Current (Pregnancy-Friendly) Exercise Routine
Staying active with exercise has been a godsend for me throughout my pregnancy. Even during my first 20-ish weeks when I felt horrible and struggled with nausea all day everyday, I would somehow make it to my mat nearly every afternoon. After feeling like a useless blob all day, it was the only thing that provided me any relief.
There are so many benefits to staying active and exercising throughout pregnancy, including reducing your risk of complications in both pregnancy and labor, improving post-labor recovery, and helping you feel better overall throughout your pregnancy – from keeping energy up and helping with digestion to easing body aches and improving sleep. As I enter my third trimester, I’m starting to experience how much more difficult the most basic physical tasks are – like picking yourself up off the couch. I’m sure if I hadn’t been staying active throughout my pregnancy, I’d be having an even harder time.
In terms of online exercise classes, I’m doing mostly pilates now, mainly because I haven’t found many prenatal yoga classes that I love. Please do share below if you have any to recommend!
Now that it’s nice out, I will typically alternate between hiking or walking outside and pilates. My doula recommends to all pregnant women to walk everyday if possible. My walks are on the longer side (30 to 45 minutes), only because that’s the length of our shorter hike from our backyard and the walk to the mailbox (taking a lot longer these days as it’s uphill on the way back up!), but I think 20 minutes of walking daily would be a perfect goal.
Below are the apps I’ve been loving throughout my pregnancy, and before as well. They are not solely prenatal but all of them have prenatal sections. I will continue using all of them postpartum and thereafter, and I definitely recommend them to anyone who enjoys more low-impact workouts (with the exception of The Class, though they do offer lighter/restorative options) using your own body weight.
Melissa’s workouts are low-impact and tend to lean on the shorter side (prenatal classes averaging around 20-25 minutes). She does offer some longer workouts and you can also put different series together if you want to increase your total workout time. It’s also fairly easy to try her other non-prenatal workouts if you are pregnant, and modify by doing something else when she does abs, etc.
Melissa uses resistance bands and 1-pound wrist and ankle weights in a lot of her workouts so I’d definitely recommend getting those.
A few of my favorite MWH workouts are her 20 Min Sideline Series w/ Bands and Weights, 12 Min Booty Focused Flow (this one is a killer! I’ll sometimes pair this with 10 Min Arms), 30 Min Back to Basics Pilates Using Your Own Body Weight, and 24 Min Challenging Beginner & Pre + Postnatal Friendly Flow. A lot of her lower body workouts that aren’t classified as prenatal will still work, you may just have to modify and do something else when she focuses on abs or lies on the back.
Again, this app is not focused on pregnancy but does offer a nice selection of prenatal options. I find Jacqui’s prenatal workouts to be a bit more blood-pumping and strenuous than Melissa’s, so I typically save them for days when I have more energy to burn.
None of the prenatal classes use props, and I find the workouts to be more cardio-based, sort of like interval training, repeating serieses of exercises rather quickly without rest in between. I like how Jacqui classifies workouts as “Satisfying and Intense” or “Chill and Satisfying” so you can choose workouts that way. I love her 20min Prenatal 1, 20min Energy Boost 3, 34min Prenatal Full Body, 20min Booty Burn 2, and 28min Prenatal Barre Class. Okay, I basically love all of her classes in the Prenatal section.
I just discovered this app when I was pregnant but I will definitely continue to subscribe postpartum, and I’m looking forward to trying more of Jacqui’s workouts then.
Is there such thing as a spiritual workout? If so, this is it. These classes at Taryn’s studio in Tribeca were hugely popular pre-pandemic though I somehow never made it to one. Once the pandemic hit, they moved everything online and I gave it a try. I used to do this way more before pregnancy, at least once a week, and it was a godsend to be able to move my body in such a freeing way when we were all locked inside our homes.
Music is a big part of these classes, which I love, and they are very tribal in nature. You are encouraged to make loud noises, to move around like a wild woman, to connect to your body in a deeper spiritual way while also getting a very good workout. This is a class that will make you sweat. It’s all done with your own body weight, but a lot more focus on dancing/cardio and exercises like burpees.
Pre-recorded classes are available but the main draw is the live classes which are offered everyday, all day long. There is a prenatal section, but these are pre-recorded only and I found myself getting a little bored with them. Strangely I did these much more in my first trimester (when I felt the absolute worst – but working out seemed to provide the only type of release I could find) by as my belly has grown larger, I haven’t felt myself as drawn to them. But I was also extremely tired in my second trimester, which isn’t the case for everyone. Still I am including this as a good prenatal option as all of us experience pregnancy differently and this may work well for someone else.