Best and Easy At Home Exercises For Pregnant Women

A normal, healthy, human body needs regular exercise and movement to operate effectively and serve you well. Even during pregnancy, you need to continue doing some simple and easy exercises to keep your body healthy.

In this article we discuss some simple at home exercises you can do when you're pregnant.

pregnant woman on floor with water bottle and towel ready to exercise

Exercise during pregnancy is beneficial for both you and your baby as it helps in normal and healthy pregnancy and labor.

Why exercise is important during pregnancy.

If you are pregnant, you may experience backaches, swollen ankles, and restless nights which can be due to or in addition to bloating and constipation. To avoid all these annoying symptoms during your pregnancy, exercise should be an important part of your daily routine.

We are not talking about heavy exercises like weight lifting. But simple activities like running and walking can help provide some comfort. It can also boost your mood and help reduce stress and anxiety.

As far as your baby is concerned, exercise allows your baby to develop a healthy and fitter heart, a lower BMI, and better brain health.

Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?

The simple answer is, yes. Exercise is completely safe for both of you and your baby. But you should always ask your health care provider before doing anything. Tell him or her about the pregnancy symptoms and how you are experiencing. Maybe you need complete bed rest and exercise is not good for you at all.

Benefits of Exercise during Pregnancy.

As mentioned above, exercise has many benefits for the human body. And there are some simple home workouts during pregnancy to help lead to a healthy and easy pregnancy and labor.

Here are a few benefits of home workouts that reduce pregnancy side effects:

  • Regular exercise reduces back pain and fatigue.
  • Exercise in pregnancy helps you to overcome digestion problems like bloating, indigestion, inflammation, diarrhea, and constipation.
  • Exercise improves your overall fitness and health.
  • After regular exercise, you will feel that your heart and blood vessels are strengthened.
  • Exercise can also help you to lower the risk of developing gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
  • Exercise helps you to lower the chances of cesarean delivery.
  • Regular exercise helps you to maintain a healthy pregnancy weight and reducing your chances of becoming overweight.
  • If you regularly exercise during pregnancy, you can easily lose weight after the birth of your baby.

Home workouts while pregnant.

It would be remiss of me not to say – When you are expecting you should not take any risk. Be very careful before doing anything.

pregnant woman on floor at home reading SpeciallyMe's workout routines on laptop

Home workouts are your best option when you’re pregnant. You don’t need to go to the gym. You don’t have to follow specific timing. I mean, what else can you want? For a home workout, you only need to clear out space in your living room or any other suitable place.

Here are some very simple and easy home workouts that are completely safe during pregnancy. We have listed here workout routines for beginner, intermediate, and advanced stages.

Easy steps to warm up during pregnancy.

Before starting any exercise, let’s do some warm-up to increase the blood flow in your body:

  • Start with a standing position.
  • Relax your body and keep both your hands in front of you.
  • Now step to the side and tap with your toes while cross your arms in front of you.
  • This simple warm-up will keep the blood flowing in your body.
  • For a knee pull, put your hands down while moving your knees upward one by one.
  • To warm up the hip, put your hands on both sides of your hips and move your hips in a circular motion in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.
  • Now do a few squats to warm up your thighs.

Now you are ready to begin your routine.  Below we have outlined beginner, intermediate and advanced routines depending on your level of experience. You can change your routine when you think you are ready for progress.

1. Beginner routine

The beginner routine exercises provide a full-body workout within a few minutes. 

Bridge

The bridge position can also be used as a warm-up.

To get into the position:

  1. First, lie on your back and bend your knees.
  2. Now extend your arms by your sides.
  3. Pushing through your feet slightly raise your bottom off the ground. Your hips should be fully extended.
  4. Now slowly return to the first position and repeat.

Chair Squat

Chair squat position strengthens your legs and core. This exercise eases your muscles and helps you in everyday movement.

To get into the position:

  1. Stand in front of a chair. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart from each other and your toes slightly pointed out.
  2. Hinging at your hips and slowly bend your knees and lower back. Your bottom should touch the chair and your arms should be extended out in front of you.
  3. Push yourself up through your heels and then return to the starting/standing position

Knee Push-up

Knee pushup is a great exercise for a beginner. This exercise will help you to build your muscle strength.

To get into the position:

  1. First, get into a high plank position on your knees.
  2. Maintain a straight line from your head to your knees. Your hands should be under your shoulders in a straight line.
  3. Now bend your elbows to lower yourself down to the ground.
  4. Your elbows should be at a 45-degree angle.
  5. Push back up to start and repeat.

2. Intermediate Routine

After mastering the beginner’s routine you can try the intermediate moves. It is a more advanced approach towards home workouts. The intermediate routine includes:

Single-leg bridge

Any exercise routine that includes a single leg is harder than using both legs. A Single-leg bridge can be tough at first.

To get into the position:

  1. Lie on your back and keep your knee at 90 degrees.
  2. Lift one knee up to the chest.
  3. Keep your core tight and get into the bridge position by pushing up your heel.
  4. Return to the first position and repeat.

Squat

While doing squat for intermediate routine, you can now remove the chair. It will allow you to form a regular bodyweight squat.

Repeat the same process of the squat but this time you only have to imagine that you are sitting on a chair by hinging at your hips and pushing back your bottom.

Push-ups

As you can guess, the standard pushup is tougher than a knee pushup. 

pregnant woman in full pushup position 

When you are comfortable with progress your ability to do the knee push up, you can start standard pushups.

Get-up Squat

The Get-up Squat can help relieve stress and tension. This exercise also helps to ease and revive the muscles of your legs

pregnant woman in starting squat position for get ups

To get into the position:

  1. First, you have to get into a squat position. During this move, you don’t stand.
  2. Now drop your knees to the ground one at a time, so that you are kneeling.
  3. Slowly place the bottom of your feet back to the ground to get back into the squat position.
  4. Repeat this exercise for 15 minutes maintaining a good posture.

pregnant woman performing the get up exercise routine

Advanced Routine

If you are comfortable with the Intermediate routine and think that you can easily adopt a more difficult exercise routine, here are some more advanced moves. As always, be careful with your body. Take your time and stop if you feel any pain.

Bridge with an extended leg

In a bridge with an extended leg, you lift one foot and then extend the leg straight out. This position makes the single-leg bridge more difficult.

pregnant woman doing bridge with extended leg exercise

Throughout this exercise, you should keep your foot flexed. Repeat the exercise with both of your legs.

Overhead Squat

For the overhead squat, you extend the arms overhead.

This exercise will keep your upper body in motion. In addition to this, your lower body will also get benefits from the overhead squat. To get into the position you should extend your arms overhead.

One-legged Pushups

For a one-leg pushup, lift one of your legs and put more weight on your other three limbs. It is a more difficult exercise and requires more energy.

woman in one leg pushup position

For a one-legged pushup, get into a pushup position and then lift your leg off the ground to complete the pushup.

Home Low Impact Cardio Workout (Best for the Third Trimester)

This low-impact cardio workout is best for the third trimester and postpartum.

For a warm-up:

  1. Stand still and then lift your knees one by one.
  2. While doing this, also lift your arms opposite to your knees.
  3. Now step to the left side with just your left foot, just like you do in a squat with but your arms open. Return to the first position with closed arms.
  4. For the second position, keep your shoulders over hips and heels and toes out.
  5. Now, staying in this position lift your heels one by one.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 with the next leg.
  7. Staying in the second position lift your arms upward one by one.
  8. Squat while keeping your legs open and move your arms upward and downward in a sweeping position.

To get into the position:

  • Stand with your legs open, heels in and toes out. Now pop your left heel and sink low just like you do in a squat. Repeat the same exercise with your right heel pop up.
  • If you feel comfortable, lift your left leg and do a squat.
  • Imagine that you are sitting on a chair but keep your legs straight. Now pop your heels up and down and punch. your arms forward

This exercise will increase your heart rate and regulate the blood flow in your vessels.

Alternatively, here’s a 15-minute low-impact workout video you can follow:

How much exercise do you need during pregnancy?

From recent studies, 30 minutes of daily moderate exercise is enough for a pregnant woman. You do not need to exercise everyday. You are allowed to skip some days.

Also you should not do strenuous exercises like running on a treadmill or riding a bike at the gym. The exercises you need include some simple and easy tasks. You can walk for 10 minutes a day if it is convenient for you. Similarly, normal house chores like vacuuming and yard work also count as your daily workout.

Here's another workout option for a full body workout:

Precautions for your pregnancy workout

Pregnant women should always take the following precautions during exercise:

  • Drink a lot of water when you are working out. Remember to drink water before, during, and after your workout. If you are not drinking sufficient water it can lead to dehydration that is not good for you and your baby.
  • Avoid high temperatures and overheat especially when you are in your first trimester. When the temperature is too high or humid avoid outdoor exercise and use a temperature-controlled room instead.
  • Wear loose-fitting, light, and comfortable clothes during exercise. You can use a sports bra and pregnancy belly belt or pregnancy band for additional support.
  • Don’t stand still for a long time. Standing for a longer time can cause blood to pool in your legs and feet. Similarly, you should also avoid lying flat on your back as much as possible.

Final Thoughts

Even if until now you are feeling yourself to be less productive and lying in the bed all day, remember it is never too late.

You can start today or right now. You just need a little motivation and you are good to go. Be active for a good change in your life for you and your baby.

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