5 Exercises to Avoid in Pregnancy - Legacy Physical Therapy
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5 Exercises to Avoid in Pregnancy


We commonly get asked, “What exercises can I and can’t I do during pregnancy?” We want to make sure you know it is OKAY to exercise while you are pregnant. Here are some of our tips to ensure that you are exercising safely during your pregnancy.

  • Any exercise in which your ego is taking over.
    If you are questioning should I or should I NOT be doing this exercise, the answer is usually NO. If your gut is telling you this exercise doesn’t seem safe for me or you don’t think you’re doing the exercise correctly. STOP what you are doing, rather be safe than sorry when it comes to what exercises you are choosing to do. Pregnancy is not the time to start a new fitness challenge or new type of exercise. It is best to stick with what you know you can do safely and correctly.
  • If you feel or you see your abdomen bulging out.
    If you notice your belly is pushing outward with exercise, or is a little hump in the center. This is a big NO during pregnancy, and is definitely a sign to modify what you are doing because you are not managing your abdominal pressure well. You’re producing excess forces through the abdominal wall and the core muscles are not appropriately managing those forces. With any abdominal wall engagement, you should feel the belly drawing inward, not pushing outward.This can occur with something as simple as a bicep curl, or a squat, or any exercises that are not necessarily core-specific. Be sure to monitor what your belly is doing through any and all exercises.  
  • Avoid any exercise that causes pain or discomfort. 
    This is certainly not a time for a no pain no gain situation. Pain or discomfort is an indication something is not going right. Your body is great at communicating when something is wrong which could range from the amount of weight you are lifting, to your breathing, to your posture and alignment, or even the muscles themselves aren’t appropriately activating. So, if you’re working with a trainer or a fitness professional and something hurts, be sure to communicate that and ask for modifications. If you’re exercising alone, be sure to listen to your body and change whatever exercise it is you are doing to be pain free.
  • If any urinary leakage occurs during the exercise
    We hear all the time, leakage is just a typical sign of being pregnant. I hate to burst your bubble, but this might be common during pregnancy but it certainly is not normal. This is not something to ignore, it is another sign from your body that something else is going on. If you are routinely leaking with a squat, overhead movement or impact activities, then it’s time to seek out some help to understand why you’re leaking.
  • If you feel a bulging or heaviness sensation in your perineal area

The perineum is the tissue right between the vaginal opening and the anal opening. Women often tend to feel a heavy or sagging sensation in this area, most particularly with exercise. If you’re noticing any of those symptoms, it is time to modify what you are doing. It would be best to be assessed by a pelvic physical therapist so they can help you know what is going on with your body.

Although these tips may be general they are to ensure that you are safely exercising during your pregnancy. Every woman is different when it comes to exercising during pregnancy, what may be appropriate for some is not appropriate for others. If you would like to know more about what may be causing you to feel some of the symptoms give us a call here at Legacy Physical Therapy or find your local pelvic physical therapist. We would love to help you understand what is going on with your body and why you may be experiencing some of these symptoms. We will get to the bottom of what is going on and help you find what exercises are safe specifically for you and baby during your pregnancy. Click below to sign up for a free discovery session: