I’m so excited to share that James and I are expecting our first child in August. Health and fitness are important to me, so I searched high and low for the best pregnancy workouts. If you aren’t expecting, my suggestions also work for non-pregnant folks. Of course, you need to talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program, but the advice for my specific situation was to continue whatever I was doing before for as long as possible.
The best pregnancy workouts
Below are the pregnancy workouts that I did by trimester. Please talk to your health care provider to get advice before you jump in. It is typically beneficial to keep moving while pregnant, but every situation is different and your pregnancy could be higher risk than mine. Do what feels good and don’t push yourself too hard. Pregnancy isn’t the time for mad gains! You will need dumbbells and a yoga mat for almost all of my recommendations below.
Tracy Anderson: The Pregnancy Project is a Pilates heavy workout focused on the butt and arms. There is one DVD for each month of pregnancy, and since I found out that I was pregnant two weeks post conception, it was perfect for me. Be warned, though, these are intense workouts that make you feel the burn.
10 Minute Solution: Prenatal Pilates are perfect for quick, standalone workouts or can be tacked onto another video. You can also do all the segments straight through for a longer, more intense sweat session.
Bump’n Body Prenatal Workout was great in my first trimester when fatigue and bloating were high and motivation was low. It’s beginner-friendly while still providing a decent sweat. In addition to weights, you’ll also need an optional booty band.
BodyFit by Amy has free workout options that are beginner friendly. I did a few in my first trimester, but they’re suitable for all trimesters of pregnancy. If you’re just getting started on your fitness journey or dealing with unpleasant pregnancy symptoms, these slow, easy workouts are perfect.
30-Minute Pregnancy Workout Video is free on YouTube and I did it multiple times per week throughout second and third trimesters. It’s strength training (my favorite) and squat heavy, so I was able to improve my writer’s butt while my stomach was expanding. This is an intermediate workout, so be mindful of jumping in if you weren’t exercising pre-pregnancy.
It’s no secret that I love FitnessBlender and many of their videos are safe for pregnancy or can be modified. I love this oldie but goodie upper body workout paired with cardio, and I regularly modified these total body strength and cardio kickboxing workouts.
Third Trimester Prenatal Yoga prepares you for delivery, which is something I haven’t gone through yet! I believe in the benefits of yoga, but I’m not a huge fan unless it’s the hot variety, which is not safe in pregnancy. However, stretching and flexibility are so important that I forced myself to get through it.
Squats were my favorite move throughout pregnancy and this lower body strength workout from FitnessBlender was perfect throughout all three trimesters. If you’re feeling good, try a longer version! Working out will make labor and delivery easier and has so many benefits for mom and baby, so sneak in as many sweat sessions as you can.
Note: I also hiked, walked and did steady state cardio on my elliptical throughout all trimesters of pregnancy. If you don’t have an elliptical, you can order a small, space saving step machine with the same motions (it’s what I use at the cottage when I can’t get outside).
Did you workout during your pregnancy?
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