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3 Exercises to avoid during pregnancy

One of the top questions I hear from pregnant women is: “what exercises should I avoid?” And I get it - there is a lot of conflicting information out there! With proper training, there isn’t much pregnant women CAN’T do, to be honest. There is definitely a myth that if you’re pregnant, you have to take it easy. But training during pregnancy is so beneficial to aid in a smoother birth, recovery process, and has so many added health benefits! So I am here today to simplify it for you and share the 3 main exercises to avoid during pregnancy.

If we are meeting for the first time - hi! Welcome to Vibrant Mama Wellness! My name is Megan, and I am a pre and postnatal personal trainer. I am certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, with a specialization in pre+postnatal fitness through PROnatal Fitness. I am a mom of 1, and became interested in pre + postnatal fitness as I was going through my own pregnancy journey!

(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. This blog post is based on my own research and experience - please consult a medical professional before starting or making any changes to your exercise program).

Here are 3 exercises you should always avoid during pregnancy:

  1. Laying prone (on stomach). This one is a no brainer, but if you are pregnant, don’t do any exercises laying flat on your belly.

  2. Traditional planks: Planks create a lot of intra-abdominal pressure, and with a growing belly, this is not a good idea. Instead of a traditional plank in a horizontal position, think about performing planks in an incline position - like using a bench or on the wall. This relieves some of the stress on the core, and puts you in a better position to be able to manage the pressure with correct abdominal engagement.

  3. Advanced abdominal exercises: crunches, sit ups, v-sits, leg lifts, hollow body holds, etc. These moves place a lot of stress on the core, and can cause too much intra-abdominal pressure which leads to injury (anything that causes doming or coning in the core is a sign to stop!!)

The general rule of thumb is to avoid ANYTHING (even things not included on this list) that cause coning or doming in the stomach. This looks like a ridge down the center of belly that obviously protrudes out. This means there is too much pressure in the abdominal cavity that is pressing out on your linea alba (the tissue that connects your rectus abdominal muscles a.k.a. the six-pack muscles). With continued pressure on this tissue, it will weaken, which is what leads to diastasis recti. It also just really compromises your core, and can lead to pain and injury. If you notice this happening, stop the exercise you’re doing right away.

Did this help? Let me know in the comments!

And if you’re looking for personalized 1:1 training during your pregnancy - I can help! Fill out this form and I will be in touch!

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Disclaimer: This blog does not serve as medical advice. Please consult your medical provider before starting a new fitness routine. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.

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