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15-Minute Pregnancy Arm Workout

Sculpt STRONG shoulders, biceps, triceps, back and chest muscles with this safe and effective PREGNANCY ARM WORKOUT! This challenging, 15-minute prenatal arm workout is designed to build upper body strength using a set of dumbbells.

This workout is brought to you in partnership with lululemon.

If you’ve tried one of my pregnancy workouts before, you know: do NOT underestimate these workouts! They are safe for pregnancy, BUT still very challenging.

This has become one of my go-to, second and third trimester workouts. It’s quick, efficient and SPICY.

All five arm exercises are done from a standing or seated position, so you’re never lay on your back. Safely targeting every muscle in your upper body — in under 15 minutes.

Add this pregnancy arm workout with weights to your fit pregnancy workout program.

pregnant woman doing a back row with dumbbells
Wearing: lululemon Align Leggings, Swiftly Tech Tank, Wunder Train Longline Bra

Pregnancy Arm Workout FAQs

Can You Do Arm Workouts While Pregnant?

YES! Prenatal arm workouts are important for building and maintaining the upper body strength you’ll need to support you throughout pregnancy and into life as a new mom. Pregnancy arm workouts are great for maintaining good posture and avoiding injury (think about all the bending, hunching and carrying involved with motherhood).

Can I Lift Weights During Pregnancy?

For the majority of pregnancies, YES! The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends strength training during pregnancy, saying it is extensively studied and found to be “safe and beneficial”. Of course, every pregnancy is different; talk to your doctor or midwife before beginning any exercise program.

Can I Do Push Ups While Pregnant?

Yes, push ups are one of the most effective ways to strengthen your entire upper body using just your bodyweight. I suggest modifying push ups for pregnancy by adding an incline (see how to do incline push ups below).

How Often Should I Do Pregnancy Arm Workouts?

I suggest adding this pregnancy upper body workout to your routine 1-2 times a week. A well-rounded fitness plan will include a variety of workouts. Looking for more pregnancy workouts? Get my FREE Pregnancy Workout Plan!

pregnancy arm workout (pregnancy woman performing tricep dips)

15-Minute Pregnancy Arm Workout

Build strong upper body muscles with this guided, 15-Minute PREGNANCY ARM WORKOUT; all you need is a set of dumbbells.

Work through these five arm exercises that are safe for pregnancy, Tabata-style.

This is a Tabata arm workout, which means you’ll be working for short, intense periods of work, followed by minimal rest (or no rest at all if you’re following the isometric holds).

A prenatal arm workout that is designed to reach upper body muscle fatigue and failure. Get as many repetitions as you can during the 20 second work periods.

Workout Equipment:

Medium to heavy set of dumbbells and an optional bench.

I’m using 10 and 15 lb dumbbells.

Workout Instructions:

Follow along with the guided Pregnancy Arm Workout on YouTube, led by personal trainer Lindsey Bomgren. I’ll provide form cues and exercise modifications along the way.

This pregnancy arm workout is safe for the first trimester, second trimester AND third trimester.

Your Workout Looks Like This:

  • 5 Circuits (each circuit targets a specific upper body muscle group — biceps, back, chest, shoulders and triceps) 
  • Tabata Intervals (20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds rest or an isometric hold)
  • 4 “Work” Intervals Per Circuit. In some circuits, that means 4 unique arm exercises, in others we’ll repeat the same exercises multiple times.

Pregnancy Arm Workout with Weights Outline

CIRCUIT ONE: Biceps
1. Half Bicep Curls (Bottom Half)
2. Half Bicep Curls (Top Half)
3. Standard Bicep Curls
4. Hammer Curls

CIRCUIT TWO: Back
1. Back Rows
2. Alternating Back Rows
3. Reverse Grip Rows
4. Alternating Reverse Grip Rows

CIRCUIT THREE: Chest
1. Incline Push Up
2. Incline Push Up + Down Dog Push Back (Repeat x3)

CIRCUIT FOUR: Shoulders
1. Single Arm Arnold Press, Right (Repeat x2)
2. Single Arm Arnold Press, Left (Repeat x2)

CIRCUIT FIVE: Triceps
1. Tricep Dips (Repeat x2)
2. Seated Overhead Tricep Extensions (Repeat x2)

5 Best Pregnancy Arm Exercises

Standard Bicep Curls

Targets: The long (outer) head of the biceps, and the short (inner) head of the biceps.

The best bicep exercises to make the bicep muscles pop.

how to do bicep curls with weights (pregnancy workout)

How To Do A Bicep Curl

  1. Start with feet under hips, core engaged, hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing outward (underhand grip or supine curl).
  2. Keep your elbows in line with or slightly in front of your body. Shoulders out of your ears with shoulder blades pulled down.
  3. Then exhale as you squeeze your bicep muscle to curl the weights up to shoulder height.
  4. With control, slowly lower the dumbbells down. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Narrow Back Rows

Targets: Mainly the latissimus dorsi (or lats), but also engages the rhomboids and core.

This pull exercise also strengthens the biceps as they are engaged in the “pull” motion.

how to do a back row with dumbbells (pregnancy upper body workout)

How To Do Back Rows:

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Grip a set of dumbbells, palms facing in towards each other.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips until your body is in a straight line, neck in line with your spine, flat back, and belly button pulled back towards your spine. 
  3. Pull the weights back towards your hips, elbows parallel to torso. Feel your shoulder blades squeeze together.
  4. Control the dumbbells back down to the starting position. 

Incline Push Ups

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

Incline push ups are one of the best ways to modify push ups for pregnancy as you still get the full range of motion as your baby bump grows.

how to modify push ups for pregnancy (incline push ups elevated on bench)

How To Do Incline Push Ups:

  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. Pull your kneecaps up towards your belly.
  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. Repeat.

Single Arm Arnold Press

Targets: All three heads of the deltoids, also known as your shoulder muscles.

The overhead press builds defined shoulders and improves posture.

single arm Arnold Press (pregnancy workout with weights)

How To Do A Single Arm Arnold Press:

  1. Stand tall, feet shoulder-width apart. Start with a dumbbell in your right hand, directly in front of your face at eye level (overhead grip, palm faces in towards your face).
  2. Keep a slight bend in your knees, engage your core and squeeze your glutes (to protect your low back) as you ‘goalpost’ your arm by rotating the palm out so it’s facing away from your face.
  3. Then exhale as you perform an overhead shoulder press, pushing the weight directly overhead, locking out your elbows (bicep by ear).
  4. Slowly lower the weight back down to the starting position, rotating your palms back in towards your face, and repeat.

Seated Overhead Tricep Extensions

Targets: The long head of your triceps (back of the arms), abs and core muscles.

The overhead tricep extension activates your core and lower back muscles as stabilizers during the exercise.

seated overhead triceps (prenatal arm workout at home)

How To Do Seated Overhead Tricep Extensions:

  1. Start sitting on your bench or chair, feet hip-width apart and firmly planted on the ground. Think about bracing your core to keep your body stable.
  2. Hold one dumbbell vertically between your hands straight overhead.
  3. Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle, bringing the dumbbell behind your head.
  4. Then exhale as you press the dumbbell back overhead. Think ‘hide the dumbbell, show the dumbbell’ if you were watching yourself in a mirror.
  5. Keep your elbows close to your ears throughout the entire movement (don’t let them flare out).

Shop This Post: lululemon Favorites

Not only do I love the comfort and fit of lululemon workout apparel, but it’s quality apparel that’s made to last.

Today’s workout features some of my favorite lululemon staples that I’ve been wearing throughout my pregnancy. AND will continue to wear postpartum and beyond.

lululemon Size and Fit Notes:

  • lululemon Align Leggings. Wearing a size 6 for pregnancy (I typically wear a size 4 in the Align Leggings). The Align Leggings are my absolute favorite everyday-wear legging when I’m not pregnant, but they become my favorite workout leggings during pregnancy. The stretchy waistband can be worn above or below the baby bump.
  • lululemon Swiftly Tech Racerback Tank. Wearing a size 8 for pregnancy (I typically wear a size 6 in lululemon shirts and tanks). This tank has seamless support-to-stretch balance, and it looks good on every body shape and size.
  • lululemon Wunder Train Longline Bra. Wearing a size 8 (my typical lululemon bra size). I love the high neck support this bra offers with my growing bust size in pregnancy.

Find more of my favorite pregnancy workout leggings, tops and sports bras in this post: The Best lululemon Maternity Workout Clothes.

Pin this Pregnancy Arm Workout

Pregnancy Arm Workout on YouTube pin for pinterest

This post includes affiliate links; I do make a commission off 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.

2 comments
  1. Loved this! I had a 20 minute gap between meetings and was able to quickly knock this out and still have a couple minutes to catch my breath! Thanks for the great variety of workouts that we can easily sneak in! #noexcuses

    • Hi Carrie! I’m so glad you loved this workout. Thank you for sweating with us and for taking the time to say thank you! We so appreciate it – keep up the great work! -Lindsey