Exercises to avoid during Pregnancy


Staying safe from wrong postures and strenuous work-outs during pregnancy is as important as staying active and fit. Here are 6 exercises to avoid during pregnancy and other pregnancy fitness safety tips that you must be aware of.

Last Updated: 22 October 2020

Exercises to avoid during Pregnancy
Exercises to avoid during Pregnancy

Exercising is an integral part of healthy pregnancies. A regular pregnancy exercise regime is essential not only for a healthy pregnancy but also for easy labor. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends at least 20 to 30 minutes of pregnancy exercise per day on most days or all the days of the week. Read more about safe exercises for pregnancy.

Consult your OB about the best exercises that would suit your body type and health. Take a clue from the following 7 exercise types that you must avoid during pregnancy.

1.       Lying-on-the-back exercises

For the same reason that you shouldn’t sleep on your back during pregnancy, you must avoid exercises and yoga postures that involve lying on your back. Past 16 weeks of pregnancy, as your weight on the front increases, there is a higher risk of your bump weight exerting pressing against the vital blood vessels that carry blood to the placenta. This may restrict the amount of blood that is supplied to your baby. Also, exercising while lying on your back for a prolonged period of time, during pregnancy, can induce backaches and can make hemorrhoids worse.

2.       Backward bending exercises

A light backward stretch should be alright; however, trying to flex your back backwards to the maximum is one of the dangerous exercises to avoid during pregnancy. When you arch your back backwards, your tummy and the surrounding ligaments stretch which can lead to an injury.

3.       Lying-on-the-abdomen exercises

You will be doing no good to your baby in this position. Your body weight will be inflicted upon your bump and it can cause serious injuries. And of course, lying on your abdomen isn’t going to be any comfortable during pregnancy.

4.       Exercises that involve jerky movements

Jumping is an example of a movement that involves jerky movements. You definitely do not want to do it while you are pregnant. Avoid exercises which demand you to jump or bounce up and down vigorously. With a heavy bump, you may not be able to balance your body weight while you jump and there is a risk of falling down. And well, jumping isn’t pleasant to your womb as well.

5.       Contact sports such as basketball, football and hockey

Sports activities in which you will have to come in contact with other players with the risk of dashing or getting a hit on your bump must be avoided during pregnancy. Football, basketball, rugby and hockey are examples of sports in which you must choose to be among the audience and not the players.

6.       Exercises that carry a risk of falling down

Some exercises can make you trip off your balance and fall down such as those in which you stand on your toes, stand on one leg, balance your body weight on your arms etc. Be aware that your ligaments and joints are loosening up in preparation for labor; so falling down during pregnancy is highly risky for you and your baby.

Don’ts of pregnancy exercises

In addition to exercises to avoid during pregnancy, it is important to be aware of the common don’ts of exercising during pregnancy.

·         Exercising soon after moving to a place of high altitude

Oxygen supply reduces as you go higher in altitude. For this very reason, it is better to avoid exercising when you go to a high-altitude place which you are not habituated with.

·         Exercising while you are gasping for breath

Do not push yourself to the extent of exhaustion while exercising during pregnancy. Check for the warning signs of nearing exhaustion listed below. If you experience one or more of the following symptoms of exhaustion, stop exercising. If symptoms persist or become severe, contact your doctor immediately.

o   Breathlessness

o   Dizziness

o   Excessive sweating

o   Increased body temperature

o   Cramps or pain in any part of the body

o   Vaginal bleeding

o   High pulse rate


·         Exercising when you are medically advised not to


If you are diagnosed with a pregnancy complication and advised by your OB about exercises to avoid during pregnancy, follow the guidelines strictly. 


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