Is It Safe to Lift While Pregnant?


Published: 11/27/2021

By Gabrielle Neuhaus-Harash

The short answer is yes. Basically, if you already have been lifting weights before becoming pregnant then it is more likely that you will be able to continue while you are pregnant.

Photo Courtesy of RMK Visions

Whether you are a seasoned lifter or not, you still should always talk to your doctor and make sure to do exercises that are safe for you. The goals of weightlifting will be different, now it will be more about maintaining rather than gaining.

Here’s what you need to know to do this safely while pregnant:

Some exercises to Avoid

  • Any moves where there is a chance of blunt force trauma. Obviously, we don’t want to do anything that could risk hitting your stomach while pregnant. So just be cautious of those exercises.
  • Any exercises where you are lying flat on you back. These are things such as any core workouts that are on the floor. After the first trimester there is a risk of the weight of your uterus compressing a major blood vessel.
  • Anything where you are lifting a heavy weight over your head. This can be quite dangerous, so it is best to avoid any exercises like this at all costs.

Exercises you can do

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  • You are going to want to focus more on working your whole body rather than targeting specific areas on one day.
  • Put emphasis on more repetitions at a lower weight than you might be used to.


  1. Better weight management. Women gain a lot of weight during pregnancy, the best way to prevent this is to continue to lift or workout.
  2. Lower risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. We always want a safe and healthy pregnancy so lifting can lower the risk of these common pregnancy conditions.
  3. Better mood. We all know the risk of postpartum depression and one way to help that is working out. Why not start while you are pregnant?
  4. Protects against lower back pain. The back pain during pregnancy is the worst – a simple remedy for that would be lifting weights!
  5. Helps with baby’s development. Again we want a happy, healthy mom and baby!
Photo Courtesy of RMK Visions

The key takeaway here is to always listen to your body and just take it a lot slower and easier than you normally would. Your body is creating another human, be cautious with yourself and don’t push too much. Make sure to regularly check in with your doctor on whether or not you should continue doing any exercises throughout your pregnancy.

Have you ever been pregnant and lifted? We’d love to hear about your fitness journey!

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