These are the Pilates exercises you should avoid if you’re pregnant

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Here at Body Beyond Birth, we’re allllll about helping you build a strong, healthy and physically capable body before and after birth.

And our go-to BFF for doing just that will always be physiotherapy and Pilates-based exercises. (Can we hear a ‘whoop whoop!”)

BUT – not all Pilates exercise are suitable for every stage of your pregnancy or post-birth recovery. 

And while we might see other people doing and teaching these types of exercises, from a physiotherapy point of view, there are specific exercises you should avoid – as a smokin’ hot pregnant woman – for your own safety.  

Here are the top five Pilates moves to avoid if you’re pregnant

  1. Clams Pregnancy ExerciseClams. This pelvis opening manoeuvre can often aggravate an unstable pelvis or pubic symphysis during pregnancy. As a safe precaution, we recommend keeping your thighs no wider than hip width apart. 
  2. Sit ups Pregnancy ExerciseNothing resembling a sit-up! You’re growing a baby in there, babe. Your belly is kinda busy. So, to avoid an abdominal separation, you should avoid any abdominal exercises like ab curls, Pilates crunches and “hundreds”. All of these activities involve lying on your back and performing a sit-up type of movement. After 28/40 weeks you can no longer lie on your back and as of the 2nd trimester you should avoid all sit-up movements to avoid an abdominal muscles separation.
  3. Saw Pregnancy ExerciseSaw and any seated exercises with your legs wide open. This will stress your pelvis. We want a happy, stable pelvis during your pregnancy. 
  4. Plank Pregnancy ExercisePlanks. If you put too much strain on the abdominal muscles, it could cause an abdominal separation. However, planks on the hands and knees in a hover position is sweet! 
  5. Prone Pregnancy ExerciseProne exercises. This means any exercises that involve lying on the tummy, specifically after 12/40 weeks.

And while we’re keeping you safe and protecting your pelvis, here are four more:

Non-Pilates specific exercises you’re best to avoid while pregnant:

  1. Wide Squat Pregnancy ExerciseWide squats. Your pelvis can get injured. 
  2. Wide Lunge Pregnancy ExerciseWide lunges. We’re trying to keep that pelvis safe!
  3. Anything strenuous that excessively elevates heart rate. This can decrease blood flow to your placenta. 
  4. Hard Pregnancy ExerciseHigh impact exercises. These suckers can do a real number on your pelvic floor. 


So … what exercises can you do if you’re pregnant?

Lots! And we’ve collected the best of them in our BBB Pregnancy Program. 

Get your free seven-day pass here.