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Exercise Safety During Pregnancy: 8 Workouts to Avoid

Exercise Safety During Pregnancy: 8 Workouts to Avoid

Exercising every day makes our body healthy and keeps it away from diseases and doctors recommend at least light physical activities for everyone. Exercising during pregnancy becomes even more important as it offers a lot of health benefits to the mother and her baby. Gynecologists suggest about 30-minutes of moderate physical activity every day for the mothers-to-be until their delivery.

Exercise Safety During Pregnancy: 8 Workouts to Avoid

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Research has revealed, exercising in pregnancy improves the health of the mother and create a qualitative effect on the child’s health too. Pregnant women who do daily exercise are seen to deliver baby more easily and less painfully than those who do not care about doing moderate exercise.

Is all kind of exercise safe in pregnancy?

While most of the physical activity is said to be safe during the pregnancy, few exercise or activities you must avoid because they can harm you instead of providing benefits. Therefore, it is always wise to take precautions and guidance when doing physical activity while you are pregnant.

Here we have listed a few activities and exercises that you will want to avoid when expecting a baby.

1. Activities with high risk of abdominal injury or falling

Doctors strongly discourage the activities or sports that are more likely to cause abdominal injury or falling. These activities include downhill skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating, diving, bungee jumping, rollerblading, contact sports, etc.

Injury to the abdomen can directly affect your baby and might cause complications.

2. Activities involving backbends

Bending backward requires deep flexion or extension of joints. For instance, deep knee bends can increase the risk of injury during pregnancy.

3. Exercising while lying on your back

As a general recommendation, you may avoid exercises that involve lying on your back during the first trimester. The reason for the same is that this position causes the weight of enlarging uterus to compress the major blood vessels and therefore, it restricts circulation to your body and baby.

This exercise can cause to feel highly nauseous, short of breath and dizzy.

4. Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is another sport that you must avoid during pregnancy as it can cause the oxygen to the baby to cut off which can lead to quite disastrous results.

5. Standing motionless

Standing motionless for the expectant mother can be quite bad in the first trimester as it can restrict the blood flow. Therefore, certain poses of yoga including extended hand to big toe or tree is not a preferred exercise.

6. Excessive stretching

Ligaments being loser already, avoid excessive stretching during pregnancy. You must stop immediately if any activity that can hurt you and the baby.

7. Excessive exercise in extra hot weather

Exercising in hot weather can raise your body temperature, and in return, your body responds by shunting away the blood from your uterus in an attempt to cool your body off. These are disastrous for you and baby’s health and hence never do it.

8. Advanced exercise with abdominal moves

Exercises like full sit-ups, double leg shifts can cause the abdominal muscle to separate from midline and may even cause tearing. Therefore, never try this exercise.

Movements that you need to be careful

  • Exercising that involves balance: Exercising that require the balancing of your body can be difficult and riskier in pregnancy. Therefore, always keep chair beside you when you do such exercise. You may also prefer to do exercises near the wall, which can provide support to your body.
  • Activities involving toe pointing: Toe pointing during pregnancy can cause cramps in legs, which can cause a lot of pain.
  • Jerky movements and jumping: Due to the extra weight of the baby, jerky movements and jumping can be quite uncomfortable and risky. Therefore, you have to avoid it.

Setting limits for your body

Setting a time limit for your exercise is one of the paramount things you need to keep in mind during pregnancy. You must do as much exercise as your body allows. You can start doing exercise for 10 minutes a day and gradually increase the time slowly to 30 minutes a day.

If you are a regular gym person, avoid daily training and do only as much as your body needs. Listen to your body and work out as per its need.

Symptoms that suggest slowing down of exercises

At times, you might feel that your body is not able to cope up with the workout you do. It can show various symptoms indicating that you might want to slow down. Some of the symptoms are:


You might feel excessively exerted and tired from the workout. You ought to slow down a bit if it makes you feel that walking about 100 meters is impossible for you. Fatigue is not at all good in pregnancy.

Problem with sleeping

Even though difficulty in sleeping is normal due to baby belly, make sure that it should not happen due to tiredness from exercise.

Increased Irritation

You must feel happy with working out and not irritated or short tempered. If you feel more annoyed with the workout, it is the time that you step back.

Pain in joints and muscles

You might feel that there is an increase in muscle pain or joint pain because of exercising. Watch out for acute pain in joints or muscles. If you feel an increase in pain, you should immediately slow down. Do as much exercise as your body allows.

While exercising is crucial during pregnancy but mothers-to-be, need to be extra careful with their choice of activities and exercises. Do only those events that do not make you feel tired or cause any pain or fatigue to the body.


Do prenatal exercises under the guidance of a professional, and if movement causes pain or problem, it should be immediately discontinued. Further, always be careful of warning signs like sharp pain, shortness of breath, vaginal bleeding or nausea. If you find yourself facing any such issues, stop the exercises immediately and call your doctor for further suggestions and guidance. If your body does not return to normal two hours after exercise, consult your doctor immediately. Be very cautious and take care of anything unusual.

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