How to exercise safely and stay strong during pregnancy with these 3 pro Pilates moves

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The secret to supercharging your core without putting your body at risk

But first, a word. 

There’s a confusing bit of info going around, and it’s got to do with the m-word. 

That’s right: modifications. 

Specifically, the modifications you need to make to your normal exercises stay safe while exercising during pregnancy

And it’s true: you’ve got to make some changes (obviously your tight-rope routine is out, *womp womp*).

But the problem is that no one seems to be doing the work of showing you what those modifications actually are.

You’re probably asking, “So … what *can* I do?”

Plenty, beautiful! And, after we share some general advice about modifications, we’re gonna share four pregnancy-specific, core-empowering moves you can do *right now*. 

But first things first. When you’re modifying moves in yoga, Pilates, or strength training, you want to keep a few things in mind. 

First, never exercise on your back.

This can over recruit your superficial abdominal muscles, causing doming of the abdominals. And, honey, just remember that doming = bad! It can stretch and even tear the fascia between your abdominal muscles apart (and yes, that does hurt). 

Second, avoid exercises on your front.

We don’t *really* think we need to explain this one, but we will anyway. Your unborn child cannot support your weight, so don’t lay on bub! Promise? Awesome.

Third, if your regular routine involves lying on your back or front, try exercising on your side. Strengthening your deep abdominals is highly encouraged, and it doesn’t put you at risk for injury at all. 

Now, let’s get to some moves you can try today!

Sit to Stands

Sit with your feet hip-distance apart. Arms across you chest with hands resting on opposite shoulders. 

Inhale to prepare. Then exhale and activate your pelvic floor and core like you’d do if you didn’t want to toot or wee!  Bring your shoulders forward over your knees and rise up into standing by squeezing your buns and pushing through the heels.  No grunting girl!

Inhale at the top, then exhale to sit slowly by using the glutes in the backyard, weight is primarily through your heels.  Feel the booty burn! 

That’s one rep – try for 8-10. 

This oh so functional move strengthens your core, glutes and quads.  

Leg lift + Obliques

You know it! This is the traditional lateral leg lift with a tweak that safely recruits your obliques so… it’s pregnancy-safe. 

Lay on your right side, bottom knee bent, top arm at 90 degrees aiming for the ceiling. Engage your core, and lift your top leg until it’s parallel with the floor as you exhale.  Focus on lengthening through the top leg while you keep your spine loooong as well. 

Keep the movement SLOW and repeat 10 reps each side.

Leg lifts help strengthen your entire lateral line: glutes, obliques, lats, and postural muscles!

Quadruped Core

Get on hands and knees with hands beneath your shoulders and knees beneath your hips.  Find the sweet spot of “neutral spine”.

Start by relaxing your belly and let it REALLY sag but maintain your Rockstar set-up of “neutral spine”.

Exhale while you wake up your pelvic floor muscles and visualize your pelvic bones in the front drawing toward one another as you activate your core.

Hold for 10 seconds while you keep breathing normally, then relax. Repeat for 10 reps.

It’s a 2 for 1 deal! Quadruped Core strengthens your pelvic floor and core in one hit lady.

Looking for an already-planned-for-you, completely pregnancy-safe workout plan? We’ve got you covered right here, sister!