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Getting exercise as a pregnant woman can be great to keep your body healthy and feel good about yourself! But what kinds of workouts can you do as a pregnant woman?
Some exercises are recommended over others, while some should not be done at all by anyone expecting a baby. Avid gym goers are bound to want to continue their lifestyles even with a baby on the way, and some soon to be mamas want to get their blood pumping to feel better!
Whatever your reason is for wanting to work out while pregnant, we can help you understand which ones are deemed safer to do by doctors and medical professionals!
If you want to immediately know if rowing is a safe exercise choice, then rejoice! Moderate resistance rowing on a rowing machine is a pregnancy-safe exercise. One of the best, too!
Rowing is one of the great pregnancy workouts since it is low-impact, and low risk, meaning that it does not cause back pain or run the risk of injuring you or your baby. Rowing can also help you maintain a healthy weight and stay in shape during and after your pregnancy.
That being said, please ensure you consult with your doctor, midwife, or another child-birth specialist for medical advice on working out while pregnant. They may understand specifics about your situation that may prohibit you from doing certain exercises at the risk of your health and your baby’s.
- Click Here to See Our Top Rowers for a Heavy Person!
What Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy?
To start understanding what you can do in terms of physical activity during your pregnancy, you first must understand what you should not do. (Unless your doctor or healthcare provider explicitly tells you to do these exercises.)
The first and (probably) the most obvious exercise to avoid is any type of physical activity, sport, or cardio where abdominal injury or high risk of falling is present.
Sorry skiers and gymnasts, but put away your equipment for a little while. This includes snowboarding, intense racket sports (tennis), horse riding, biking, and hockey, (both kinds!)
High contact sports like soccer or basketball or even surfing, should be put on pause, as well as diving, roller derby, or bungee jumping.
If you are unsure if the physical activity you want to do is unsafe, please contact your healthcare provider! Better to be safe than sorry.
The second group of sports to avoid is probably less well known than the first. You should try to avoid activities where the altitude changes. Unless you already live in a high altitude, avoid altitude of 6,000 feet and up.
Mount Everest (or the nature reserve a few miles away,) will still be there after you pop your little one out!
On the other hand, deep-sea diving is off limits! The pressure change will literally compress your baby. You will have to pass up on scuba diving, pearl hunting, or your search for Atlantis. (Just a few months! We promise you can get right back to it after!)
After the fourth month of pregnancy, try to avoid exercises that involve laying on your back for extended periods of time. The growth of the womb causes pressure to get placed on major blood vessels when you lay on your back, and this can restrict your blood flow and your baby’s. This can also make you feel back pain, dizziness, nausea, and breathlessness in a bad way.
Not like you just met Timothee Chalamet or Zendaya, but like you are about to pass out at any given moment. Not good.
Avoid abdominal exercises like sit-ups or cherry pickers, any type of contortion, high impact sports or movements (think jumping jacks or jerky exercises,) or overstretching your body and holding motionless yoga poses for extended periods of time.
Check with your doctors on specific yoga exercises to make sure they get cleared, as some can cause damage to you and your baby.
Is it Safe to do Cardio While Pregnant?
Honestly, I’m not even pregnant and I despise cardio. Cardio is the bane of my existence. Even as an athlete, I think I’d rather go parachuting sans parachute than go for a run with my team.
However, some women adore it. (These women amaze me.) It does get your heart rate going, and helps deliver oxygen throughout your body and can also help remove toxins through sweat, so I suppose cardio could be considered “good for you.”
- Can you use a rowing machine if you have diastasis recti? Click Here to learn more!
Ensure to Talk to Your Doctor About Your Planned Exercises
Cardio can be done when pregnant, but just as stated earlier, please clear your workout or cardio plan with your healthcare provider! Talk to your doctor about each exercise to ensure they think it is healthy for you and your baby.
Some of the best cardio exercises to do during your pregnancy are water aerobics, walking, light jogging or careful running, indoor cycling, and of course rowing.
Starting to row during your pregnancy increases your heart rate, and may help boost your circulation, which can help reduce swelling and puffiness. It can sometimes make swelling and puffiness worse, so once again, check with your healthcare provider.
Starting to row may also open a new door to an exercise you never thought you would try! Trying a new exercise during your pregnancy can become one exercise that you keep long after your pregnancy time is over!
Rowing is a great way to maintain a healthy weight, but of course, do not overdo it. Rowing is a great exercise for “not overdoing it” since with several rowing machines, you can change the resistance with a dial on the side, or by pulling rowing strokes with less force the resistance goes down.
Rowing with a lower resistance during your pregnancy is typically regarded by doctors as a better way to get exercise than going all out on your rowing machine and trying to beat the Olympic record time. Try to do steady and rhythmic strokes while rowing to get a solid pace where you are not overexerting yourself. Be sure to check out our article on what is a good rowing pace – Click Here!
Over exerting yourself during pregnancy can be very dangerous, so please be careful. It is not worth causing harm to your or your baby just to lose some pregnancy weight.
That’s why rowing is a great option for those seeking a low-impact cardio workout during their 9 months of baby belly time. Rowing is a great option for people who are not pregnant too, so maybe your partner will give it a shot, who knows?
Overall, do not be afraid of exercising while pregnant. Make sure you check with your doctor for all your exercises, including rowing.
Although we love rowing, your doctor may not want you to love rowing while you are pregnant and ask you to wait to hop on the rowing machine until after you give birth.
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Written by Petra Amara – RowingCrazy.com
CEO & Founder of RowingCrazy, National Rower, Coxswain Womens Eight Team, Rowing Coach & Writer
Petra is a Mother of two and owner of Rowingcrazy.com. Petra lives and breathes rowing, she also has a passion for writing which lead her to start RowingCrazy.com to share her rowing experience and expertise with others.