equipment, find a parking spot; then you will start to make excuses not to go.

I like the gym, don't get me wrong. But the convenience of working out at home, in privacy, is what our members love most about our prenatal exercise program.

9. Approved by your doctor

While most doctors I know are not experts in prenatal exercise, they are your expert when it comes to looking after you. They will know what you should, and shouldn't, be doing. So only exercise after getting their approval.

Cautions for Pregnancy Exercise

Most forms of exercise are safe, but there are some exercises that involve positions and movements that may be uncomfortable or harmful for pregnant women. Be guided by your doctor.

  1. Don't exercise to the point of exhaustion.
  2. If strength training, avoid lifting heavy weights altogether.
  3. Avoid raising your body temperature too high.
  4. Perform controlled stretching movements.
  5. Don’t aim for personal bests while you are pregnant.
  6. Avoid exercise if you are unwell.
  7. If you don't feel like exercising on a particular day, don’t!

When to Stop Your Workout

Although there are many benefits to exercising, your current condition may prevent you from doing so for now. A normal pregnancy can quickly turn to one that needs to be monitored closely.

If a prenatal workout that contains certain movements or poses is deemed not suitable for you, then try a breathing and relaxation session. Strength training is recommended but only if you are able to do it.

My breathing techniques have helped my clients during labor.

They can also help you throughout your pregnancy when you need to de-stress, unwind and feel rejuvenated.

If you have experienced (or are currently experiencing) any of the following it may be advised not to start exercising just yet.

Speak to your doctor if you have:

1. Persistent vaginal bleeding.

2. Joint or muscle problems.

3. Heart or lung problem.

4. Severe anemia (very low iron levels in your blood).

5. Very high blood pressure.

6. Had a premature baby.

7. Serious heart disease.

8. Serious lung disease.

9. Extremely underweight.

10. A low-lying placenta (placenta praevia).

11. Cervical weakness.

6 Safe Pregnancy Exercises for Every Trimester

Exercise 1. Easy pose


Exercise 2. Prenatal Yoga Standing forward bend

Exercise 3. Cat pose


Exercise 4. Cow pose

Exercise 5. Warrior I


Exercise 6. Warrior II

Working Out at Home Tips

1. Be sure to warm up before exercise and cool down afterwards. Going straight into your 'working sets' is not ideal. Each class, or workout session, should include proper stretching and a thorough warm-up.

2. You should exercise on a regular basis (3-5 times a week). Having designated times to workout will keep you motivated. I recommend you exercise at least three times each week at minimum.

3. Include pelvic floor and bracing exercises in all workouts. While you may not see the immediate benefits of doing your Kegel exercises, you will in the long term. And trust me, you will be thankful you did them every week of your pregnancy.

4. Wear clothing which provides comfort and adequate support. When working out at home, you don't have to worry about anyone seeing you.

5. Comfortable workout shoes are also required. You can workout without shoes for most exercises. If you do wear shoes, make sure they are comfortable, non-slip and are well-fitted.

6. A good sports bra is vital for support.

7. Always bring a water bottle and a a towel. Yes, even at home, have your water bottle with you.

8. Exercise only to the point where you begin to get tired. Listen to your body, it will tell you when you need to slow down. Avoid getting your heart rate up too high.

9. Your center of gravity changes when you are pregnant. Be careful getting up and lying down.

10. Don't exercise outside in hot weather. You must avoid raising your body temperature too high.

11. Drink plenty of fluids before (water), during and after the class.

12. After 20 weeks of pregnancy, limit exercises on your back for long periods. Roll onto your left side if you start to feel lightheaded or unwell and tell your trainer.

13. Your blood pressure drops in the second trimester, so it is important to avoid activities that involve fast changes of position.

14. Your growing baby needs oxygen, so never exercise to the point of breathlessness.

What exercises can I do at home while pregnant?

Examples of exercises.

1. Resistance exercises for pregnancy
2. Static lunge
3. Kick backs
4. Sit to stand
5. Side lying leg raise
6. Hip thrust
7. Raised push-ups
8. Wall slides/snow angels
9. 4 -point arm raises