Book health & wellness appointments instantly


Classes and private sessions for yoga, Pilates, personal trainers and other fitness regimens.

Is there a point when weight training should stop during pregnancy?

Charles Bell (Knoxville, TN) on Oct 25, 2011
When it comes to exercising and weight training during pregnancy, everyone wants to know what the limits are. Recent studies have shown that women can continue exercising throughout their pregnancy. In general, pregnant women should skip intense workout routines three months before the birth of the child and three months after the child has been born. Women can still exercise at a low to moderate intensity. It is also important to talk with a physician if anything changes during the pregnancy, or before changing or starting a workout routine.
James Weaver (Milford, CT) on Oct 25, 2011
It depends if you were active before your pregnancy. I know some women that did all types of exercises throughout their pregnancy. A friend of mine did sprint intervals in her third trimester. You should definitely check in with your doctor regularly during your pregnancy while exercising. If you have not been active before your pregnancy then I would recommend that you do low impact exercises, like yoga and Pilates. I would suggest that you work with resistance bands and your own body weight if you are just starting out. Again, check with your doctor, because every woman is different.
Bill Ross (Littleton, CO) on Oct 25, 2011
Weight training should be reduced in the second trimester. In the second and third trimester I would recommend resistance band exercises and water resistance classes.
Halle Clarke (New York, NY) on Oct 25, 2011
Pregnancy is a time of great physical change. Certain muscle groups natural weaken as the women’s body changes to accommodate her growing belly. The hamstrings, gluteals, core, upper back extensors and external rotators of the shoulder girdle are all muscles that are vulnerable to weakening during this time. Weight training that is specific to these muscle groups and done with a neutral spine can be done right up until labor. Of course, there are contraindications as well. If possible, it is best to have a person coach at this time. If that is not a possibility for you, educate yourself with books and find a group class or DVD that follows the safety guidelines.
Dan Kritsonis (Bellevue, WA) on Oct 25, 2011
Take these precautions: * Check in with your healthcare provider. Go over your exercise regimen with your doctor or midwife first to make sure it's okay for you to continue at your current pace while you're pregnant. * Use lighter weights, more reps. To avoid overloading joints already loosened by increased levels of the hormone relaxin during pregnancy, use lighter weights and do more repetitions instead. If you usually do leg presses with 30 pounds for 8 to 12 repetitions, try 15 pounds for 15 to 20 reps. Or if you typically do a chest press with 15 pounds for 8 to 12 reps, try 8 pounds for 15 to 20 reps. * Don't do the Valsalva maneuver. This maneuver, in which you forcefully exhale without actually releasing air, can result in a rapid increase in blood pressure and intra-abdominal pressure, and may decrease oxygen flow to the fetus. * Avoid walking lunges. These raise your risk of injury to connective tissue in the pelvic area. * Watch the weights. Be extremely careful with free weights to prevent them from hitting your abdomen. Or use resistance bands instead, which offer different amounts of resistance and varied ways to do your weight training and pose no risk to your belly. * Don't lift while flat on your back. After the first trimester, lying on your back can put pressure on a major vein called the vena cava , which diminishes blood flow to your brain and uterus. An easy modification is to tilt the bench to an incline. * Listen to your body.The most important rule is to pay attention to what's going on physically. If you're feeling muscle strain or excessive fatigue, modify the moves you're doing and/or reduce the frequency of your workouts. Pregnancy isn't the time to push yourself to your limits. As long as you follow these guidelines '" doing any chest, back, leg, or shoulder lifts in a sitting or upright/inclined position, and not lifting more than 5 to 12 pounds '" you should be able to safely keep weight training while you're pregnant.
Franklin Antoian (Delray Beach, FL) on Dec 10, 2011
You can weight train during pregnancy up to the 8th month, but youll have to adjust your program intensity and routine. See a doctor and qualified personal trainer for specific details regarding your personal fitness routine.
Melissa Erliech (Lakemoor, IL) on Nov 5, 2011
It depends on your situation and you should ask your doctor for their professional opinion. In general, you should be able to weight lift throughout your pregnancy, you may just need to scale back or modify some of your lifting. I have personally witnessed CrossFit women not only lifting throughout their entire pregnancy, but setting personal records. Again though, I stress that you should consult with your physician to verify what is ok for your particular situation.