Being pregnant means your body goes on a whirlwind adventure of hormones, cravings and more. From morning sickness to exhaustion, it can make working out and staying healthy a bit of a challenge. But keeping your body moving is one of the best ways to head off pain and also prepare for labor and childbirth. So get the green light from your doctor about exercising during pregnancy and check out these 11 free online workouts.
What it is: This 24-minute workout starts with a warm-up yoga flow before getting into the more challenging resistance exercises. Expecting mamas can expect to work everything from their back and shoulders to glutes and thighs, even engaging pelvic floor muscles and core stability when crunches just aren’t an option.
Why you’ll love it: Depending on where you are in your pregnancy and how fit you’re feeling, there are modifications you can choose from, which is ideal for changing bodies. You can also use an exercise band, free weights or no equipment at all. And what mama-to-be doesn’t love plenty of restorative stretching?
What it is: A very full 20 minutes of all your favorite yoga poses, including chaturanga push-ups and triangle pose. The approach is straightforward and fuss free, with reminders for breathing and visuals of modified poses.
Why you’ll love it: A consistent yoga practice can not only keep you strong and limber, but may aid in postpartum recovery too.
What it is: Celebrity trainer Andrea Orbeck helped Heidi Klum stay healthy and fit during pregnancy. Here, she leads a 10-minute workout with plenty of reps and a focus on keeping posture in check.
Why you’ll love it: You’ll get your heart rate up for sure, but this workout is so quick that you may not even break a sweat. Squeeze it all in before or after work, or anytime you have a handful of minutes and want to check exercise of your to-do list!
What it is: A series of basic, simple movements kicked up a notch, thanks to the help of a kettlebell. Each exercise is about 45 seconds of movement and then 15 seconds of active rest.
Why you’ll love it: It works well for all three trimesters, especially the third because all the core work is from a standing position, not laying down on your back.
What it is: Twenty minutes of free-weight work with the added challenge of the stability ball, which forces you to engage your core. You’ll do a little bit of everything from bicep curls (good practice for holding a growing baby) to squats (perfect for picking up a dropped pacifier).
Why you’ll love it: If you exercise frequently, then these exercises might be a nice break from your ordinary routine. Save that stability ball for easing the pains of labor, and for lightly bouncing a fussy baby who needs some rhythmic movement or help getting to sleep.
What it is: A ballet-based workout, this video leads you through some rhythmic dance moves that will have you practically floating across the floor for 11 straight minutes.
Why you’ll love it: The constant movement is challenging but gentle, and will give you a nice boost of energy post-workout.
What it is: A high-intensity interval training workout (HIIT) combining five warm up exercises; ten are relatively intense, and five focus on core and cool-down. Each move is 40 seconds with 20 seconds of active rest, like marching in place.
Why you’ll love it: The workout is intense but low impact with none of the big, dramatic jumps typical of most HIIT routines. Plus, Nancy’s energy and positive attitude are infectious.
What it is: An at-home barre experience full of super-low-impact moves and enough pulsing to feel tons of burn.
Why you’ll love it: All you need is a chair, which you can even skip to make it more challenging during the first and second trimesters. But it’s a good idea to pull one out for the third.
What it is: Dive into some low-intensity standing work on the mat, including pelvic tucks and lunges. The effect will challenge your balance while getting your body light and loose.
Why you’ll love it: All it take is 10 quick minutes to improve balance and coordination and prevent some of the discomforts of pregnancy.
What it is: Focus on your lower body with tons of lunges, squats, and kick-backs. The goal is to burn your way through 20 nearly non-stop minutes of exercise, with or without the “booty band” for added resistance.
Why you’ll love it: The beach setting and upbeat music will have you feeling motivated and as if you’re anywhere else but your home gym.
What it is: Ten calming minutes of moderate stretching to gently open your neck, chest, hips, and back.
Why you’ll love it: This routine is full of fluid but controlled movements that will make you feel great in the moment and alleviate any persistent discomfort.
—Whitney C. Harris
featured photo: StockSnap via Pixabay