Is It Safe For A Pregnant Women To Lift Weights During Pregnancy?

It’s easy to wonder how working out will differ during pregnancy for dedicated gym-goers as well as casual fitness enthusiasts. When expecting, although it is important to keep a regular exercise regimen to stay healthy, there are some changes you will have to make because your body is changing. In this article on, we will tell you is it safe to lift weights during pregnancy? Let’s start!

Those who enjoy weight lifting should take note of this. The amount of weight you lift as your pregnancy progresses is not recommended; so you’ll need to adapt your exercise routine. A growing bump deserves protection, after all!

With a few modifications, you can modify your workout without losing any sweat. Pregnant women can safely lift weights during pregnancy by following these tips.

Weight Lifting While Pregnant

During pregnancy, resistance exercise, including lifting weights, is considered safe by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. If you are not experiencing any pregnancy-related health issues, experts agree you can do it, provided it is cleared with your healthcare provider first.

When you are pregnant, you should adhere to the best practices to work out; lift lighter weights, watch your form, or experiment with new routines to accommodate your altered abilities. An exercise professional who specializes in prenatal fitness may be able to assist you.

A celebrity trainer and best-selling author, David Kirsch, says pregnancy is not the time to take on an extreme program if you have never lifted weights before. Consider lighter workouts during pregnancy, such as yoga or walking.

The pregnancy process is unique to every woman. When lifting weights while pregnant, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your particular situation.

Benefits To Lift Weights During Pregnancy

It can be beneficial to lift weights while pregnant for your fitness and for preparing your body for your child’s birth. The objective of strength training, when done the right way and with the appropriate weight, is to improve posture, protect your core and lower back, and help maintain or build endurance. For labor, this is a necessity.”

When you’re expecting, weight training has many benefits.

Related: The Benefits of Swimming During Pregnancy

It strengthens the muscles of the back

most pregnant women complain of lower back pain during pregnancy.

Due to the increase in circumference and curvature of your back brought about by a growing uterus and enlarged breasts, the back muscles are put under extra strain. The added weight of your changing body can be supported more easily by lifting weights that strengthen your back muscles and increase your core strength.

Easier Labor

There is evidence to be positive effects of exercise on labor outcomes, in particular resistance training. Cesarean birth chances can be decreased, hospital stays can be shorter, instrumental deliveries can be less likely to occur, and early birth stages can be shortened. [1] [2]

Additionally, do not worry about going into early labor due to your workout; research shows that resistance training does not increase your chances of early delivery.

Related: Can I Do Elliptical During Pregnancy?

Better Weight Management

Gaining weight during pregnancy is a natural and important process that supports your baby’s growth. The risk of obesity in your child increases if you gain too much weight during pregnancy, however. Such conditions as gestational diabetes and hypertension may occur. During pregnancy, you may also be more likely to become obese.

A small child may be at risk for illness and may have developmental delays if they gain too little weight.

Excess weight gain during pregnancy may be reduced through a regular exercise program even if strength training is included. Furthermore, reducing weight during pregnancy is proven to prevent preeclampsia.

Related: How To Control Weight During Pregnancy

Reduces the Risk of Gestational Diabetes

This form of diabetes that leads to pregnancy can also occur during pregnancy, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

GDM increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life, but blood sugar levels will normalize after pregnancy. In addition to obesity and impaired glucose tolerance, your baby is susceptible to type 2 diabetes when exposed to it.

It has been shown that resistance training reduces the risk of developing GDM when you exercise during pregnancy. GDM-affected babies also benefit from resistance training. As a result, macrosomia is reduced, which can cause complications during labor and increase the risk of cesarean section.


The pregnancy process is unique to every woman. In pregnant women, the type of exercise they can perform is determined by their physiological condition and health.

Even if you are lifting weights during pregnancy, there are some precautions you should follow. Complications and injuries to your baby and you are reduced by these measures.

Avoid Lying on Your Belly or Back

It is highly recommended to avoid sleeping on your back during the second and third trimesters because the uterus compresses the vena cava, a major vein that carries deoxygenated blood to the heart. The baby’s blood oxygen flow is reduced as a result. Supine exercises are not recommended, such as bench presses and prolonged floor exercises.

Alternately, sit upright, incline, or sit down. Within 12 weeks, incline benches can be used for chest presses. The incline can be increased after 20 weeks.

It is equally important to avoid machines with pads that press down on your belly and those that place an excessive amount of strain on your lower back.

Be Careful of the Abdominals

As your uterus grows, your abdominal muscles stretch to make space for it. Diastasis recti (DR) refers to the separation of the rectus abdominis.

The possibility of DR can also be increased if you lift weights incorrectly or perform abdominal exercises in an unsafe manner. After the first trimester, you should also avoid moves that require you to lie on your stomach.

Strengthening the pelvic floor and core muscles is often recommended over traditional abdominal exercises.

Use Lighter Weights

A hormone called relaxin is produced by your placenta during pregnancy to help loosen your joints and ligaments. Because of this, any exercise that causes high impact, including weight training, can put you at risk for injury.

Trainers suggest doing more repetitions and lighter weights to avoid overloading the loosened joints. According to Kirsch, you should do ten to twelve reps. He also recommends managing your back strength and avoiding overstretching.

Bodyweight exercises are a great way to build strength even if you do not want to use weights. Use your body weight to create resistance as resistance.

Lifting weights above your head is not recommended

With the shifting uterus, the pelvis also changes direction and may intensify the lower back and pelvic pain. A woman’s center of gravity is changed by weight gain in her midsection during pregnancy.

The result can be an arched back, slumped shoulders, and lower back pain as a result of an altered posture and balance. A weightlifter’s lower back can become curvy and exacerbate lumbar stress by lifting weights over their head. In the second trimester, don’t do shoulder presses.

Dr. Chisholm warns that a pregnant woman putting too much pressure on her body can cause joint and low-back injuries as a result of hormonal and postural changes. The weaker abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor muscles can become strained as a result.”

To improve posture and maintain balance, you should stabilize your pelvic floor, bolster your core, and strengthen your back, hips, and legs.

Avoid Vigorous Exercise

Holding your breath repeatedly during pregnancy is to be avoided at all costs, as it can result in severe discomfort. The placenta receives oxygen-rich blood from the uterus during pregnancy.

Exercise is known to divert blood away from organs to muscles while maintaining placenta blood circulation. However, you will experience a decrease in oxygen being provided to the fetus when you engage in vigorous exercise.

In addition to endangering your baby, the disrupted flow of oxygen can cause you to become lightheaded or cramp.

Further, lifting heavy weights repetitively can increase your abdominal pressure and overload your pelvic floor muscles, which further contributes to your abdominal pain.

Lifting weights may be difficult if you have certain conditions

  • Bronchitis with chronicity
  • Interruption of growth inside the uterus
  • Diabetes is not well controlled
  • Hypertension poorly controlled
  • Weight gain
  • Diseases of the heart or lungs
  • Cervical cerclage
  • Anemia in the worst form
  • Preeclampsia
  • Placenta previa
  • Pregnant with twins, triplets, or multiples of any order

Pregnancy Weight Training Routine

Weight-lifting during pregnancy does not fit all. As you get further along in your pregnancy, your current health condition, your weight training experience, and your previous fitness level influence the amount of weight you can lift.

Consider lifting for maintenance rather than building strength if you are already doing strength training. Weights with higher reps can help you achieve this.

Rather than concentrating on one or two specific body parts, Kirkch suggests three times a week of weight training to achieve a full-body workout. It is important to focus on exercises that ensure proper posture and proper breathing while exercising.

New weightlifters need to start slowly. As a novice to strength training, Dr. Chisholm recommends keeping the intensity light. As opposed to weights, Kirsch suggests resistance bands be used.

Tips to Lift Weights Safely During Pregnancy

  • Train 3 to 4 times a week with light to moderate weights. For most healthy pregnant women, this range is considered safe.
  • Exercises that you can do safely should be practiced.
  • Don’t just focus on one muscle group; work out your whole body. The result is that one area of pain is reduced after working out.
  • Lift lighter weights and do more repetitions than you normally do.
  • During the exercise, keep your upper back strong and breathe properly.
  • Make sure you do exercises that align your posture.

The Right Time to Call a Doctor

The following symptoms should not be ignored, and you should call your doctor immediately if you experience them: