Engaging in a physical workout during pregnancy is not only beneficial but also important for the health of both the mother and the child. However certain forms of exercise are not advisable during pregnancy. As they create pressure on the uterus and may prove to be fatal. In this article, we have summarised the types of exercises to avoid during pregnancy along with other important facts related to exercises such as the maximum time one should exercise and when to stop exercising, etc.

Physical Changes in a Pregnant Lady Doing Regular Exercises:

The following are some physical changes a pregnant lady will experience while exercising during pregnancy:

  • Physical exercises prevent gestational diabetes.
  • A lot of pregnancy stress is relieved by doing regular exercises.
  • Exercises build the stamina of a pregnant woman which is required during labour.
  • Exercises improve posture and relieve discomforts such as fatigue and backaches.

See More: Pregnancy Workouts First Trimester

Exercises To Avoid During Pregnancy:

Pregnancy demands to be healthy to have a healthy baby without any defects! Thus one of the means most women adapt to be healthy and solve the problems faced during pregnancy is to do exercises. But while you are pregnant, you should know what exercises to avoid when pregnant and here is the list of common 9 exercises to avoid.

1. Jerky Movements, including Jumping:

Exercises involving jumping and jerky movements should be strictly avoided during pregnancy. Jumping or jerky movements can be very uncomfortable and create a balancing problem for you and the baby. The extra weight of the baby might get difficult to handle. It can cause harm to you and your baby if any jerky movement is made.

2. Hot Yoga:

Hot yoga is one of the pregnancy exercises to avoid as it can cause serious complications in the unborn baby and in extreme cases; it may kill the baby too. Doing hot yoga or exercises at too high a temperature may cause your blood to be shunted away from the uterus to your skin as your body tries to cool off and then it can either cause congenital disabilities or may even cause miscarriage.

3. Holding Your Breath:

Since you are pregnant and you have to fulfil the demand of two bodies, it is highly recommended to avoid exercises involving the holding of breath. You and your baby need a constant supply of oxygen and holding your breath may prove fatal. Any deficiency in the amount of oxygen during pregnancy may cause any defect in the unborn baby’s development.

4. Scuba Diving:

As discussed earlier, any exercise that causes a deficiency of oxygen supply should be avoided during pregnancy. Since scuba diving cuts off the oxygen supply, it is highly dangerous for the mother as well as her unborn baby. A deficiency of oxygen is harmful to both the mother and the baby; this activity should be strictly avoided during pregnancy to have a healthy baby.

See More: Exercises That Cause Abortion

5. Exercise Involving Advanced Abdominal Moves:

Exercises such as full sit-ups or double leg lifts are included in the advanced abdominal moves. These sorts of exercises cause abdominal muscle stress, and they can cause separation of abdominal muscles from the midline and cause tearing, which can have a harmful effect on the mother as well as the baby.

6. Sports Having Risk of Falling:

Gymnastics, downhill skiing snowboarding, etc. in the list of exercises to avoid while pregnant as these have a very high risk of falling and getting injured. And getting injured is something you can not afford in pregnancy as it may lead to miscarriage too. Other sports included in this category are ice skating, horseback riding, hockey, football, bungee jumping, etc. These activities must be strictly avoided while you are pregnant, especially for the safety of your baby.

7. Exercises Involving Lying On Your Back:

Exercises to be avoided during pregnancy include all those exercises that include lying on your back because during pregnancy, lying on your back can be extremely harmful as well as uncomfortable. In this position, the weight of the enlarging uterus compresses your major blood vessels leading to the restriction in circulation, which may ultimately harm the baby as well.

8. Back Bends:

Back Bends or other contortions are extremely harmful to your baby, especially during pregnancy. Other movements that involve deep flexion or extension of joints can also cause injury to you and your baby, so you should strictly avoid backbends to have a healthy pregnancy.

9. Motionless Standing:

Motionless standing can restrict your blood flow, and ultimately it can also lead to a deficiency of oxygen. This deficiency of oxygen in the body of the mother may cause various problems, including the decreased blood supply to the fetus and thus causing harmful effects on the unborn baby or may also cause miscarriage.

So these were the 9 exercises you should avoid during pregnancy. Make sure you keep the baby safe. Happy pregnancy.

See More: Exercise During Pregnancy Third Trimester

Warning Signs To Stop Exercising During Pregnancy:

The following are some of the warning signs sent out by the body that indicate that one should stop exercising. Paying heed to these warning signs is very important or else it can prove fatal for both the fetus as well as the expectant mother. You should immediately call the doctor or pay him a visit if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Vaginal Bleeding: Though exercise should not be the reason for vaginal bleeding, exercising during vaginal bleeding in pregnancy can lead to miscarriage.
  • Dyspnoea or difficulty in breathing during exercising.
  • A headache
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Swelling or calf pain
  • Preterm labour
  • Reduced fetal movement
  • Leakage of amniotic fluid

Safe and Simple Exercises To Do at Home During Pregnancy:

During pregnancy, it is important to choose activities that have a low risk of falling or any injury to the ligament. Here are some of the safe and simple exercises one can easily do at home during pregnancy:

  • Warm-Up: This is an important part of beginning any form of exercise. Warming up prepares the body for the exercise and prevents any possible injury.
  • Walking: This is the most common exercise during pregnancy and safe for everyone, including pregnant women who have never exercised in life.
  • Stationary Cycling: This is another good exercise to improve the muscle strength of the legs. During stationary pregnancy cycling is better than regular cycling as with the growing belly it might be difficult in balancing a bike.
  • Running: Running during pregnancy is also absolutely safe.
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Aqua aerobics and swimming.

Who Should Not Exercise During Pregnancy?

Pregnant ladies with the following symptoms should not exercise during pregnancy:

  • If you have a significant lung or heart disease.
  • If your cervix is incompetent.
  • Carrying multiples with a risk of preterm labour.
  • Persistent bleeding during 2nd or 3rd trimester.
  • Pregnants have a placenta previa post 26 weeks.
  • You are experiencing premature labour during this pregnancy.
  • Have you ruptured your membranes?
  • You have preeclampsia.

Thus aforesaid is a complete guide on what exercises to avoid during pregnancy. Exercising during pregnancy is very important, but at the same time, not all exercises are suitable during pregnancy and also not all pregnant women can exercise during pregnancy. Avoiding certain exercises is very important during pregnancy, or else it can end up doing more harm than good during pregnancy.

See More: Travel During Pregnancy

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:

Q1. How much time should I spend exercising during pregnancy?

Ans: Exercising during pregnancy is beneficial. You can involve in simple to moderate exercises such as walking, running, yoga, aqua aerobics, etc. for up to 30 minutes each day provided your doctor has given you a green signal for the same.

Q2. Which exercises are safe during pregnancy’s first trimester?

Ans: Only low-intensity workouts are allowed to be done during pregnancy. Here are the exercises that can be done in the pregnancy’s first trimester.

Safe exercises during pregnancy’s first trimester are:

  • Prenatal yoga
  • Pilates
  • Squats
  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Spinning
  • Assisted lightweight training

Q3. Can exercising cause miscarriage?

It is a myth that exercising can cause miscarriage. Exercising is very healthy for both mother and child and reduces the chances of miscarriage to a great extent.


About Yashasvi

Yashasvi developed a deep passion for writing ever since she was completed her Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam and has chosen a career that is driven by creativity. A Parenting expert who believes in communicating effectively with a personal touch, she writes about pregnancy, baby care, lifestyle, and just about anything else.