Working out when pregnant can be a little confusing sometimes – I mean, what is OK and what is not? Though there are a few exercises that should be avoided during pregnancy, a lot of workouts are totally safe — not to mention beneficial! — for you and your baby while you’re expecting. Staying active in the months leading up to welcoming your family’s new addition can help relieve your body’s aching muscles, swelling, and pain as well as boost your energy and prepare you for the physical toll of giving birth. Not only that, but prenatal exercise can also do wonders for your mental health by granting you improved sleep and helping to reduce any feelings of stress or anxiety you might be experiencing.

But even if you hit the gym regularly before your growing belly made its debut, fitting in workouts when you’re already feeling totally exhausted is no easy feat. To help you stay motivated to exercise while expecting, we’re bringing you eight of our favorite pregnancy workouts available on YouTube. Whether you find 30 minutes to take a full, at-home class or just squeeze in some quick, 10-minute yoga stretches, these videos are sure to leave you feeling energized and ready to take on the day.

1. Bump’n Body Prenatal Workout

In this 30-minute video, Tone It Up host Kat (who was in her first trimester when this was shot!) and her expectant friend Kristina walk you through a total prenatal workout that focuses on the body’s postural muscles while also working the core, arms, and legs. Some hand weights are involved, but if that’s not for you, you can easily make any modifications needed to this at-home regimen.

2. Prenatal Yoga Workout With Kristin McGee

Celebrity trainer Kristin McGee walks you through a 20-minute prenatal yoga flow workout in this video from The Mom’s View. Because yoga routines typically include breathing and meditation exercises as well as physical movements, this video is great for expectant moms looking to find some balance both on and off the mat.

3. 20-Minute Full-Body Pregnancy Workout

At only 20 minutes long, this full-body pregnancy workout from POPSUGAR Fitness includes the perfect combo of stretching and strength exercises. The video starts with a warmup that includes yoga stretches to relieve some lower back pressure and get your body flowing. Then, by adding a resistance band, the workout moves into strength training through two circuits of different moves. Overall, this video is super easy to follow and can be done at any stage of your pregnancy.

4. 10-Minute Prenatal Pilates Workout

Practicing Pilates during pregnancy can help strengthen your core muscles and pelvic floor, help control your breathing, and improve your balance and this workout video from personal trainer and certified nutritionist Whitney E. RD and Pilates expert Robin Long covers all that and more. All that’s needed for this routine is a mat and 10 free minutes in your day — easy enough!

5. Second Trimester Prenatal Fitness HIIT Workout

This second-trimester workout from fitness and mommy blogger Sarah Fit focuses on eight high-intensity moves. She uses a medium-resistance leg band and a pair of hand weights while coaching you through band walks, squat and press moves, single leg hip lifts, modified burpees, single-arm rows, single-arm chest presses, and more. This exercise combo is definitely more advanced and strenuous, so be aware that it might be too much for you depending on how you’re feeling — and that’s OK!

6. Full-Body Prenatal Pilates Routine

This full-body pilates workout hosted by Jessica Valant Pilates focuses on strengthening and stretching moves that also help prevent Diastasis recti (abdominal separation) and improves lower back pain. The routine is about 12 minutes long and should leave you feeling refreshed and flexible.

7. 25-Minute Prenatal Bodyweight Workout

With more than 1.6 million views, this video from BodyFit By Amy is a great — and relatively short — at-home workout that uses only bodyweight moves to get your heart rate up and help tone and strengthen your body. This exercise routine might be a bit challenging for some, so perhaps only do half of this video until you can build up to more!

8. Second Trimester Toning Workout

This is another great prenatal workout video from POPSUGAR Fitness hosted by celebrity trainer Sara Lewis. This routine leads you through pilates moves that are designed to help you stay strong and toned during your pregnancy. Be warned that this video moves fast and the positions may be a bit harder to follow the first time around, but this is a great regimen to return to time and time again while you’re expecting to keep feeling your best.

Attention, expecting moms! Get ready for a prenatal workout appropriate for any stage of your pregnancy — of course, you should always listen to your body and check with your physician before doing any form of exercise. I’ve created a mix of essential strengthening exercises and lengthening stretches from my Sexy Confident Mama Prenatal Workout Series to keep your body pain-free and strong while preparing for birth. I’ll be using an exercise band, but you can also do this workout with light free weights or no equipment at all.

It’s important to remember to go at your own pace and modify when needed during pregnancy, since your body is going through big changes with greater demands being placed on it. The goal is not to burn the most calories or push yourself to exhaustion; it’s to stay active, strong, and energized so you can feel your best throughout your pregnancy. Let’s do it!

If you’d like more information about my entire Prenatal Workout Series, check it out here.

Credits: On Anna: EleVen by Venus Williams top, Onzie. tights. and Manduka yoga mat.

You will find fun and challenging workouts designed for fitness newbies and fitness enthusiast moms-to-be.

There is a 40-minute cardio/toning workout included on the DVD, as well as a 20-minute partner workout that can allow you to get your significant other in on the fun.

The exercises are safe and fun, and will also keep you fit and firm during your pregnancy.

If you are looking for an exercise DVD that focuses on cardio, strength, and balance training, controlled weight gain, and assistance in relieving tension, then this is a great solution.

9. Power Pilates Post Baby Workout DVD

Best Workout DVD for After Pregnancy

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Exercise is an important aspect of pregnancy, as well as after pregnancy. Many new moms want to regain that pre-pregnancy body as soon as they can. Juggling life as a new mom can make it difficult to find time to focus on yourself, but a great workout DVD can make a world of a difference.

The exercises in this video are gentle, yet still very effective and challenging. The exercises have been adapted to meet the special needs of postpartum mothers.

There are options on what the ideal form of a move should be, and also modifications in case your body isn’t quite ready.

You are in control of the length of your session and it can last anywhere from 15 to 47 minutes in length. You can save the longer workouts for days you’re feeling more energetic and power through shorter workouts on those days you just want to sit on the couch.

Pilates is a great postpartum exercise because it helps you strengthen and tone those abdominal and back muscles that have been supporting your little one over the past 9 months.

10. Fabulously Fit Moms: Lower Body Burn

Best Weight Loss DVD for Post Pregnancy

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It is not in your best interest to lose weight during your pregnancy, but there are DVDs designed specifically for moms to burn that post-baby abdominal weight. If you are wanting that pre-baby body back as soon as possible, there are many DVDs that can help you on your journey.

Many moms will tell you that no matter what they do, they just can’t seem to lose the baby weight.

This DVD is designed to target your abdominal area specifically and help tighten, tone, and sculpt your waist.

This workout is not super challenging, but it will push you. The workouts emphasize your abdominal area, but will also help tone your legs and glutes.

If you recently had a baby and are looking for something to help you shed a couple of inches from your waistline, this DVD is a good pick. The instructor in the video is actually a mother of two who has seen incredible results.

It is possible to get that pre-baby body back, and this workout DVD can help you begin to lose some of that weight.

What Does Prenatal Exercise Involve?

Prenatal exercise is typically modified versions of regular exercise. It does not involve strenuous activity, but rather low-impact and gentle exercises. The most important part about prenatal exercise is that your baby’s safety comes first.

Some components of prenatal exercise include:

  • Breathing.
  • Light stretching.
  • Posture.
  • Gentle workout.
  • Cooldown.
  • Relaxation.

Risks Associated With Prenatal Exercise

If you have a high-risk pregnancy or are at risk for premature labor, you shouldn’t partake in prenatal exercise without the green light from your doctor. All women should consult with their doctor before beginning any prenatal exercise routine to ensure maximum safety.

Prenatal exercise is designed to be safe during pregnancy, but there are certain positions which can become dangerous later on in pregnancy. Some poses that are safe in the first trimester probably aren’t safe in the third trimester. That’s why you should find a DVD that coordinates with the trimester you are in.

To keep you and your baby safe, you should follow these guidelines:

  • Consult your doctor: Seek your doctor’s approval before beginning and exercise regime.
  • Keep your goals realistic: Pregnancy isn’t a time to push yourself and try to prove that you can be Wonder Woman. If you are tired, stop. You don’t have to complete a routine each time.
  • Pace yourself: Prenatal exercise is supposed to help you stay active and to relax. You don’t have to try to rush through a routine quickly. Take it slow and enjoy the process.
  • Keep cool and hydrated: It can be dangerous if you overheat when you are pregnant, so it is important you try to keep yourself cool and drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid certain positions: If your workout requires a certain position that makes you uncomfortable, don’t do it. Also, you should always bend from your hips and not your back. Stay away from twisting positions that put pressure on your belly and positions that require lying on your back or belly — these are sometimes safe in the first trimester though.
  • Don’t overdo it: You know your limits and you should stick to them. There is no shame in not being able to complete a routine. Some days you may exercise for 30 minutes, and other days it may simply be 10.

The Bottom Line

Our top pick for the best pregnancy yoga DVD is Gentle Yoga with Jessica Smith.

The DVD is great for all expectant moms regardless of experience level, and it is designed specifically for pregnancy.

Yoga is a great method of exercise, and not only does it help the expectant mom stay active, but it also helps encourage the learning of relaxation and breathing techniques that can be used during labor.

Which do you think is the best pregnancy exercise DVD? Let us know in the comments below.

A 20-Minute Prenatal Pilates Workout Video for Moms-to-Be

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing-so beautiful that the internet loves to fight about which workouts are and aren’t safe for mom and baby. While hardcore CrossFitters totally have the go-ahead to keep working out, as long as they’re feeling good and have their doctor’s okay, the high-intensity prenatal workout life isn’t for everyone.

That’s where this gentle prenatal Pilates workout comes in. Certified pre- and postnatal fitness expert Jaime McFaden designed this 20-minute Pilates workout to be safe for mom and baby while strengthening muscles for labor and delivery.

How it works:Consult your doctor before starting a prenatal fitness regimen. Follow along with Jaime in the video, performing each move for about 1 minute each.

You’ll need: A chair and mat are optional.

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