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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?

I highly disagree with giving specific amounts of weight to lift for pregnant women. So the "expert" says lift 3-10 pounds, as if something catastrophic will happen if the same person lifts 11 pounds! To the person who normally lifts much heavier, I would suggest that you choose a weight that is still challenging for 8-12 reps, whatever that weight may be. No maximal lifts.

Zorbs |

Q&A: Safe to lift weights during pregnancy?

I think 3-10lbs is a guideline. People need to see how they feel but dont forget your center of gravity if off and pulling a stomach muscle is very painful during pregnancy. I work out 5 days/week and weight lift on 3 of those days. I am maintaining my program but have noticed that at 17 weeks certain exercises have to be modified. Chest flies, for example, have made me pull a muscle. Exercise, be healthy but be smart.

fitfanmom |

Q&A: Safe to lift weights during pregnancy?

I'm glad this post is here because so many people have the mistaken idea that you're supposed to rest for nine months! Sure the work out will need to be modified, but it's far better for you to stay active. I like to view birth as an event to train for. Would you just rest for six months to prepare for a marathon? I am proud of all of you for continuing to work out!

titania9 |

Q&A: Safe to lift weights during pregnancy?

Research and articles that I have read show that you can continue working out and lifting the same way you were before pregnancy! Things you cannot do are lie on your back, so now more bench press, and no more abs on your back. Listen to your body, and you will start slowing down when your body tells you to. I am 7 months now, and I still do pullups, pushups, lift weights 3-4 times a week, and do olympic weights with modified weights! I swim and cycle for cardio, and feel amazing! No swelling, no pains, I feel great, I really really do.

pecas14 |

Q&A: Safe to lift weights during pregnancy?

My OB says the same thing, anything you were doing as far as exercise pre-baby, is alright, with minor tweaks, such as not allowing your HR over 140 bpm (though if you have been working out regularly, it's harder and harder to get your heart rate up, because it is much more efficient), also, don't like flat on your back after the 4th month. I have heard some say it's ok to continue with ab workouts, but I personally choose not to. I feel like I am crushing the baby. It is true as well, that exercise eases a lot of the aches and pains of pregnancy. Good luck!

kknappenberger |

Q&A: Safe to lift weights during pregnancy?

Your little baby is well secured and resilent in there, just use common sense. Do not increase your workout routine once you get into your 2nd and 3rd trimester. Back off on the weights towards the end, because it could put extra strain on your pelvis, abs, and uterus. Even a little bit of exercise will have a big benefit to you. Cardio is great because it builds up your stamina, and your baby enjoys the motion! Going through labor is a bigger workout than you will ever experience in your life. You feel sore in places you didn't even know existed, even if you are a fitness person. So exercising is very smart because your body needs all the stamina and support it can get during birth. Don't bother working out your abs at the end - they are already stretched out and weak - save the crunches for your post-baby workouts, and holding your newborn will give you awesome biceps!

Wife4ayear |

Q&A: Safe to lift weights during pregnancy?

I have kept up with my kettlebell exercises. But with a 15 lb bell now. I use a 20 lb. bell for sumo squats. I do get concerned if I use heavier weights. I was doing shoulder presses with a 30lb. barbell (less than pre-pregnancy) and felt so guilty and worried the day after. I was told to keep it at 25 lbs. and under.

gina7133 |

Q&A: Safe to lift weights during pregnancy?

I am 34 weeks and have maintained a decent fitness level through my pregnancy. I am just starting to notice crunches are becoming slightly uncomfortable, but planks and oblique work have been fine. I am still doing spin classes 2x/wk 45 min and a walk or jog as well. I still do weight training... 8-15 pounds(was used to 12-40 lbs) My doctor says as long as I am comfortable doing it, it should be fine. I find jogging a couple minutes, walking a couple works the best. Just listen to your body, stay active. I find I am more comfortable if I stay active.

trisenah |