By Jenna Birch

By Jenna Birch

Many pregnant women ask, should I be working out? And if so, to what extent? If cleared by your doctor, the answer to this question is a big fat YES! You most definitely should! From relieving back and pelvic pain to helping contribute to a more comfortable pregnancy, strength training and core exercises can be super beneficial. 

When it comes to strength training—squatting, deadlifting and pressing—a good rule of thumb is that you should still do the same movements, just at a more moderate and manageable weight. If you’re pregnant, there is absolutely no need to be maxing out at this time — save your personal records for postpartum. 

Core exercises on the other hand, can be a bit more ambiguous. During this special time, there are certain movements that will be downright uncomfortable and others that can be unsafe. With this grey cloud looming around core strength, we’ve created a lists of dos and don’ts for your core during pregnancy!


  1. PLANKS, PLANKS, PLANKS — Planks extend beyond your typical forearm plank, and there is definitely room to get creative. There are side planksreverse plankssingle arm plankswalking planksmountain climbersplank and reach, and much more. Depending on your fitness history, you may want to start with elevated planks where your hands are on a elevated surface, like a bench or a box. If you’ve been pretty active prior to pregnancy, feel free to keep your planks like you’ve been doing them. Just check in with your body, and make sure each plank feels comfortable. Please note this may change at different points in your pregnancy.  
  2. CHALLENGE YOUR STABILITY — if you’re feeling like you can take your plank variations to the next level, create some instability. Adding gliders or a TRX cable to your feet when doing an exercise like mountain climbers can make your core exercises more challenging and can add some variety. When doing these, always make sure to lower down on your knees first. Please note that these variations should be done if and only if planks on the floor feel stable and comfortable. 



  1. SIT UPS — The crunch motion in a sit up is not recommended during pregnancy. If you see this movement in a group class or your programming, sub this movement for any plank variation. 
  2. HANGING KNEE RAISES — Hanging from a pull up bar is very uncomfortable for pregnant women. If you see this in a group class or in your programming, sub this movement for mountain climbers or TRX mountain climbers. 
  3. HOLLOW HOLDS & ARCH HOLDS — Pregnant women should avoid any core exercises where they are laying flat on their backs or on their stomachs. If you have hollow holds in your class or programming, sub this movement for a plank on either your forearms or hands. If you have arch holds in your class or programming, sub this movement for a reverse plank. 
Allie Mann