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35-Minute Bodyweight Prenatal Workout (12 Pregnancy Safe Exercises For All Trimesters)

The 12 best pregnancy safe exercises for first, second and third trimesters! This no equipment, full body prenatal workout offers options to scale each exercise up or down as your pregnancy progresses.

Exercise during pregnancy — what exercises are safe during pregnancy? And what exercises should be avoided during pregnancy?

If you’re a new mom asking these questions, these 12 pregnancy safe exercises are for you.

Whether you’re in your 1st trimester, 2nd trimester or 3rd trimester, these are some of the best pregnancy safe exercises you can do with just your bodyweight.

This full body prenatal workout combines low impact cardio with bodyweight strength training. So you can build strength to avoid common pregnancy aches and pains and keep your heart healthy.

One pregnant woman and one fitness beginner performing a squat and overhead reach, pregnancy safe exercises

Pregnancy Safe Exercises FAQs

Can I Workout During Pregnancy?

In general, YES. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says most pregnant women can continue regular exercise during pregnancy. In fact, there are many benefits to physical activity during pregnancy, including reduced aches and pains, better sleep quality and reduced risk of complications like gestational diabetes.

What Are Safe Pregnancy Exercises?

Most physical activities you were doing pre-pregnancy are safe to continue into your pregnancy. Some examples of safe pregnancy exercises include:
1) Strength training and weight training
2) Walking and running
3) Prenatal yoga and pilates
4) Stationary bike or cycling
5) Swimming and water aerobics
Of course, every body (and every pregnancy) is different. Before you begin an exercise routine, you should consult your doctor, midwife or health care professional.

What Exercises Should I Avoid During Pregnancy?

In general, it’s best to avoid:
1) Bearing down (movements or exercise that place extreme pressure on your abdominal wall and pelvic floor).
2) Any ab exercises that cause coning/doming of the core muscles, especially if you have existing diastasis recti (abdominal separation often referred to as u0022DRu0022).
3) High impact/contact sports, or sports with high risk of falling (downhill skiing, ice hockey, basketball, horseback riding, etc.)
4) Lying on your stomach/belly down postures.

Learn more in this post: 5 Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy – And Pregnancy Safe Alternatives!

two pregnant women performing an air squat in a full body bodyweight prenatal workout at home

35-Minute Bodyweight Prenatal Workout

Stay active and strong through each trimester of pregnancy with this safe and effective full body prenatal workout.

These 12 safe prenatal exercises combine bodyweight strength training with low impact cardio (kind of joints). Do this prenatal workout at home or in the gym; no equipment needed.

Move at your pace to complete as many reps as possible, with good form, during the 30 second work periods. As always, listen to your body.

This at-home pregnancy workout is perfect for the first trimester, second trimester AND third trimester. A great way to prepare for labor and delivery.

Workout Equipment:

No equipment, bodyweight only.

Option to add a bench, box or chair to reduce abdominal pressure during planks and push ups as your pregnancy progresses. This can also help with balance as your center of gravity shifts with a growing baby bump.

Workout Instructions:

Follow along with the guided No Equipment Pregnancy Workout on YouTube led by certified personal trainer and prenatal fitness instructor, Lindsey Bomgren. 

The guided video includes form cues, safe pregnancy exercise modifications and motivation along the way.

Your Full Body, Bodyweight Prenatal Workout Looks Like This:

  • 6 Circuits (2 bodyweight exercises per circuit with a 30 second break between circuits)
  • Timed Intervals (30 seconds per exercise, followed by 15 seconds of rest)
  • Repeat Each Circuit x3 Sets

Full Body Prenatal Workout: Prenatal Strength and Low Impact Cardio

1) 2-Pulse Squat and Calf Raise
2) Swing Squat or Air Squat

1) Incline Push Up and Shoulder Tap
2) Box Step Up and Knee Drive

1) Staggered Single Leg Squat
2) Tricep Dips

1) Sumo Squat and Lat Pull Down
2) Lateral Squat Step and 2 Jabs

1) Runner Squat
2) 45-Degree Jacks

1) Bird Dog Back Rows
2) 3 Side Plank Crunches and 3-Second Side Plank Hold

12 Pregnancy Safe Exercises

2-Pulse Squat and Calf Raise

Targets: Legs, glutes, quadriceps (thighs), hamstrings, calves and core.

two women performing a two pulse squat and calf raise

How To Do A 2-Pulse Squat And Calf Raise

  1. Start standing feet shoulder-width distance apart, knees slightly bent, core engaged.
  2. Lower down into a squat position, lowering your hips down parallel with your knees. Drive your knees out toward your outer three toes.
  3. At the bottom of your squat, pulse by rising up an inch, then lowering down an inch and repeating for a two-count pulse.
  4. Drive through your heels to stand tall, squeezing your glutes.
  5. As you stand, perform a calf raise by lifting your heels off the ground.

Swing Air Squats

Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, arms and core.

Adding an arm swing increases the cardio endurance; the bigger the arm swing the higher your heart rate will climb.

two women performing swing squats or air squats with arms swinging overhead, low impact cardio exercise

How To Do Swing Squats

  1. Start in an athletic position, feet just outside of hips, toes pointing forward or slightly out, slight bend in your knees.
  2. Sit your hips back, lowering down into a squat, sweeping your arms back behind your hips as you sit back.
  3. Then, explosively drive through your legs to stand up as you swing your arms overhead.
  4. As you stand, you have the option to add a calf raise; lifting your heels off the ground as you fully extend your hips and arms.

Modification: Perform standard air squats and omit the arm swing.

Incline Push Up and Shoulder Tap

Targets: Chest, shoulders, triceps, back, abs, obliques and core muscles.

two women performing incline push up and shoulder taps. The woman on the right takes her push ups from a bench to make this a pregnancy safe exercise.

How To Do An Incline Push Up And Shoulder Tap

  1. Stand in front of your bench (or counter, or wall). The higher the surface, the easier the push up will be.
  2. Plant your hands on the bench and step back into a high plank position. Shoulders are stacked over wrists, weight evenly distributed between all fingers.
  3. Hold this incline plank position, maintaining a straight line with your body, as you slowly lower your chest towards the bench.
  4. Lead with your chest, elbows fall about 6 inches away from your body (not out to the sides).
  5. Once at the bottom of your push up, exhale as you push back up into high plank position.
  6. Then, bring your right hand to tap your left shoulder, performing a shoulder tap.
  7. Complete another push up and then alternate your shoulder tap, bringing left hand to meet your right shoulder.

Box Step Up and Knee Drive

Targets: Legs, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors and core.

two women performing a box step up and knee drive.

How To Do Box Step Up And Knee Drive

  1. Stand in front of your box or bench, feet under shoulders and core engaged.
  2. Step your right foot on to your bench and squeeze your right glute as you step up, driving your left knee up as you stand.
  3. Return your left foot to the mat, then bring your right foot down, returning to starting position.
  4. Then, alternate, stepping on to the bench with your left foot and driving your right knee up as you stand.

Modification: Perform alternating reverse lunges and knee drives.

Staggered Single Leg Squat To Box

Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hips and core.

two women performing staggered single leg squats. The woman on the right sits to a box to make this a pregnancy safe exercise.

How To Do A Staggered Single Leg Squat

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, feet staggered so your right leg is slightly in front of your left foot.
  2. Kickstand your front right foot, lifting your right toes off the mat.
  3. Keep 80% of your weight in your left foot, and 20% of your weight in the heel of your front right foot. As if you were performing a single leg squat on the left leg, just using the right leg for balance support.
  4. Maintain a staggered stance as you lower your hips down, sitting back into a squat.
  5. Push through the heel of your left foot to return to standing. Think of it as performing a single leg squat on your left leg.

Modification: Perform a squat to bench or box, tapping your butt on the chair, bench or box.

Tricep Dips

Targets: The back of your arm, specifically the triceps.

two women performing tricep dips from bench or ground

How To Do Tricep Dips

  1. Grip the edge of a chair or bench, fingertips pointed toward your butt or toes, elbows bent. Note, you can also perform tricep dips sitting on the ground with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your hands behind you (fingertips facing your butt).
  2. Keeping your back close to the chair, lower yourself, bending at the elbows until your elbows reach a 90-degree angle.
  3. Press through your palms, using your triceps to push you back up to starting position.

Sumo Squat and Lat Pull Down

Targets: Legs, outer glutes, inner thighs, hamstrings, hips, arms, shoulders, back (lats) and core.

two women performing a sumo squat lat pull down, bodyweight prenatal workout

How To A Sumo Squat And Lat Pull Down

  1. Start in a wide stance, feet outside of hips, heels in and toes pointed out (sumo squat stance). Extend both arms overhead.
  2. Bend your knees to lower down into a sumo squat, pushing your knees out towards your outer three toes as you drop your hips parallel to your knees.
  3. As you lower, pull your elbows wide and down (goal-posting your arms). Think about creating tension with your own body to engage your back muscles.
  4. Pause for a moment at the bottom of your sumo squat, then drive through your heels, squeezing your glutes and inner thighs to return to standing as you push your arms overhead.

Lateral Squat Step and 2 Jabs

Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, arms, back, biceps and core.

Two women performing a Lateral Squat Step + 2 Front Jabs, safe pregnancy exercises at home

How To Do A Lateral Squat Step And 2 Jabs

  1. Start in an athletic position, feet just outside of hips, toes pointing forward or slightly out, slight bend in your knees. Hands are at a defensive position, guarding your face.
  2. Take a wide step out to your right, sitting your hips back and performing a lateral squat as you shift towards your right foot.
  3. Pull your left foot in and stand tall, feet under hips.
  4. Once standing, perform two jabs, punching in front of your face with each hand before returning your fists to guard your face.
  5. Then, step out wide with your left leg, performing another lateral squat towards the left.
  6. Again, stand tall and bring your right foot in to meet your left and perform two more jabs from a standing position.

Runner Squat

Targets: Legs, glutes, hamstrings, quads, hips, calves and core.

Two women performing rapid runner squats, low impact cardio in a bodyweight prenatal workout at home

How To Do A Runner Squat

  1. Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Sit your hips back as you lower into a squat, striving for a 90-degree angle between your hips and knees.
  3. Then, drive through your heels to stand tall.
  4. As you stand tall, tap your right toes back behind you, squeezing your glute as you tap back before returning to starting position.
  5. Complete another squat, then tap back with your left toes.

45-Degree Jacks

Targets: Outer glutes, hips, calves, shoulders, obliques and core.

Two women performing 45 degree jacks.

How To Do 45-Degree Jacks

  1. Start standing, feet under hips and core engaged, arms at your side.
  2. Step your left foot up and out towards the left front corner of your space (45 degrees). As you step forward, “jack” your arms overhead. The bigger the arms, the higher the heart rate.
  3. Pull your leg back to center as you return your arms to your sides.
  4. Then, step your right foot up and out towards the right front corner of your space (45 degrees), jacking your arms overhead.

Bird Dog Back Rows

Targets: Upper, mid, and lower back muscles, glutes, hamstrings, hips, abs and core.

A great exercise to strengthen the core and pelvic floor during pregnancy.

Two women performing Bird Dog Back Rows a great Pregnancy Safe Exercise For All Trimesters

How To Do Bird Dog Back Rows

  1. Find a quadruped position on all fours, with your knees hip-width apart. Hands firmly on the ground, about shoulder-width apart. Engage your core.
  2. Find a bird dog position by extending your left leg straight back behind you, floating it off the ground.
  3. Simultaneously perform a single arm row with your right arm, pulling your elbow back towards your right hip.

3 Side Plank Crunches and 3-Second Side Plank Hold

Targets: Obliques, upper abs, lower abs, outer glutes, hip abductors and shoulders.

Two women performing 3 Side Plank Crunches and 3-Second Side Plank Hold

How To 3 Side Plank Crunches And 3-Second Side Plank Hold

  1. Begin in a side plank position, right forearm on the mat and shoulder stacked over elbow. Option to modify your side plank by dropping your bottom right knee to the mat.
  2. Keeping your hips high and core stable, extend your left arm overhead and lift your left leg up in line with your left hip.
  3. Hold this side plank or modified side plank position for 3 seconds.
  4. Then, perform a side plank “crunch” by pulling your left knee in to meet your left elbow, before extending back out. Repeat x3 reps.
  5. Continue this pattern of a 3-second side plank hold, followed by 3 side plank crunches.

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This workout is brought to you in partnership with lululemon. And this post does include affiliate links; I do make a commission of items purchased through this post at no additional cost to you. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Nourish Move Love and all the content you see on this blog possible.

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