Pregnancy Workout Plans The Complete List Rated and Reviewed
Exercising during pregnancy can help you stay fit and healthy, along with making it easier for you to get “back in shape” after your baby is born. The best workout plan can even make labor and delivery a little easier, and this alone is reason enough for you to consider getting in a little exercise during the next nine months.
Whether you want to stay fit as your body changes or relieve some of the added stress and pressure, chances are there is a pregnancy workout plan that will feel like it was created just for you. At Top Workout Programs we have the best ones rated and reviewed by experienced trainers and licensed medical professionals so you can confidently choose an exercise routine that is right for you.
Full Body Pregnancy Workout Plans
There are several benefits associated with these workouts that include improved mood and increased energy levels, along with the possibility of making labor and delivery a little easier.
It can also be beneficial for your unborn baby.
While most workout plans are safe for expectant mothers and their unborn babies, it is still important to get approval from a licensed physician or your OBGYN before you start.
You can find these fitness plans for home and the gym, and both can be equally effective. You can also find them with and without equipment.
The right one for you will depend on your current health and fitness level, along with the results you are trying to achieve. All top rated ones will start and end with stretching. There should also be a warm-up and cool down period in order to minimize your risk for complications.
Most also call for 30 minutes of low impact cardio 4 days a week, with the other three devoted to sets and reps.
You should expect to perform 1 to 2 sets of 10 to 15 reps of various exercises. Some of these reps often include,
- Sumo Squat
- Quadruped Extension
- Row to Reverse Fly Stand
- Single Leg Curl and Press
Even though the exercises can vary, you will want to avoid any that applies pressure to your stomach or puts you at risk of losing your balance. This is especially important when you are in your second and third trimesters.
First Trimester Pregnancy Workout Plans
When you are in the first three months of your pregnancy, most health care professionals agree that you can stick with your regular fitness program.
If you are new to exercise routines and plans in general, you might want to start your pregnancy off with a workout program that is geared towards your first trimester.
During the first three months you want to work on building your strength and endurance. It is also important to have a healthy diet in place. It is important to remember that you are not working out to lose weight, and this means you will be increasing your daily caloric intake as your pregnancy progresses.
Some of the aspects you will want to look for in the best pregnancy workout plans for the first trimester should include,
- Warm-up and cool down periods
- Low to moderate impact cardio workout 3 days a week
- Strength training 3 days a week (every other day)
You can use dumbbells or other types of weights for strength training, depending on the workout.
Cardio can also be increased to four days a week, but you do want to leave a day in between each strength training routine. This will ensure that you are minimizing any potential risk to you and your baby.
- Duration: 3-12 weeks
- Frequency: 3-5 times per week
- Total Cost:
- Money Back Guarantee
- Fat Burning
- Gain Strength
- Core Fitness
- Functional Fitness
- Post Pregnancy
Second Trimester Pregnancy Workout Plans
If you feel like you have more energy in your second trimester, you are not alone. By this time most symptoms associated with morning sickness have passed, and your hormone levels are starting to even out.
Even though you might feel like you have more energy it is important not to throw it all into your workouts, it is still easy to over-do it and this could be potentially dangerous for your baby.
The best second trimester pregnancy workout plans will focus on strength training for 3 days, with the rest of the week devoted to low impact cardio. You can choose to perform the reps with or without weights, and you should also expect to do plenty of stretches.
Some of the exercises that you will want to look for in a top rated pregnancy workout plan for the second trimester often include,
- Bird Dog
- Glute Stretch
- Doorway Stretch
- Modified Side Plank
- Braced Squat
It is also important to start increasing your daily caloric intake at this time, and your primary health care provider will be able to help you create a meal plan.
Third Trimester Pregnancy Workout Plans
The last three months of your pregnancy can be difficult, and often the last thing you want to do is workout.
While you don’t have to keep up with a strenuous workout routine, it is still important that you continue to get some exercise.
You also want to make sure that your primary healthcare provider approves your workout routine.
You can find workout plans for the third trimester that concentrate on strength training, endurance or a combination of both. Some focus solely on low impact cardio which studies indicate might be beneficial to you and your baby’s health.
If you only want to improve your endurance and overall health one that calls for thirty minutes of low impact cardio a day will probably be the best choice for you.
If you also want to continue to improve your strength you’ll want the exercise program to combine low impact cardio with weight training. Just remember to only train every other day in order to minimize any potential risk to you or your baby.
It is also time to increase your daily caloric intake again, and your primary health care provider will be able to help you create a meal plan.
Pregnancy Workout Plans for the Gym
Finding the best pregnancy workout plans for the gym is relatively easy, especially with the help of an experienced trainer. You also want to get approval from your OBGYN or licensed physician before you begin any type of pregnancy workout plan, but your local gym can be a great place for you to get started.
You will also have access to all of their equipment which can make strength and weight training a breeze.
Some of the gym workout plans you might want to consider taking advantage of can include,
- Yoga pregnancy classes
- Pilates pregnancy classes
- Lamaze classes
- Low impact aerobics classes
- Swimming (if the gym has an indoor pool)
Pregnancy Workout Plans for Home
There are several advantages associated with pregnancy workout plans for home. They allow you plenty of privacy, and can be done at your convenience.
While you may not have the same group atmosphere and close support that you often find at the gym, most home based workout plans will provide you with instant access to a large online community.
You can find top rated pregnancy workout plans that call for some equipment, but in most cases ordinary household items can be easily substituted.
These workout plans should always include stretching exercises, along with warm-up and cool down periods. If you are trying to increase strength, you will only want to train for three days.
The other four should be strictly limited to low impact cardio. This will help prevent you from overdoing it, and potentially putting your health at risk.
The type of exercises will vary, and you can find home based pregnancy workout plans to fit almost any lifestyle. Before you start any type of fitness program it is always best to get approval from a licensed physician.
The only person that can tell you for certain if it is safe for you to work out during your pregnancy is an OBGYN or licensed physician. Before you start any type of workout plan it is important that you make sure that it is safe for you and your baby.
In most cases it is safe to work out during pregnancy, and it is even encouraged.
Most licensed physicians recommend getting 30 minutes of moderate to low impact exercise a day when you are pregnant While some exercises won’t be recommended, especially if you’re a beginner, you can continue to safely work out through your third trimester.
To ensure the safety and health of you and your baby it will be important for you to make sure that you are getting enough calories during the day. You also want to stay hydrated, and this means drinking plenty of water.
If you carefully follow your physician’s advice chances are it will be safe for you to work out through your pregnancy.
It will be easier for you to get back in shape after your baby is born if you were on a pregnancy workout plan. Even though your muscles are weakened and stretched, it will be easier for them to recover since they were still being worked out during your pregnancy.
Not only will it be easier for you to get back in shape, you’ll also see results in a shorter amount of time.
Studies conducted by the Mayo Clinic also show that pregnancy workouts can also shorten your recovery time after delivery. This means that you will be able to resume many of your pre-pregnancy activities faster than a majority of the women that did not exercise during those nine months.
As long as it has been approved by your OBGYN or licensed physician, it is safe for you to continue to work out up to your due date.
You can even find workout plans that are geared for women in their second and third trimesters.
The main difference between these workout plans and ones that you might have been on at the beginning of your pregnancy is the intensity and duration of the daily exercise routines. As your pregnancy progresses you might find it harder to perform some exercises properly, and it just might not be possible for you to keep up with the same intensive workout schedule.
This doesn’t mean that a second or third trimester pregnancy workout plan won’t be able to provide you with the same benefits.
These typically include,
- Improved mood and energy levels
- Better quality of sleep at night
- Prevents excessive weight gain
- Reduces lower back aches, cramps, swelling, bloating and even constipation
- Increases muscle tone and strength, along with your endurance
It is important to note that while most licensed physicians agree that it is safe for most women to lift weights during their pregnancy, they are not approving body building training.
Instead of trying to build muscle, you will be lifting weights to increase your strength and endurance. This means that you will be performing more reps, with less weight and fewer sets.
One aspect to remember is that the majority of strength training workout plans will require equipment, especially a weight bench.
This is mainly for your safety since it provides added stability. If you do decide that you want to keep or start lifting during your pregnancy, it is important to get approval from your OBGYN or licensed physician.
Even though there are benefits associated with working out during pregnancy, some exercises should be avoided. If you are used to running, lifting or performing aerobics regularly chances are you can safely continue this form of cardio, as long as an OBGYN as approved it.
Beginners will want to avoid any type of high impact cardio, at least until 6 weeks after giving birth.
All contact sports should be avoided, regardless of how often you might be used to playing. Some of the other types of exercises and physical activities that you shouldn’t do during pregnancy typically include,
- High-impact Aerobics (3rd trimester)
- Kickboxing/Martial Arts (2nd-3rd trimester)
- Jumping Jacks
You should also avoid exercises that call for the use of stability balls. Anything that increases your risk of falling on your stomach should be avoided throughout your pregnancy.
When it comes to deciding if an exercise is safe, the best source of information will be your primary health care provider.
The type of pregnancy workout plan you choose will determine the sort of exercises you perform, but there are some aspects that are the same. You should expect it to start and end with stretching, along with a warm-up and cool down period.
Most of the daily workouts last for thirty minutes, but this can be shortened to suit your health and fitness level. None of the exercises should include contact on the abdominal area or put you at risk of falling.
You should also expect to perform plenty of low to mid impact cardio.
For most women simply eating healthy and gradually increasing their daily caloric intake as their pregnancy progresses means that they do not have to follow a special diet.
There are a few nutrients you do want to make sure that you are your unborn baby are getting enough of, and if you’re not this is when you might want to consider making some changes to your daily diet.
Some of these nutrients typically include,
- Folic acid
- Fish Oil
You can find these nutrients in a variety of foods that will fit anything lifestyle.
There are also supplements, and some are marketed towards pregnant women.
The answer to this question will depend on your current health and fitness level.
While everyone will want to avoid any type of cardio activity that increases their risk for a collision or fall on their stomach, some women can safely perform high impact cardio until their 3rd trimester.
Others relatively new to exercising and working out will want to stick with low impact cardio activities. Before you start any type of cardio workout plan when you are pregnant, it is always best to get approval from your primary health care provider.
Even if you are used to a high impact cardio workout, it might not be the best choice for your baby.
Since you are working your muscles and this helps to improve strength and endurance a pregnancy workout plan can help make labor and delivery a little easier, especially if you focused on your core.
If it incorporates yoga flexibility and focus can be improved, this can also benefit you during the delivery.
Being able to focus and even meditate can even help relieve or at least reduce some of the pain you generally feel during labor.
There are also early results from some studies that seem to show women that exercise regularly throughout their pregnancies tend to have shorter and easier labor, delivery and recovery periods.
According to the study, the first stage of labor is significantly shorter for women that exercise three times a week during their pregnancies.
It is possible to maintain a healthy weight, and this is important for the safety and development of your baby. You should expect to gain weight as your baby grows and the amount will depend on your pre-pregnancy weight.
It is also true that some of this weight is necessary for the healthy development of your baby, and you don’t want to burn too many calories during your daily workouts.
A good example of how to ensure you maintain a healthy weight is,
- Adding 340 calories to your daily diet during the 2nd trimester
- Increasing it to 450 more calories a day than your normal pre-pregnancy diet in the 3rd trimester.
During the first trimester your caloric intake shouldn’t have to change, though you will want to make sure that you are eating healthy for all nine months. It is should also be noted that the number of calories suggested to increase your diet is based on a BMI range of 18.5 to 24.9.
If you’re worried about your caloric intake your primary health care provider or licensed nutritionist will be able to address any of your concerns.
There are several pregnancy workout plans for home, and they can be just as effective as ones geared for the gym. The most important thing is to stay motivated and continuing working out even when the exercises get difficult.
While it is important to never push yourself too hard when you’re pregnant, you also don’t want to give up. If you put the same effort into your home based pregnancy workout plan as you would with a trainer at the gym, you will be able to get the same results.
There are supplements that are marketed for pregnant women, and in some cases adding them to your daily diet can be beneficial. The most common and often recommended supplements for pregnant women include,
- Multivitamins (specifically pre-natal)
- Fish Oil
- Protein/Whey Protein
- Folic Acid
While adding a supplement to your health care routine can be beneficial, it is still important that you first check with a licensed physician.
Too much of a nutrient can be just as harmful to a fetus as not getting enough.
This is also why it is important to follow the dosing instructions carefully if you are taking a supplement.
Whether or not you need to use equipment on a pregnancy workout plan will depend on the type. Some only require you to move and lift your body weight, while others are comprised of a series of low impact cardio exercises.
Most pregnancy lifting workout plans will require you to at least use dumbbells, but they can be substituted for paint cans, milk jugs or other household items. It really will depend on you and your preferences whether you use equipment on a pregnancy workout plan.
The most important muscles to work when you are pregnant are the ones found in your core, according to licensed physicians.
Along with your abs and the rest of your core muscles, pregnancy workout plans can also be used to target your glutes, upper thighs, arms and shoulders.
All of these muscles when they are strengthened and tone during pregnancy can possibly make labor and delivery a little easier, and speed up your recovery.
How long and often you exercise will depend on a few factors. Your health, current fitness level and the results you are trying to achieve will all play a role in the amount of time your OBGYN or licensed physician recommends.
In general most medical professionals suggest getting at least 30 minutes of low impact cardio a day.
Most medical professionals recommend some type of core and abdominal strength training routine during pregnancy. While you will want to get approval from your primary health care provider, and avoid certain exercises, a workout that strengthens your core can be beneficial and safe for you and your baby.
While it should be mentioned that tests are still ongoing, early results indicate that working out can benefit your unborn baby. Some of these benefits could potentially include,
- A lower risk for diabetes that often continues into adulthood.
- There are early indications that a baby’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease later in life could be dramatically decreased.
- Babies tend to have a lower BMI for improved overall health.
- Heart rate in fetuses was noticeably slower when mothers worked out which can lead to improved cardiovascular health.
Even though these are great benefits, it is important to remember that the research is still ongoing. This means that you will want to get approval from your OBGYN or licensed physician before you start any workout plan, even if it might benefit your unborn baby.
If you experience any of these following signs or symptoms at any point during your pregnancy it is advisable that you contact your primary health care provider immediately. Some of these signs include,
- Vaginal bleeding
- Difficult breathing or increased shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Rapid or uneven heartbeat
- Fluid leaking from the vaginal area
- Uterine contractions that continue even after resting for several minutes
- Calf pain and swelling
- Decreased fetal movement
- Balance affected by muscle weakness
It should also be noted that these are not all of the signs or symptoms, and that you should feel free to contact your OBGYN or licensed physician is you feel like that may be a problem.
Even though you can find some women who believe that their lack of morning sickness is due to their workout plan, there is not any scientific or medical proof to support their claims.
A pregnancy workout plan can’t prevent morning sickness, but it won’t cause it either.
Strenuous exercise can result in vomiting if you are already feeling nauseous, and in this case it is best to wait until the symptoms have passed before starting your workout. You will probably also want to stick with low impact cardio pregnancy workouts to prevent the feelings of morning sickness from coming back.
You can find top rated pregnancy workout plans at a variety of places. Friends and family members can often recommend fitness programs that have worked for them, and even caution you away from some that didn’t produce results.
If you belong to a Lamaze class chances fellow members and even instructors can suggest safe and effective pregnancy workout programs.
Your OBGYN can also be an invaluable source of information, especially when it comes to the workout plan’s safety. At Top Workout Programs you can find the best pregnancy workout plans rated and reviewed by experienced trainers and medical experts. Organized by category, you can easily find one that is right for you.