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Exercise during pregnancy always seems to be a hot topic. It seems that people are one side of the spectrum or the complete other. Some don’t know why you WOULDN’T work out and some don’t understand how you COULD work out. For me personally it always surprises me to see the the reaction I get when people hear/see that I still work out so hard while pregnant.
Granted my workouts are not simple and they’re not moderate but it’s what MY body can handle. That alone is a major part of it. I didn’t start working out when I was pregnant… I simple continued doing what I had previously been doing before.
If you ask 5 Drs. what their opinions are on exercise during pregnancy chances are you’ll get some that are ok with it and some that lean on the side of caution. I have always been told that I could continue to do what my body was used to, with modification of course.
What does that mean? For me now at 20 weeks it means my squats are lighter, my weighted plyos are lighter and I’m not doing anything lying on my back. For someone else there may be some more limitations.
Pregnancy isn’t the time to diet or get in shape. However, you can still exercise during pregnancy and eat a healthy diet to stay as fit as possible throughout your pregnancy. There are so many reasons I’m in favor of exercise during pregnancy and I’m sharing my top reasons with you below!
Top 6 Reasons to Exercise During Pregnancy
- A (possible) easier labor and delivery. And who doesn’t want that?! I remember after having my first I thought… “How on earth can anyone go through all that without using some muscle?!” I was grateful that I had worked out my entire pregnancy because I know for a fact it helped me get through delivery MUCH easier.
- You might gain less weight during your pregnancy. Pregnancy is never a time to get in shape or lose weight but if you stick to a moderate exercise plan you could help ward off a few extra pounds that might creep on if you chose otherwise.
- Exercise can help reduce insomnia. Lack of sleep is a major complaint amongst pregnant woman everywhere. Working out may not only help you fall asleep but it could also help to improve the quality of your sleep.
- A reduced risk of Preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is defined as high blood pressure often accompanied by fluid retention. It is very dangerous for both you and your baby. Numerous studies have been done that suggest exercising early on can help to decrease those risks.
- It may help ward off lower back pain. Pregnancy puts a lot of pressure on your back. Frequent exercising can help to lower the risk of back pain as well as pelvic pain.
- Post-delivery recovery will be quicker. Studies have proven that staying fit DURING pregnancy will help you bounce back faster AFTER pregnancy. Your muscles are stretched to their limits while pregnant. Keeping yourself as strong as possible while pregnant will help those muscles to bounce back quicker once baby gets here.
These are just a few of the reasons I’m in favor of working out while pregnant. The list goes on and on but I I think these few things are reason alone to keep active.
So, if you’re pregnant and in need of a workout I’ve created one for you below! Of course, if your belly is in the way of ANY of these or you feel discomfort you should immediately stop/modify to put yourself in a more comfortable/safe position.
Monday : Back/Bi’s/Cardio
Single Arm Cable Row (10-12 reps) : 4 Sets
Close-Grip Cable Row (10-12 reps) : 4 Sets
Kettlebell swing (12 reps): 4 Sets
Incline Bicep Curl Superset Decline Bicep Curl (15-20 reps each) : 4 Sets
Straight Bar Curl (10 reps) Superset Hammer Curl (15 reps) : 4 Sets
30 minute stairs
Tuesday : Legs/Glutes
Sumo Deadlift (8-10 reps) Superset Kickbacks (15 reps) : 4 Sets
Seated Abductor (8-10 sets) Superset Squatted Adductor (8-10 reps) : 4 Sets
Alternating Lunges (10 reps each side) Superset Jump Squat (15-20 reps) : 4 Sets
Leg Press (10 right, 10 left) Superset Press w/both legs (20 reps) : 4 Sets
Banded Squat Jumps (AMRAP) : 4 Sets
Chest Fly Machine (10 reps) (pulse 15 on last rep) Superset incline Bench Press (10-12 reps) : 3 Sets
Wide Pushups (AMRAP): 3 Sets
Overhead Extensions (10-12 reps) Superset Kickbacks (10-12 reps) : 4 Sets
Single Arm Lateral Pushdown (AMRAP) Superset Side-Lying Single Arm Pushups (AMRAP) : 4 Sets
Abs: 1 minute plank, Hanging Leg Raises (AMRAP)
Rower Intervals (1 minute on, 30 seconds off): 20 minutes
Thursday : REST
Military Press (10-12 reps) : 4 Sets
Side Raise (10-12 reps) : 4 Sets
Face Pulls (10-12 reps : 4 Sets
Battle Rope : 1 minute on, 1 minute off : 10 minutes
Treadmill : 1 minute walk uphill, 1 minute walk uphill backwards, 1 minute leg raise and lunge (each leg) : 3 Sets
Saturday : Legs/Glutes (or additional rest day)
Smith Machine Single Leg Straight Legged Deadlift (8-10 reps) : 4 Sets
Smith Machine Sumo Squat (8-10 reps) : 4 Sets
Smith Machine Calf Raises uses step (15-20 reps each leg) : 4 Sets
Curtsy Lunge to Side Lunge (10 reps): 4 Sets
Cable Pull-Through (10 reps) Superset Alternating Lunge Jumps (15 reps) : 4 Sets
Sunday : Rest
Looking for a past weekly workout? Check here.