If you were active before pregnancy and have struggled to find workouts that are pregnancy safe but still challenging, THIS pregnancy workout at home is for you! Safely build muscle and increase cardiovascular endurance through the first, second AND third trimesters.
During my first pregnancy (back in 2016-2017), I really struggled to find prenatal workouts that actually challenged me. As someone who was used to doing high intensity workouts pre-pregnancy, I wanted to find a way to maintain and adapt my exercise routine in a way that was safe for both me and baby.
In my opinion, the best pregnancy workouts focus on strength training. It is naturally low impact, and keeps you strong and ready for labor. I also like to include pelvic floor exercises and low-impact aerobics to my pregnancy workout plans. Prenatal yoga/pilates is another popular pregnancy workout at home. Exercising during pregnancy is great for both mom and baby.
What Exercise Should You Avoid When Pregnant?
Listen to your body. In general, you want to avoid forms of exercise that put you at higher risk of injury, especially during pregnancy when your center of gravity has shifted. Common examples of activities to avoid include scuba diving, horseback riding, downhill skiing and gymnastics.
If you are experiencing SPD or pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy, avoid sheering movements that can make this pain worse: lunges, walking up stairs, single leg exercises (What To Expect).
35-Minute Advanced Pregnancy Workout At Home
Stay strong throughout pregnancy with this safe and effective, ADVANCED Pregnancy Workout At Home.
This full body pregnancy workout at home combines 10 of my favorite strengthening and cardio exercises for pregnant women. It is designed to safely build muscle and get your heart pumping through every trimester.
Work at your own pace, completing as many reps as you can during each timed interval. Modifications are offered for all fitness levels.
Medium-to-heavy dumbbells and an optional bench/box/chair.
I’m using 15 and 20 lb dumbbells.
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I get so many questions about this oversized yoga mat. I have the Extra Large Mat (8′ x 4′ x 1/4″).
Targets: Legs, hamstrings hips, glutes, back, shoulders and deep transverse abdomen muscles (core).
How To Do An Alternating Squat and Snatch
Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Place both dumbbells on the mat between your feet.
Sit back into a squat, sending your hips back and aiming for 90-degree bends in both knees. Pikc up one dumbbell with your right hand.
Then, drive your hips forward as you lift the weight up with your right arm (using the momentum created by your legs and hips). Lock out your elbow (arm straight overhead with bicep by ear, palm forward). Note, you shouldn’t struggle to press the weight overhead, it should be an easy extension of the move, with the majority of the work being done by your legs to create momentum.
With control, lower the dumbbell back down, sitting into a low squat to return the dumbbell to the mat.
At the bottom of your squat, pick up the other dumbbell with your left hand, and perform a snatch on the left side.
Modification: Substitute an alternating squat, curl and press.
Lateral Shuffle Hand Switch Dumbbell Pass
Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip abductors, chest and core.
How To Do A Lateral Shuffle Hand Switch Dumbbell Pass
Start in an athletic stance, feet hip-width and knees bent, holding a dumbbell in your right hand.
Perform a large shuffle to the left side of your mat, staying low and loaded through your legs.
As you shuffle, transfer the dumbbell to your left hand.
Then, reverse the movement, shuffling to the right as you transfer the dumbbell to your left hand.
Modification: Perform a Side-to-Side Squat and Opposite Toe Touch.
Sumo Squat and Dumbbell Front Raise
Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, hip adductors (inner thighs) and abductors (outer thighs), deep core muscles (transverse abdominis) and shoulders.
How To Do A Sumo Squat and Dumbbell Front Raise
Start in a wide stance, feet wider than hip width, heels in and toes pointed out (sumo squat stance). Hold one dumbbell horizontally in your hands between your legs.
Lower down into the bottom of your sumo squat, thinking about getting your thighs parallel to the ground. Tuck your pelvis to engage your core and protect your low back.
With core engaged, exhale as you lift the dumbbell up to shoulder height, arms straight in front of you.
Hold for a moment then lower the dumbbell with control.
Pull your thighs together to return to standing.
Sumo Squat Front/Back Jack
Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, hip adductors (inner thighs) and abductors (outer thighs).
How To Do A Sumo Squat Front and Jack Back
Start standing in a narrow stance at the back of your mat. Place one dumbbell vertically on the mat about a foot in front of you.
Step or hop your feet out wide, landing on either side of the dumbbell. Think about creating a “V” shape by jumping out. Think about landing softly, keeping your knees slightly bent.
Lower into a low squat (option to tap the dumbbell).
Then, reverse the movement, pulling your thighs together as you hop back, creating the “narrow” end of the “V” shape.
Modification: Take out the impact, stepping forward instead of jumping.
Staggered Deadlift and Single Arm Back Row
Targets: Legs, glutes, hamstrings, quads, hips, core and back.
How To Do A Staggered Deadlift and Single Arm Back Row
Stand with feet hip-width apart, hold one dumbbell in your right hand, palm facing in towards your body.
Stagger your feet, so your left leg is slightly in front of your right foot. Kickstand your back right foot, right heel floating off the ground. Keep 80% of your weight in your front foot, 20% in your back toe.
Maintain a staggered stance as you hinge at the hips. Pushing your hips back towards the wall behind you as you glide the dumbbell down the front of your legs.
Once you feel a stretch in the back of your leg, pause, and pull your elbow towards your rib cage (performing a single arm row). With control, lower the dumbbell back down.
Then, press through your front heel to push your hips forward, pulling the dumbbell back up towards your hips as you stand tall.
Box Step Ups
Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip abductors, hip flexors and core.
How To Do Box Step Ups
Stand in front of your box or bench, feet under shoulders and core engaged.
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.
Return your left foot to the mat, then bring your right foot down, returning to starting position.
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.
Two Tricep Dips and Reverse Plank Walk Out
Targets: The back of the arm (triceps) and the core.
How To Do Two Tricep Dips and Reverse Plank Walk Out
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).
Keeping your back close to the chair, lower yourself, bending at the elbows until your elbows reach a 90-degree angle.
Press through your palms, using your triceps to push you back up to starting position. Repeat x2.
Then, step your feet out, performing a reverse plank. Hold for a second, then step your feet back in, returning to starting position.
Targets: Calves, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip abductors and core.
How To Do Lateral Shuffles
Start in an athletic stance, feet hip-width apart and knees bent.
Perform a large shuffle to the right side of your mat. At the end of your shuffle, bend your knees, bringing your left hand down to tap the mat.
Then, perform a large shuffle to your left. Tap down towards the mat with your right hand.
Two Squats and Two Bicep Curls
Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip abductors, biceps and core.
How To Do Two Squats and Two Bicep Curls
Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing in.
Bend your knees and sit your hips back (as if sitting down in a chair). Aim for 90-degree bends at each knee, focusing on pushing your knees out (not letting them cave in). Repeat x2.
Press through your heels to stand tall, driving your hips forward to return to standing. As you stand, rotate your palms to face out away from your body.
Squeeze your biceps to curl the dumbbells up towards shoulder height, then lower back down to your thighs with control. Repeat x2.
Incline Push Up, Single Leg Knee Drive
Targets: Arms, primarily chest and shoulders, but also working are the abs, core, hips, glutes and hip flexors.
How To Do An Incline Push Up, Single Leg Step In and Knee Drive
Stand in front of your bench. The higher the surface, the easier the push up will be.
Plant your hands on the bench and step back into a high plank position. Shoulders are stacked over wrists, neutral spine.
Hold this incline plank position, maintaining a straight line with your body, as you slowly lower your chest towards the bench. Lead with your chest, elbows fall about 6 inches away from your body (not out to the sides).
Once at the bottom of your push up, exhale as you push back up into high plank position.
Then, step your right leg towards the box, shifting your weight into your right foot as you drive your left knee up in line with your left hip.
Step back into an incline plank.
Complete another push up, and repeat the step-in and knee drive on the opposite leg. Stepping your left leg towards the box, shifting your weight into your left foot as you drive your right knee up in line with your right hip.
Pin This Workout: Advanced Pregnancy Workout At Home
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