Pregnancy workouts at home

Getting pregnant brings a lot of unexpected changes along with it. From cheerful and happy moments to excruciating and intolerable pain, you have to work it through those 9 months. A lot is required for women to cope up with in terms of their health as well as the baby’s health. A healthy and nutritious diet needs to be followed throughout the nine months. Most importantly, an active workout and physical routine need to be followed. This is why Pregnancy Workouts At Home is important.

Whether you are a fitness freak or not, you still need to add a workout routine to your lifestyle. Various exercises can be performed at home without the requirement of weights or machines. The main benefits of exercising are that they can reduce the chances of gaining weight, improve physical and mental health, and assist in easy delivery. 

As pregnancy is known to cause pain and discomfort to the body, exercising can reduce the pain and strengthen the muscles. For those who are new to working out when pregnant, it is suggested to consult a therapist or healthcare provider about safe and healthier exercises.

How much exercise is needed during pregnancy?

Typically, women are suggested to exercise a total of at least 150 minutes a week during pregnancy. The standard way of dividing the workout sessions is done by exercising three times a week. Each session should be thirty to fifty minutes long. Aerobic exercises are very helpful for pregnancy.

These exercises involve the movement and strengthening of large muscles in the body, like the arms and legs. Moderate aerobic exercises increase the heart rate and cause you to sweat. The common type of aerobic exercises includes walking, running, swimming, and cycling (stationary).

You can plan your workout by exercising for three days a week or spread the routine to five days a week with sessions of thirty minutes each day. There is no minimum number of hours required to exercise; however, those who wish to exceed the standard of 150 hours should consult a therapist, doctor, or even a trainer to avoid any mishap from occurring.

It is suggested that women who are new to exercising start with easy and light workout sessions. You can start by spending 5 minutes every day and gradually increase an extra 5 minutes until you don’t feel exhausted till you reach at least 30 minutes. For those working out before pregnancy, you can continue with your previous workout regime; however, consulting your obstetrician before continuing would be a wise thing to do. 

7 Best Pregnancy Workouts at Home

Pregnancy Workouts At Home could be performed at home with ease and comfort. Below is a list of those simple workouts.

  • Walking: The easiest and most convenient exercise is walking. This can be done anywhere, anytime without any problem.
  • Sitting Position: It isn’t considered an exercise, yet it does strengthen the pelvis for the extra pounds you will gain. The best way to do this is to sit up straight as much as possible. 
  • Leaning Position: It is suggested to avoid leaning backward and instead lean forward. This helps the lower body a lot during labor time. 
  • Pelvic Rocks: This technique helps to keep your lower back supple and the pelvis flexible. 
  • Butterflies: This is a very simple technique that helps like pelvic rock exercise. All you have to do is sit down and place your feet soles together and pulse both legs together till you feel the stretch. 
  • Forward Leaning Inversion: This exercise assists in untwisting the lower ligaments of the uterus. This makes room for the baby to settle and grow in the best position.
  • Sleeping Position: After the 20th week of pregnancy, doctors recommend avoiding sleeping on the back, resulting in backache, breathlessness, hemorrhoids, and low blood pressure. It is suggested to sleep on your left side with a pillow tucked between the legs. 

1. Transverse Abdominal Breathing

Transverse Abdominal Breathing

The transverse abdominals, also known as TVA, are an abdominal muscle folded around the abdomen. It functions by compacting the abdominal muscles along with the ribs while keeping the spine stable. It is also one of those muscles that assist in delivering the baby. There are various transverse abdominal exercises; however, the best and most effective is the Diaphragmatic breathing exercise.

Diaphragmatic Breathing: This exercise involves taking a deep breath to isolate the TVA muscles with the diaphragm muscle. The steps below can help you perform this exercise:

  • Sit down with your legs crossed
  • Relax all shoulder and neck muscles
  •  Inhale as deep as possible, extending your belly to the fullest point
  • Shoulders should be firm, and the entire movement should be focused on the belly
  • Hold the breath for a second, then release slowly to over 5 seconds
  • When completely exhaled, squeeze your TVA muscle for about 3 seconds 
  • Repeat the process

2. Light Weight Training

Light Weight Training

Lightweight training or bodyweight training is generally acceptable; however, for lifting light weights, it is very important to consult with your doctor before starting. Suppose you previously had a lightweight workout routine.

In that case, you can continue it with slightly lighter weights and fewer reps than before. You can increase your reps and weight to the point you do not get exhausted and feel pain. If you feel fatigued and in pain, decrease the weight right away. Increase your break and rest time between each rep session. Do not overdo and push yourself for extensive lightweight exercises. 

3. Low Impact cardio

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Low impact cardio and aerobic exercises are highly recommended over high and intense exercises. The most effective and safest exercises are brisk walking, stationary cycling, elliptical or step machines, and swimming.

These exercises involve a fairly low risk of injury (only if not done properly). They can be started from the first day of pregnancy till the time of birth. Moderate jogging can also be added to the workout routine, especially if you were doing that before pregnancy. You can also perform a few other exercises that do not consist of coordination and balancing. However, it is very important to take guidelines and regular consultation from your doctor. 

4. Hip Opening Workouts

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Several hip-opening workout exercises can easily be done anywhere at any time. Below is a list of the common and easy hip stretching workouts.

Tailor Pose/ Butterfly: The tailor pose helps stretch the hips, groins, and inner thighs and also assists in reducing and easing lower backaches.

Hip Flexor Stretch: This workout helps stretching the hip flexor muscles that lift the knees and make them bend to the waist. 

Pigeon: The pigeon pose workout assists in stretching the hips and increases its flexibility.

Seated Straddle: This exercise helps to straighten the spine. It requires both legs’ spread and a push of the hamstrings and pelvis towards the floor.

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5. Plank

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Doing planks is generally considered a safe exercise, although there might be risks of injuring and straining the back. Various types of planks can be performed during pregnancy; however, 2 types are highly recommended by trainers.

Inclined planks require placing the hands and forearms on an elevated object like a chair or small table; this method puts less pressure on the lower back and strengthens the abs. Another effective and easy method is the side plank; this requires planking sideways for 15-30 seconds. It strengthens your obliques and is highly recommended once your belly starts to pop out. 

6. Squats to Twist

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Along with other useful squat techniques, Squats with a Twist are the favorite and the most effective method. This exercise stretches your lower body and also the upper body. It targets the shoulders and also the groin/inner thigh.

There are two ways of doing squats with a twist: the normal twisted squat and the other is the twisted squad with a bind. The exercise requires stretching one hand forward towards the floor in a squat position. The other hand stretched towards the ceiling in the opposite direction. After a few deep breaths, switch the position of both arms and repeat for a while. 

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7. Triceps Kickbacks

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For toning the upper body during pregnancy, triceps kickbacks are a very helpful exercise. The exercise requires a lightweight dumbbell and a bench or any support for the other arm to balance and support the body. The exercise can be done without a bench, and you could work on both triceps simultaneously.

The exercise is performed by kneeling on the bench and holding the weight in one hand and the other placed on the bench. Then stretch the hand with the weight aligning the elbow against the waist and raise the dumbbell to the waist or slightly above. You can do 20 reps on one and then switch the arm and repeat. Three sets with twenty reps should be more than enough.

Benefits of Exercise During pregnancy

There are many benefits of exercising during pregnancy that help not only the mother but also the baby. Women who exercise regularly during all trimesters of pregnancy have low chances of having cesarean sections and low chances of developing gestational diabetes than those who do not work out.

Women that exercise gain less weight during pregnancy and have a low chance of giving birth to macrosomia babies. Babies that weigh more than 9 pounds can result in serious complications for themselves and the mother. Exercising regularly can assist with a quick recovery after labor.

1. Relief from Pain and Discomfort

Pregnancy comes with a package of unwanted pain and discomfort. However, this can be reduced and minimized by regularly working out and taking safety precautions. The most common type of pain caused is abdominal pain and backache. To reduce abdominal pain, various exercises can help recover and strengthen the ligaments and muscles. The support of healthy food can help too.

Doing light exercises and stretches have proven to reduce the discomfort caused. Backaches are the worst pain that mothers have to endure. To prevent or minimize it, a balanced diet and regular exercise should be done. Many exercises help strengthen the abdominal muscles and assist in reliving from backaches.

2. Building Strength

Building strength during pregnancy is as important as all the other elements are for the mother and baby’s health. Doing exercises with or without weight that strengthens the muscles helps reduce and avoid pain and discomfort to the body. Moreover, like the TVA Diaphragmatic Breathing exercise, some exercises are highly recommended as they strengthen the muscles that assist in delivering the baby and also help in maintaining proper weight.

The highly suggested exercises that focus on strengthening the muscles are yoga, squats, uphill walking, and swimming. You can also add a few workout exercises that include weights. Still, before getting started, it is recommended to consult your obstetrician and get their approval. 

3. Physical and Mental Health Improvement

Along with improving diet, sleep routine, and working out, it is very important to pay attention to your mental health. Having mood swings, stress, depression, and anxiety can come along during pregnancy. Most of these problems can be prevented by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

This keeps you physically fit and mentally fit. For people with anxiety and depression before pregnancy, it is suggested that you consult with your doctor for the prescribed medication (if necessary) or seek therapy. Talking to someone or joining group sessions specifically held for pregnant women can be a very helpful option. 

4. Controlling Blood Pressure

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Spike in blood pressure levels is common during pregnancy. If not controlled, it can pose dangerous risks to the mother and baby. High blood pressure can cause placental abruption that can lead to excess bleeding before delivery. It can affect the growth rate of the baby by decreasing or slowing it down. It can also lead to a shortage of blood supply to the placenta, resulting in fewer nutrients and oxygen to the baby.

High blood pressure types that might be experienced during pregnancy are preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, and chronic hypertension with or without preeclampsia.

5. Body Firming and Self Esteem

Becoming pregnant, especially for the first time, can lower a woman’s self-esteem. The body’s size changes briskly, leaving women to feel unconfident and unhappy about their physical appearance. Some women boldly accept this natural change, whereas some have difficulty coping with the change. The best way to do this is to take care of your diet and health to prevent the body from changing drastically.

However, various other methods can help overcome this feeling and help you get through these tough nine months. Talking to someone close, like your partner, a friend, or a family member with pregnancy experiences, can help a lot. You can also consider joining groups like mothers-to-be, where they walk you through the pregnancy stages, and you can also befriend other pregnant women who share their experience. 

Learn More About: Pregnancy Weight Gain

Final Words

Pregnancy causes pain and discomfort to the body; exercising can reduce the pain and strengthen the muscles. The main benefits of exercising are that they can reduce the chances of gaining extra weight, improve physical and mental health, and assist in easy delivery. Pregnant women are suggested to exercise three times a week.

Each session should be thirty to fifty minutes totaling 150 minutes a week. Various pregnancy exercises could be performed at home with ease and comfort. Low impact cardio and aerobic exercises are highly recommended.

The most effective and safest exercises are brisk walking, stationary cycling, elliptical or step machines, and swimming. Along with improving diet, sleep routine, and working out, it is very important to pay attention to your mental health. Having mood swings, stress, depression, and anxiety can come along during pregnancy and Pregnancy Workouts At Home can help too.

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