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Exercise Routine Examples for Pregnancy

Updated on March 28, 2015

Your body needs to be strong at this time to prepare yourself for less muscle pain during pregnancy, an easier delivery (that takes some serious endurance), and a faster recovery (not to mention bouncing back into shape more easily!)

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Remember that this is NOT the case for everyone! There are high risk pregnancies and other contributing factors that can make exercise a big NO. Consult with your doctor before starting any exercise. The general rule of thumb for HEALTHY pregnancies is that you can probably continue doing similar exercises to those you were capable of before pregnancy. Many women do choose, however, to eliminate exercises that involve too much bouncing, jumping, or lying flat on one’s back for an extended period of time. Also, take it down a notch from pre-pregnancy. Don’t work out until you’re fatigued. Listen to your body. As always, drink plenty of water (more important than ever!) and make sure you’re taking in the right amount of calories.

Here are some links that can teach you more about exercising while pregnant:

http://www.webmd.com/baby/exercise-during-pregnancy

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-and-exercise/art-20046896

http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-best-kinds-of-exercise-for-pregnancy_7880.bc

I have sorted the routines into days of the week, but you can mix and match exercises as you please! It is best to get 20-30 minutes of cardio/day and some varied strength training along with it. Some of them link to how-tos or examples of the particular movement.

Monday

Cardio

-30 minutes of walking (outside or treadmill)

*5 minutes warm-up (slow and comfortable)

*5 minutes on increased incline

*5 minutes speed walking on this incline

*5 minutes cool-down

*5 minutes on x2 increased incline with some speed

*5 minutes cool-down

Don’t forget not to get overheated. Don’t do this outdoors if it is sweltering outside. If you’re inside, try to get a fan on you.

If you still feel comfortable jogging a bit, that’s fine, but oftentimes as the pelvic bones soften jogging causes some pain that may last a few days.

Strength Training

-Leg circuit 3x

*20 squats

*40 calf raises with weights of your choice

*12 squats with weight of your choice (free weights or bar)

*10 lunges on each side with weights (take it easy—this can be tough)

-Don’t forget your kegels!

Stretch

-Take as much time as you can to stretch that back, those legs, and arms.

Tuesday

Cardio

-30 minutes bike

*5 minutes warm-up

*5 minutes high-speed, low-resistance

*5 minutes comfortable

*5 minutes low-speed, high-resistance

*5 minutes high-speed, high-resistance

*5 minutes cool-down

The reason I use vague words like “high” and “low” is because a perfect workout for one woman will be different for the next. One day is never like the next, either. We’re not training for an Ironman or trying to lose 100 pounds, here—we’re just doing what’s healthy for our bodies and our babies.

Strength Training

-Abs circuit 3x

*20 crunches (I do all mine halfway sitting up; I don’t feel comfortable lying flat on my back, if you do, it’s fine for a short period of time)

*20 Russian twists

*20 bicycles

-Don’t forget your kegels!

Take time to stretch and relax after your workout.

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Wednesday

Wednesday

Cardio

-30 minutes of swimming

*Lap length varies from pool to pool, so figure out a routine that makes sense to you. Here is a list of benefits to swimming while pregnant as well as the precautions one should take.

Strength Training

-Arm circuit 3x

*10 bicep curls on each side with comfortable weight

*10 one-arm presses on each side

*20 girl push-ups (regular push-ups are often uncomfortable)

*12 dips

-Don’t forget your kegels!

Take time to stretch and relax after your workout.

Thursday

Cardio

-30 minutes of dancing

*Easy/pregnancy Zumba classes (avoid too much jumping or pushing yourself too far)

*Online Zumba/aerobic dancing videos for pregnancy

*Make up your own routines! This can be fun!

Strength Training

-Butt circuit 3x

*10 squats with weights

*10 fire hydrants on each side

*10 donkey kicks on each side

-Don’t forget your kegels!
Take time to stretch and relax after your workout.

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Friday

Cardio

-30 minutes elliptical

*10 minutes warm-up

*5 minutes increased resistance

*5 minutes increased speed and resistance

*5 minutes comfortable

*5 minutes cool-down

Strength Training

-Back circuit 3x

*10 flyes

*10 wall push-ups

*10 lat pull-downs

-Don’t forget your kegels!
Take time to stretch and relax after your workout.

Weekends

Choose your favorite cardio routines and strength training routines that you think your body needs. I always take Sunday off.

Good luck and have fun!

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