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Can you workout while pregnant?

April 18, 2022


In today's article we are going to talk about a subject with a lot of controversy and multitude of opinions: working out while being pregnant. The truth is that many mothers are afraid of starting to exercise in case it could affect the baby and believe that pregnant women should rest completely, but that’s not the case. In fact, training during pregnancy is not only not contraindicated, but it is beneficial for the baby.


The first thing we want to make clear is that every pregnant woman should always have the doctor's approval to do physical exercise, since there may be risk factors that can modify the exercise prescription.


Benefits of working out while pregnant


As we have mentioned before, there are many advantages for both the mother and the baby.

Benefit examples for the mom:

  • Reduces the risk of preeclampsia.
  • Reduces the risk of gestational diabetes.
  • Helps prevent and control excessive maternal weight gain.
  • Reduces musculoskeletal discomfort typical of pregnancy (such as sciatica).
  • Reduces the risk of cesarean or instrumental delivery.
  • Improves and maintains Fitness levels.
  • Improves the quality of rest and psychological well-being.
  • Improves postpartum recovery.

Benefit examples for the baby:

  • Greater psychomotor development of the fetus.
  • Better nervous maturation.
  • Decreased resting fetal heart rate.
  • Improves oxygenation in the placenta.
  • Increased amniotic fluid levels.
  • Increased gestational ages, prevents premature births.


However, there are three risk factors of concern when exercising during pregnancy:

  • Possible trauma to the fetus.
  • Hyperthermia.
  • Blood flow to the uterus.


How to work out while pregnant?


It is important to differentiate between those pregnant women who already practiced sports normally and those others who decide to start doing physical exercise during pregnancy. As a general rule, it is accepted that an experienced athlete, if there are no contraindications or risk factors, can continue exercising during pregnancy, although as the pregnancy progresses she will have to make a series of changes and adaptations in her training program.


A woman who decides to start exercising after becoming pregnant will need a more conservative training program than those with experience in physical exercise. Also, the intensity to be used during the training program will be low-moderate and during the second and third trimesters, exercises should not be performed in the supine position. In addition, you should take long breaks (2-4 minutes) to ensure proper recovery at the cardiovascular level and avoid sudden and/or explosive breathing that can increase blood pressure and harm the fetus.


Exercise areas to have in consideration:

  • Mobility exercises. To relieve possible tensions accumulated in the neck, spine and waist.

  • Strength exercises. To maintain or improve strength levels prior to pregnancy. This will help us maintain a better posture and that our body, especially our muscles, can better manage the new positions and loads that we have to acquire due to the changes that occur in the woman's body.

  • Aerobic exercises. To maintain or improve aerobic capacity throughout pregnancy. This is increasingly limited since, as the uterus grows, it presses the organs upwards, leaving less space for the movement of the lungs and diaphragm. Although it is something physiological and we cannot prevent it from happening, we must ensure that the mother has the greatest possible capacity for childbirth.

  • Respiratory exercises, Pelvic Mobility and Meditation. Especially as the time of delivery approaches. It is important to learn how to breathe, to move the pelvis in different ways and with different postures, to relax and connect with the baby. This will help lower stress levels at the time of delivery, favoring dilation and the entire process.

  • Integrated core and pelvic floor exercises. During respiratory, aerobic and strength exercises, we consciously work on activating the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. This is very important to avoid low back pain and future complications such as incompetent diastasis, urine leakage, etc.




Physical exercise in pregnant women provide numerous benefits that help reduce the stress of daily life and work activities, facilitating and accelerating their recovery.

For more information, talk to one of our Fitness Experts and get customized advice by submitting a request in our Mavyn app or Mavyn Fitness page.