a pregnant woman sitting on a yoga ball

Safe Exercises to do While Pregnant

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First things first, never start a workout routine without speaking to your doctor first. This is especially important during pregnancy because you don’t want to do anything that could cause distress to you and your unborn baby.

If you have been cleared by your physician to work out here are a few workouts you can safely do.

Before you begin here are a few tips for you.

  • Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout.
  • Wear supportive clothing such as a sports bra or belly bands.
  • Do not allow yourself to get overheated especially during the first trimester
  • Avoid all contact sports and only do yoga routines that are specified for pregnancy.
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This can be done in all 3 trimesters and is really good for strengthening leg and back muscles. It also helps keep your weight down during pregnancy. Good types of cardio would be walking, jogging, swimming, and stationary bikes are great to do.

Pelvic Exercises

These are great to do starting your first trimester to help strengthen your spinal mobility and abdominal muscles. This is very helpful while your tummy grows, and you get ready for childbirth. Good pelvic exercises are pelvic curl, pelvic brace, and Kegels.


Squats are great to start in the first trimester as they strengthen the muscles in your lower body. Click here for a great video on how to do them.

Mermaid Stretch

This is great to start in your second trimester as the baby grows. As this happens it can start to create pressure on your diaphragm and ribs which can be very painful. This workout helps take the pressure off of that.

  • Sit on the ground with both of your knees bent (or folded) and your feet facing to the right.
  • Raise your left arm straight to the ceiling as you inhale, then exhale and side bend your torso toward the right. The stretch should be felt on the left side in this example. Hold for 4 slow, deep breaths. This would be the direction to stretch if you experience discomfort on the left side.
  • Reverse directions for discomfort on the right side. To reduce the risk of this occurring, start stretching both directions during the second trimester.

Belly Dancing

This is done on all fours and can be fun as well as helpful as it strengthens the abdominal muscles as well as the upper and middle back.

Get down on your hands and knees, wrists under shoulders, and knees hip-width apart. Keeping your back flat, draw your abdominals up and in, bringing your navel toward your spine; hold, breathing normally. Tilt your pelvis under, bringing your pubic bone toward your navel. Hold and count to 5. When you complete the final rep, stand up by stepping one foot forward and pushing off your thigh with both hands.

Remember to check with your doctor before starting these workouts and to always listen to your body. If something does not feel right, you should stop immediately and seek medical advice.

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

About Amanda Jordan

Amanda Jordan is a writer, specializing in fitness for women, especially those just beginning their fitness journey. She combines life as a freelance writer with teaching effective meal planning and targeted exercise routines. Amanda has firsthand knowledge of what life is like being overweight and unhealthy. Through many means, she has personally lost over 80 pounds and become a healthy woman.

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