Simple pregnancy exercises to do at home

Keep active during your pregnancy with our easy and gentle pregnancy fit tips

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  • Seated lateral raises

    "During your second trimester you should incorporate more sitting exercises into your routine, such as lateral raises performed on a Swiss ball. This is a great exercise for specifically training the shoulders, but you will also engage your core as you stabilise yourself on the ball. Make it even harder by lifting one foot off of the floor," says Nick Finney, celeb personal trainer and consultant to myvitamins.com.

  • Seated rows

    “Seated rows are perfect for your second trimester when it’s advised you avoid lifting weights while standing, due to your increased blood volume. This is a great exercise for specifically training the muscles in the shoulders and upper back,” says Nick.

    What to do

    1. Sit on the floor, legs extended (with knees slightly bent) and shoulders down.
    2. Wrap a resistance band around the balls of your feet and hold the ends in your hands. 
    3. Extend your arms - hands level with your shoulders, palms facing the floor, elbows bent. Exhale, draw your shoulder blades down and contract your mid-upper back. 
    4. Hold these muscles tight and bring your hands back towards your body, before slowing returning your arms to the extended position. 
    5. Do 10-15 repetitions and then repeat 4 times.
  • The cat-cow yoga pose

    "The cat-cow yoga pose will softly strengthen and stimulate the abdominal organs during pregnancy," says Nick.

    What to do

    1. Start on all fours with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and knees under your hips.
    2. Inhale and drop your belly towards the floor, lifting your chin and chest to look up at the ceiling.
    3. Exhale and draw your belly up to your spine, rounding your back towards the ceiling and lowering your chin back down and in towards your chest.
    4. Repeat 5 - 20 times.
  • Top to toe

    "A conventional lunge should be avoided while pregnant. Train the lower body with my top-to-toe exercise," says Nick.

    What to do

    1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart with a Swiss ball between your lower back and a wall.
    2. Roll your back down the ball so you're in a seated position with your knees over your toes. Draw your abdomen in to engage your core.
    3. Push from your heels and slowly roll back up the ball into a standing position.
    4. Repeat 15 times, rest for 60 seconds, then do 3 more sets.
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  • Oblique crunch

    "During your pregnancy it's important to train and strengthen your core muscles because, aside from helping to maintain a good posture and prevent back pain, this will also aid in the efficient delivery of your baby," says Nick. To work your side tummy muscles, try this seated oblique crunch:

    What to do

    1. Sit on a Swiss ball or chair with your arms by uour sides.
    2. Bend slowly to the right, bringing the right side of your ribcage towards your right hip: you can raise your left arm over your head and reach over if this helps.
    3. Repeat 10 times on each side.

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