Exercise for Pregnant Women

Monday, April 06, 2015 • Washington, DC 20016


The fear that existed with exercise for pregnant women years ago is no longer needed.  Exercise for pregnant women in Bethesda is safe as long as you get the ok from your doctor & seek out a qualified and certified fitness professional. These tips below from Move Well Fitness in Bethesda will help!

1. Posture Change from the Growth of the Baby: As a result of the baby's growth, your posture will change. This causes certain muscles to become weak, particularly your core. In the 1st and 2nd trimester, exercise for pregnant women should focus on making the core stronger through exercises such as planks, bridges, and birddogs. Once the 3rd trimester hits, it is time to avoid core exercises where you ly down on your stomach or back. You can still work your core by doing standing exercises such as medicine ball chops, reverse chops & rotations. All of these exercises can be performed 2-3 days/week, 1-2 sets of 12-15 reps with appropriate rest time (45-90 seconds) between sets.

2. Cardiovascular Exercise: Because of the growth of your baby,  your heart and lungs work harder and you will feel it. However, cardio exercise for pregnant women in Bethesda can still be done with things like low impact or step aerobics that does not involve jarring motions. Walking on the treadmill, stationary cycling and water aerobics done 3-5 days/week for 15-30 minutes are suggested too.

3. Flexibility Exercise: Because your body posture has changed, this may cause certain muscles to overwork or become tight. As a result, you may feel the need to stretch certain muscles. This is ok to do so as long as exercise for pregnant women includes static and active stretches along with foam rolling that can be tolerated. However, foam rolling on varicose veins or swollen muscles should not be done. I would advise stretching muscles that appear to be tight such as your calves and lower back. This can be done everyday for 1-2 sets, holding each stretch for 30-60 seconds.

4. Weight Training Exercise: Circuiting training has shown to be very effective for you throughout your entire pregnancy. These include exercises that work the entire body and can be performed back to back with little rest in between. I recommend exercises that work the following muscles: legs, chest, back, shoulders and arms. They can be done 2-3 days/week, 1-2 sets of 12-15 reps. The rest period can be in between 45-75 seconds for exercise for pregnant women.

5. Cautions: You should stop or avoid exercises that cause nausea, dizziness, stomach pain, prolonged shortness of breath, bleeding and fainting.


Exercise for pregnant women in Bethesda can be very beneficial. As a result, the pregnancy can be smoother and the recovery can be quicker. Let Move Well Fitness in Bethesda help you exercise during your pregnancy!

Helpful links for exercises: http://blog.nasm.org/fitness/exercise-pregnancy-physiological-changes-exercise-programming/


 Source: Clark, Sutton, Lucett. NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training, 4th Ed. Revised. 2014