The Ultimate Pregnancy Workout

Meredith @ 40 week fit

Staying active and fit doesn’t have to stop when you find out that you are expecting. In fact it’s quite the contrary! Stay active is the BEST thing you can do for yourself and your growing peanut inside of you. Don’t worry though, if you have never been much of a gym goer you can still ease your way into working out during pregnancy and reap the benefits of staying one fit and active mama!

Let’s go through the incredible rewards of staying fit during pregnancy!

1. Research has shown that that exercise during pregnancy is safe, and women who exercise at a mild to moderate intensity for 30 minutes three or more times a week will experience less physical discomfort (reduced chance of constipation, hemorrhoids, bloating, swelling, leg cramps).

2. Again by exercising three or more times per week James F. Clapp III M.D.’s research has shown that pregnant women had an improved energy, quality of sleep, self-image, mood and posture. But it's no wonder, working out already makes you feel great, and by continuing strength exercises you are working hard and are aware of your posture.

3. Not just that but who mom who exercised three or more times per week, reported that they saw better muscle tone both during and one year postpartum. They also reported having an easier labor than the control group that didn't exercise. WHAT?! That's right, all those workouts are increasing your stamina and your mental will power. So James F. Clapp's thinking is that you are literally training your mind to deal with mental hurdles!

4. Women who exercise during pregnancy also "exercise" their placenta (think the snack pack that nourishes my growing baby). Just like how any muscle gets a work out when you go to the gym, so does the placenta. In the study done by James F. Clapp III, he found that women who exercises all the way up until birth, tended to have leaner babies and there was a higher chance of an all natural birth compared to the control group who did not exercise. He also found that women who worked out in the beginning but stopped in the third trimester actually gave birth to "chubbier" babies. The reason being is the placenta had gotten used to the workouts and had become like an "athlete", thinking it needed to consume more because it was burning more. But when the woman stopped her workouts, the placenta continued to store but did not burn, thus over nourishing the baby. So the babies just kept getting bigger and bigger.

5. The most interesting findings from Clapp’s research was that the results were in favor of women who continued to exercise throughout pregnancy. These babies had the same weight, same heights, same circumferential measurements, and same amount of fat. However, he found that babies born of exercising mothers do better on standardized intelligence tests at one year. They had done significantly better on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development test than the offspring of the controls. So get ready for Cambridge kiddos!(This obviously isn't a guarantee that the child will go to Cambridge, and I am in no way affiliated, but merely just a fun thought of your baby in a cap and gown)

Now that we have talked about some of the benefits, and you are eager to get moving let’s get to working out!

Below is a workout from the 40weekFit Simple Mommy workout guides with some tip top exercises to keep you moving all throughout your pregnancy!

Warm up

with 10 reps of song bird, 1 minute of arm circles with toe taps, and 1 minute of side to side reach.

Song Bird Reps

Leg Set

Do each move and then repeat the full circuit 2 more times. 3 rounds total! Rest in-between (Should take no more than 20 minutes)

1. Plie squat - 20 reps

2. Side to Side Lunges - 20 reps (side to side is one rep)

3. Curtsy Squat - 15 each (If you are experiencing Pelvic Girdle Pain substitute for squats)

4. Donkey Kick - 20 reps (modify by standing and holding on to a wall or chair)

5. Fire Hydrant - 20 reps (again modify by standing and holding on to a wall or chair)

Arm Set

Do each move and then repeat the full circuit 2 more times. 3 rounds total! Rest in-between (Should take no more than 20 minutes)

1. Tricep Lift Back - 20 reps using 1 kg (this seems light but they sneak up on you)

2. Side Raises - 20 reps 1 kg

3. Tricep Dips - 15 reps

4. Ice Cream Scooper - 20 reps 2 kg

5. Modified Walkout or Inchworm - 20 reps (please make sure you are comfy by being on your knees, you protect your abdominal muscles this way and won’t worsen a Diastasis Recti)

Why no abdominals exercises?

Believe it or not, in each of these exercises you are using your abdominals as stabilizers. If you aren’t feeling them send an email to and we can set up a FREE 30 minute consultation with Meredith. She can help get you better connected to your core and feeling those inner abs engage!

Terms to know

Diastasis Recti is commonly defined as abdominal separation. It is known to occur in pregnant and postpartum women.

It is when the uterus pushes out on the abdominals and it splits the six pack abs causing a gap between the two. It can vary from one finger, to four depending on the woman and her pregnancy. This usually happens in the second or third trimester, and most will want to know postpartum.

Having a separation or a diastasis represents a foundational core dysfunction. You may feel some level of discomfort doing any type of abdominal workout. Planks, side planks, crunches and even some exercises where your core kicks in for extra support such as

lunges. One easy way to tell you have a DR is if in a crunch or plank position you notice coning in your mid-section.

During pregnancy and always postpartum you should perform a self diastasis check to have a knowledge of your separation but also to determine if you need to and should be modifying exercises. Unfortunately your OBGYN won’t check this, and when they clear you for exercise they are forgetting this MAJOR part. It’s incredibly easy to check yourself and having a DR doesn’t mean you need to stop working out. It means that you need to modify a few things. Then when needed or reach out to us, We can help you find modifications and give you exercises that will help correct a DR.

Performing a self check - Lie on your back knees up. Come up to a crunch position, and with somewhat firm pressure sweep your fingers back and forth along the midline of your abdominals starting near your bikini line and ending near your diaphragm. You are trying to feel the left and right sides of your abdominals. If you feels gaps between them, see how many fingers fit between. A 1 to 1.5 finger width is completely normal postpartum, 2 is still considered ok but you need to exercise caution, then 3-4 we will need to incorporate special exercises before you can plank or crunch. Learning to belly breathe helps heal a small diastasis and can count towards core work!

Now lace up those trainers, and get your booty in motion.

If you loved this workout find more in the Free 7 Day Pregnancy Fitness Challenge and in the Simple Mommy pregnancy workout plan where you will find tailored workouts for each week of pregnancy.

Shop my look - and use code 40BB10 for a discount.

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