Staying active while pregnant is a challenge all moms-to-be must face. Between pregnancy classes, doctor appointments, pregnancy complications like morning sickness and all your other regular life stuff (like a job), it's hard to motivate yourself to work out! But in the end, staying fit during your pregnancy will benefit both you and your baby. But you still might wonder what workouts are pregnancy-friendly, and we're here to answer that!
Amanda Strong is a certified AFAA Group Fitness Instructor, holds a certificate in Prenatal Fitness and has been teaching fitness classes for almost 15 years. She is a mother of two and at eight months pregnant, is ready to pop with her third child! She shared her pregnancy workout with us so we can spread the word on staying fit during pregnancy!
Mountain climbers with sliders under toes:
These mountain climbers will get your heart pumpin' and your blood flowin' for some intense cardio, but they're modified for your pregnant bod! You'll want to do three sets of these (16 reps = 1 set).
Squat series with body bar:
This series will work your quads, glutes, hamstrings, abductors and adductors. One rep is one of each squat. Do 15 reps.
- Narrow squat: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and toes forward. Make sure your knees are behind your toes at the lowest point of the squat.
- Wide squat: Stand with your feet hip-width apart or larger to accommodate your belly. Keep your toes forward, bottom back and tailbone tucked. Hold your weight in your heels, and keep your knees behind your toes. Try to get as low as possible.
- Plié squat: Stand with your feet wide and toes turned out to the sides. Hold your weight in your heels, tuck your hips and bottom under, and sink straight down into plié.
Side lunge with sliders:
These lunges will target your quads, hamstrings, abductors and adductors. Make sure that you do three reps of 15 side lunges on each side.
Squat with body bar press:
This move will bring in some more cardio to keep your heart rate up while still toning those muscles. Do eight rounds of 20 seconds each.
- Start in a squat position, feet wide enough to accommodate your belly as you come into the squat.
- Hold the body bar in front of your body, with your palms facing down.
- Squat down as low as you can comfortably go.
- As you come to the top of your squat, press the bar forward at chest height.
- As you return to your squat, the bar comes back down.
Modification (advanced): Press the bar diagonally or overhead to work different muscles groups in your arms.
Reverse lunge with sliders:
Work your quads, hamstrings and glutes with this move. Do 15 reps for each leg and repeat three times on each side.
Squat hold with dumbbells:
Keep that heart rate up! Here's another cardio move. Make sure to do eight rounds of 20 seconds each.
Note: Resistance band not pictured.
To work on keeping your core tight, try this balance-testing move! Do eight on each side and repeat three times.
Deep core exercise:
Tighten up your core with this move! This move can be best executed with your back flush against a wall. Do ten reps.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent.
- Tuck your tailbone under to engage your core.
- Inhale and hold in your core.
- Exhale and draw your core up and in as tight as you can, as if you were bracing yourself for a punch to the midsection. Hold until you SLOWLY finish your exhale.
Plank with shoulder tap:
Keep up those core workouts with this plank move! Repeat the move for three sets of 16.
- Assume plan position. If you're finding trouble stabilizing on your toes, spread your feet wide for a more stable base.
- Bring your right hand off the mat and cross your chest to tap your shoulder. Repeat eight times and then switch to the left side. Repeat 8 times.
- Keep your hips square and your head, neck and shoulders in alignment. Engage your abs and don't forget to breathe!
Modification (beginner): Rest on your knees instead of your toes.
Hip drop and tuck:
This move will target your lower abs. Do 20 reps, take a break and do 20 more. Make certain that there is no pain in your lower back when performing this move! Perform it gently and without force.
- Step 1: Start with your feet hip-distance apart, toes forward, and knees slightly bent.
- Step 2: Drop your pelvis forward and relax your abdomen. Inhale.
- Step 3: As you exhale, tuck your pelvis back under for a hard contraction in the lower abdomen.