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Q&A: Safe to lift weights during pregnancy?

Can I lift weights while I’m pregnant? How much?

Re: Can I lift weights while I’m pregnant? How much?

The Bump Expert

Weight training is a good way to keep valuable muscle mass through pregnancy and will help you get your pre-pregnancy body back quicker because your metabolism will be stronger. A healthy, safe range for beginners and experienced exercisers is 3- to 10-lb. dumbbells. Remember that pregnancy isn’t the time to increase your intensity or fitness level. It’s important to be safe and not push heavy amounts of weight (particularly over your head) or hold your breath while lifting. Always be supported by a bench or chair, especially as you get larger and your balance is altered (remember what happened Humpty Dumpty?).

Tracey Mallett

re: Q: Safe to lift weights?

I agree. My trainer has been training pregnant women ever since I started with him two years ago, and he has the ladies in 1st tri pretty much maintain their normal routine (but reduced abdominal workouts), and then he changes their workout schedule for 2nd and 3rd tri. One of the women (in 1st tri) sees him three times a week, and she says that she's been able to maintain her weight, ward of nausea, and feels more energised than tired most of the time, even though she's pregnant.

MakingBabyWasFun |

re: Q: Safe to lift weights?

Lifting weights is a great way to retain muscle mass during pregnancy. There are some great exercises that can not only help you retain muscle but also help you stay strong and comfortable as your body changes. I also like to incorporate small balance moves into weight lifting routines, as moms center of gravity shifts balance is very important for her to be able to adjust also. Especially here in Colorado with icy sidewalks. I teach moms in my classes exercises they can do at home and outside of Belly Bliss to keep them strong and safe. http://bellybliss.org/index.html

LaurenBellyBliss |

re: Q: Safe to lift weights?

Can you clarify whether we should stick to the 3-10lb range or stick to our normal program? I ask because I lift a lot heavier than that - frankly I'm afraid to run...lift heavy...and pregnant women do abs? Really? I would feel like I was crushing my baby, lol. Can you tell I'm a first timer here? :)

Orchid86 |

re: Q: Safe to lift weights?

When should I start limiting my weight?? I don't lift weights but work at a daycare with 2 & 3 year olds so don't wanna strain but.... well ya know!!

JPafford86 |

re: Q: Safe to lift weights?

i mainly jog on an eliptical or do a recumbant bike, abs and light weights on my legs and arms.. is that ok to continue? i am only 5 weeks now but i am curious if i should slow down and stop weights and abs or something... usually i jog for about 2 miles and then do 20lbd on my legs and about 10-15 on my arms and about 200 crunches should i decrease??

noodle28 |

Q&A: Safe to lift weights during pregnancy?

3-10 lbs for an experienced athlete is just silly. That's not enough to even warm up with. It depends on what you were lifting before you got pregnant. I'm doing about 80% of where I was before, some days more if I feel good. I'm just not straining to lift the weight. You better believe those back squats will help with labor!!

WBayer |

Q&A: Safe to lift weights during pregnancy?

The best advice that was given to me by my doctor: "Listen to your body". If you're over exerting yourself, slow it down. If you're used to lifting 25 lbs, try to continue and lift less if you notice you're struggling. If you run 5 miles a day, keep running but take walk breaks if you're struggling. Your body is the best indicator of what you should/shouldn't do. Also remember, you share your oxygen with your baby, so be sure to maintain a good breathing pattern while working out!

melodyjoy10 |

Q&A: Safe to lift weights during pregnancy?

As a competitive lifter, the theme I train with is "You didn't train like a knucklehead before you got pregnant, don't train like one now that you are pregnant".. If you listen to your body at all times, make hay when the sun shines, and hold back when your body isn't feeling it. Do your best for that day, and that day only. No one is going to know your body as well as you do. I also agree with a previous reply in that a 3-10lb. dumbbell is just an absolute waste of your time whether your pregnant or not. I warm up with 135lbs. for bench/squat/deadlift, but my body is also conditioned for it. Most women don't think twice about picking up even a 5yo, most 5yo's are in the 50lb. range. It's all about perspective, "heavy" is a perspective. If you can lift the weight for 5-10 reps without getting winded, it's not heavy.. Women have an almost impossible time "bulking" because guys have 20x more testosterone in their systems naturally than we do. Lift the higher number that gives you proper resistance. Of course, if you're just starting, work with a skilled trainer, the money spent will be well worth it to build a base for the long term. Remember, you may work once a week with a trainer, but there are still 6 other days to the week, you need to show up and do something even if it's a hike on the treadmill on at least 4 of those days.

MesmrEwe |