There are exercises to avoid during pregnancy. To-be moms are famous for the “glow”. Different people have different opinions and experiences about their pregnancy. It is the most beautiful experience one could ever be part of. There is a special and unique bonding. It is also extraordinary for a woman to create, grow, and give birth to another life. Now there are exercises that a would-be mom can do and cannot do or should not do.
Remember, when you are pregnant, your goals and priorities have changed. It would help if you took time and carefully considered before going for an exercise. You should consider your baby because exercise or sports are not suitable for the baby’s and your health during pregnancy. There are exercises you should avoid during pregnancy. Always consult your physician before trying out or starting any exercise during pregnancy.
Exercises to avoid during pregnancy
- High-impact exercises.
- Exercises that put extreme pressure on your pelvis.
- Sit-ups and crunches
- Push-ups or planks
- Exercises where there is a risk of falling
- Holding breathe exercises
- The activity requires lying on your back
- Lying on your right side for a long time
- Activities require sudden twisting movements.
- Avoid exercises in hot and humid weather.
Activities/Exercises to avoid during pregnancy
- Activities requiring extensive jumping, skipping, or hopping.
- Full sit-ups are involved
- Activities need you to do squats, and deep knee bends.
- Activities require bouncing
- Avoid running, sprinting or agility.
- Avoid football, basketball, volleyball or any such contact sports.
- Activities involving double leg raises.
Top 10 Exercises to AVOID During Pregnancy
1. Avoid Contact sports exercises – exercises to avoid during pregnancy.
Avoid any contact sports during your pregnancy. The risk of injury from contact sports is significantly high. You should avoid various contact sports like football, basketball, volleyball, horse riding etc.
2. Avoid Boot Camp exercises – exercises to avoid during pregnancy.
One should avoid boot camps as they use ropes, push tires, lift heavy weights or boxing etc. Each of them could harm both the baby and the pregnant mom-to-be.
3. Avoid Bouncing on a trampoline exercise.
There is an enormous risk of using a trampoline during your pregnancy. The trampoline may cause fall as your body’s centre of gravity is off balance because of pregnancy. You can also injure your ankles or wrists by using a trampoline.
4. Avoid Stair climbing exercises during pregnancy.
Don’t use stair climbing as an exercise during pregnancy. Due to stair climbing, your heart rate increases. You also put too much pressure on your leg muscles. There is also a risk associated with falling or tripping. You also increase heart rate to very high levels. You also overload your leg muscles.
5. Avoid heavy weight lifting exercises during pregnancy.
Don’t lift heavy weights. It is necessary to avoid heavy lifting exercises to avoid during pregnancy. It can cause too much stress on the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system as heavy weight lifting involve maximal isometric muscle contractions.
6. Avoid High-Intensity exercises during pregnancy.
Avoid high-intensity workouts. High-intensity workout raises your heart rate. It is not safe during pregnancy. Try to stick to low to moderate-intensity exercises.
7. Avoid Exercises that may cause abdominal trauma or pressure.
Say no to crunches and planks during pregnancy. Pregnancy yoga or Pilates are a much better option during pregnancy.
8. Avoid exercises – High-altitude training.
Exercise at a high altitude puts stress on oxygen delivery to the fetus.
9. Avoid Supine exercise position (lying on your back)
Do not lie on your back. Lying on your back can cause the gravid uterus to compress the inferior vena cava. It causes maternal hypotension and reduced blood flow to the fetus.
10. Avoid Exercises which involve lying on the stomach – Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy
As you are pregnant and carrying the baby in your womb, for obvious reasons, please don’t attempt any exercise or sport that requires you to lay on your stomach.
Avoid Weight losing exercise during pregnancy:
Always refer to your doctor for any issues or clarification. Avoid exercises that may cause harm to the mom or baby. During pregnancy, it is pretty apparent to gain weight. You may gain about 25 to 35 pounds. For some, it is a bit difficult to take, both emotionally and physically. Your healthy diet and weight gain signify a baby’s healthy development. Do not try any calorie-burning exercises during pregnancy. Try those calorie-burning ideas only after giving birth to your little princess or prince.
Things to Keep in Mind-exercises to avoid during pregnancy
Exercising helps both you and your baby. The critical factor is to follow the guidelines provided by your doctor and listen to your body. Try low to moderate-intensity physical activity. But avoid sports like basketball, horseback riding, scuba diving, etc. Stay hydrated and eat before exercising. Always have water with you when working out.
- Try exercises like walking, prenatal Pilates and prenatal yoga.
- Try for 30 minutes of exercise per day, 5 days per week. That is 150 minutes per week.
- Wear comfortable yet supportive clothing. one should prefer breathable fabric and use a good sports bra.
- Always keep in touch with your doctor and share any concerns you have about exercise. Your doctor is the best person to tell you whether your activities are safe to continue throughout pregnancy or if modifications are needed.
Warning Signs during exercise – exercises to avoid during pregnancy.
Exercise is a perfect way to stay fit and emotionally stable during pregnancy. But you should pay attention and get in touch with a doctor immediately if your body sends you any warning signs. Do not ignore these warning signs.
- Chest pain
- Bleeding from vagina
- Regular contractions of the uterus
- Painful contractions
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dizziness and fainting
- Fluid leaking or gushing from the vagina
- Shortness of breath
- Changes in foetal movement
- Pain in hips, pelvis, or abdominal area
- Calf swelling or pain
- Muscle weakness
When you experience any symptoms, immediately stop whatever you are doing. If there is bleeding from the vagina, painful contractions, calf swelling, chest pain that does not go away, pelvic pain, abdominal pain, or any changes in foetal movement, call your doctor immediately.
There are many benefits of exercise during pregnancy. The benefits are physical, mental, and emotional. So, instead of being sedimentary, try to keep moving.
- Shortened duration of labour
- Reduced risk of caesarean delivery
- The improved tone of abdominal and pelvic floor musculature
- Improved fitness
- Better management of gestational diabetes
- Reduced risk of large-for-gestational-age new-borns
- Reduced back pain
- Constipation prevention
A pregnant person participating in 30 to 60 minutes of exercise for about 2 to 5 days a week shows a reduction in caesarean deliveries and gestational hypertension. Exercise during pregnancy also acts as a protective factor against depressive disorders in the postpartum period.
- Birch, K. M., & Esformes, J. I. (2008). The exercising female. In Exercise Physiology in Special Populations (pp. 249–268). Elsevier.
- CDC. (2022, June 3). Healthy pregnant or postpartum women. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pregnancy/index.htm
- Cooper, D. B., & Yang, L. (2022). Pregnancy And Exercise. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.