Is physical activity allowed during pregnancy? Of course. Moreover, they are useful, but with a number of reasonable precautions. For expectant mothers of all skill levels, walks in the fresh air, swimming in the pool and exercises with fitball will be useful.

Benefits of training:

  • Muscle tone improves.
  • Correct posture is maintained.
  • Recovery after childbirth is facilitated.
  • Trophic processes improve, which reduces the likelihood of edema and toxicosis.

If you have never played sports or went to the gym, then you should not overload the body. If you have given a little exercise, then a fitness program for pregnant women is suitable. And if you were actively involved in strength exercises, then you can continue them by applying a number of restrictions and reducing the load.

The training program in the gym must be adjusted to reflect changes in the body. It is necessary to gradually reduce the weight to a minimum, pay special attention to safety precautions. In this article, we will look at the benefits, risks, limitations, and contraindications during pregnancy, and then offer an indicative exercise program.


The basic rule is not to increase the load and be attentive to your body. The second important point is a consultation with a doctor, only he can objectively say whether it is possible to exercise, and will establish the permissible level of stress. And the third point – there are very specific contraindications, in the presence of which classes will have to be stopped.

General recommendations:

  • Get a doctor’s advice, take all the tests and make sure that you have no contraindications.
  • Focus on the timing – in the 1st and 3rd trimester, you should be more careful, a number of experts advise not to engage in earlier than the 2nd trimester.
  • The optimal period for classes is from 4-5 to 30-31 weeks. The frequency of training is 3-4 times a week.
  • Wear an abdominal support from 4 months.
  • Do not overheat.
  • Watch your pulse – it should not increase by more than 120-130 beats per minute.
  • Observe the drinking regime – still water at room temperature is best suited.
  • Be attentive to your own feelings – stop training at the slightest deterioration in health.

Exercise Recommendations:

  • Be sure to start with a warm-up and end with a cool down.
  • Reduce the load compared to your usual level – the weight should be gradually reduced to 50-60%.
  • While doing the exercises, watch your breath – the effort should always be made on exhalation, and on relaxation – inhalation.
  • Eliminate abdominal and abdominal exercises entirely.
  • From cardio loads, you can use walking on a treadmill, light exercises with an elliptical trainer, and an orbit track.
  • For dumbbell exercises, sit on a bench or gym ball.
  • Be careful with stretching, as, during gestation, relaxin is produced, which relaxes the pelvic muscles and also weakens the rest of the muscles.
  • Lesson time: warm-up and cool down – 15 minutes each, basic exercises – 30-40 minutes, the intensity is not higher than average.
  • The type of exercise is low-intensity aerobic exercise and light-weight strength exercise.

The best option is to work with a trainer who has a certificate that allows working with pregnant women. He will be able to advise you based on your fitness, fitness, and capabilities. He will also be able to track compliance with the rules and reduce risks.



During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes a number of changes:

  • In the 1st trimester, there is a high risk of miscarriage, so caution should be exercised in physical activity.
  • By the 3rd month, oxygen circulation becomes more intense, the peak falls on week 36 and reaches 25-48%.
  • By 5-6 months, the venous pressure in the legs increases by almost 1.5 times compared to the pressure in the arms.
  • Renal blood flow increases by 25-30%.
  • After 27-30 weeks, there is a lack of adaptation of the cardiovascular system.

You should immediately stop exercising if you feel:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis.
  • Bleeding and fluid loss.
  • Dizziness or a tendency to faint.
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath.
  • The urge to fight.
  • Difficulty walking, loss of energy.


The following exercises are prohibited for pregnant women:

  • Crunch exercises such as block press, cable side crunches.
  • Barbell squats, bounces.
  • Jumping rope and in place, swinging legs.
  • Abdominal crunches, plank, reverse hyperextension.
  • Running and all forms of jumping, as well as lunges, deadlifts, presses, and full squats.
  • Sharp bends and deflections of the body, turns.
  • Vertical traction, lifting straight legs from any starting position, flexion and extension of the legs on the simulator.
  • Strength exercises with free weights – you can get injured.
  • Explosive and High Intensity Stress – Joint hypermobility during pregnancy can lead to injury. Therefore, the movements must be performed smoothly and slowly.
  • After thirteenth week, supine exercises should be avoided to maintain normal venous flow in the legs.

Contraindications to classes


  • Hypertension in pregnancy.
  • History of miscarriages.
  • Placenta previa.
  • The threat of termination of pregnancy.
  • Abnormal position of the uterus.
  • Bleeding during pregnancy.
  • Acute febrile conditions.
  • Pronounced gestosis in pregnant women.
  • Severe varicose veins.
  • The systematic appearance of cramping pains in the lower abdomen.
  • Hypertonicity of the uterus, polyhydramnios.


  • Anemia.
  • Tachycardia and arrhythmia, chronic hypotension.
  • Diseases of the thyroid gland.
  • Diabetes.
  • Obesity.
  • Respiratory diseases.
  • Severe toxicosis.


Strength training should be done 2-3 times a week. Each lesson should have three parts:

  1. Warm up – 5-10 minutes, slow walking is fine.
  2. The main part of resistance exercises is 20-45 minutes, 4 to 12 exercises. Distribute the load to the main muscle groups: calf, biceps. triceps, quads, thighs, deltoids, pecs and back muscles. Apply 1-3 sets with 10-15 repetitions at medium intensity.
  3. Cool down – 5-10 minutes, until the pulse returns to normal.

It is recommended to practice under the supervision of a trainer. The main task of training is to maintain the previously achieved results. Weights should not exceed 60% of the normal working values ​​used before pregnancy.

Recommended parameters:

  • 3 strength and 2 aerobic workouts per week or less.
  • The type of training is split and separation of muscle groups.
  • Use moderate to light weights.
  • 15 repetitions in 3 sets, with pauses of 1.5-2 minutes.
  • The total workout time with warm up and cool down is no more than 60 minutes.
  • The intensity is not higher than moderate-medium – there should be no shortness of breath, that is, you should talk calmly.

Approximate split for a week:

  • Monday – arms and pectoral muscles.
  • Tuesday – aerobic workout (swimming, water aerobics, walking).
  • Wednesday – legs.
  • Thursday is aerobic workout.
  • Friday – shoulders and back.


At all times, it is necessary to warm up, you can also use a walking track with a slight rise of 10-15 degrees, a bicycle trainer with a back, an elliptical trainer with a low intensity. The pulse should not exceed 140 beats per minute, you can monitor it using a fitness tracker with a heart rate counter.

First trimester

Lasts from 1 to 13 weeks. During classes, it is worth using the chest type of breathing, the exhalation should be almost 2 times longer than the inhalation.

Main part:

  • Kegel exercises.
  • Dumbbell bench press.
  • Seated dumbbell curl.
  • Extension of the arms in the simulator.
  • Abduction of hands with dumbbells to the sides while sitting.
  • Semi-squats from a standing position.
  • Climbing the bench.
  • Abduction of the legs to the sides from a standing position.
  • Relaxing exercises.

Second trimester

From 14 to 28 weeks.

Approximate plan for the main part:

  • Exercise for stretching the “kitty”.
  • Hand exercises.
  • Exercises for the abductor and adductor muscles of the thigh.
  • Shallow Squats – Plie.
  • Dumbbell Rows.
  • Seated dumbbell curl.

No more than a third of the exercises can be performed in a standing position due to the risk of developing varicose veins.

Third trimester

In the period from 29 to 40 weeks, the motor capabilities of the body are limited due to the weakness of the ligamentous apparatus of the legs and the heavy load on the respiratory system. Therefore, the loads should be reduced, the bulk of the exercises should be on the arms and shoulders.

Bends forward are excluded, flexion in the hip joint is limited. It is recommended to do special exercises that strengthen the arch of the foot, relax and stretch the muscles of the pelvic floor.

Sample exercises:

  • Dumbbell curl for 10 reps.
  • Abduction of hands with dumbbells for 10 repetitions.
  • Turns to the sides for 6-8 repetitions.
  • Stretching and relaxation exercises.


You can do it at home, but in this case, you should be careful. For home workouts, you should prefer cardiovascular equipment and completely exclude working with weights, since there is no one to insure you. Also, avoid sudden movements, increase the load gradually. Any activity must be started with a warm-up.


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