Bumps and Burpees simple workouts
This page has been written with Charlie, founder of Bumps and Burpees and personal trainer qualified in pre- and post-natal training. Charlie has over 10 years experience and is currently pregnant herself! Follow Charlie on Instagram for lots more about keeping active during and after pregnancy.
You can take this at your own pace! Try to keep the rests in between exercises to a minimum if you can, but you can slowly reduce this time as you get used to the workout.
Doing these 4 exercises makes up 1 round:
- Sit to Stand (explosive to toes)
- 10 Split Squats each side
- 15 Hip Thrusts
- 10 Single Glute Bridges
If you're new to this kind of exercise, Charlie suggests starting with one round and working your way up to 4.
This workout is great for for all levels and all safe exercises for pregnancy. But if you have pelvic girdle pain, leave out the split squats.
Bodyweight arm workout
This circuit is safe to do during pregnancy, but feel free to adjust your position slightly to accommodate your bump.
- 10 kneeling press-ups
- 10 Tricep dips
- 10 slow arm raises in half plank (or box position)
- 10 Reverse table top arm reaches
Even though it says 10 reps, it may take you some time to build up to that. So feel free to start with 5 or 6 reps and build it up at your own pace. Try for 3 to 4 rounds, depending on how your arms feel.
Be kind to your body. Stretching is a great way to do this without doing exercise that is too high impact.
Stretching is recommended for us all, and if you’re pregnant, all the body changes can leave you feeling achy and stiff. Move in a way that feels good for you, we are all different.
This video is sped up a little, and Charlie goes through each movement really slowly to enjoy the stretches and take nice long deep breaths to calm the body down.
Exercise in pregnancy FAQs with Charlie
Charlie answers some FAQs about exercising in pregnancy:
Is it safe to exercise in the first trimester?
Unless your doctor has specifically advised you not to do any exercise, it is perfectly safe. Work within your limits and don't push yourself to 100%. Your body is busy doing something very important in making a baby, so your energy is needed elsewhere. Take extra rest breaks and stay hydrated.
What exercise shall I do if I've got morning sickness?
If you are feeling nauseous or being sick, it is not worth pushing yourself through anything that makes you feel worse. It can be frustrating if you are used to exercising lots. If this is the case, try to find a form of exercise that is of a slow pace like pilates or yoga and see if that feels okay for you. Try to keep active with walking where you can. Your energy levels will come back, and then you can ease back into the exercise when you're ready. Remember that pregnancy is not the time to push through exhaustion or sickness.
Is it safe to sweat in pregnancy?
Yes. Sweating is your body's way of getting rid of heat, so a very natural process. Just make sure that you are doing a good warm up and cool down. This allows your body to safely increase its temperature and bring it down again. Remember, your baby is always a little bit warmer than you are and they have no way of regulating their own temperature. So it is important not to overheat, but sweating itself is not dangerous.
Can I still run in my first trimester?
Running is absolutely fine to continue with in your pregnancy if your body is used to running. Like with all exercise, don't push yourself to exhaustion. It is worth slowing your pace down a little bit and taking regular breaks when you feel you need to. The reason that running might not feel comfortable as you progress into your pregnancy is due to hormones relaxing your ligaments and making your joints less stable. So watch out for discomfort in your hips, knees and pelvis as your sign for when to stop.
Can I still do HIIT workouts in pregnancy?
Generally, HIIT workouts involve a lot of high impact exercises, such as burpees, mountain climbers and squat jumps. Try to swap these out for lower impact versions as you progress through your pregnancy. This will protect your joints and keep your heart rate from going too high. You can absolutely still do HIIT style workouts, but just be mindful of how your body feels as you do it.
How do I know the right intensity to train at in pregnancy?
You should be able to hold a relatively normal conversation at any time during your training. Rather than worrying about the specific number on a heart rate monitor, use the talk test. You should keep the intensity down to a level where you are comfortable to talk to someone in your rest breaks. As a rule of thumb, you want to be pushing yourself to a maximum of 7/10 in terms of effort.
Is it safe to lift weights in pregnancy?
Yes. As long as you lift weights that are not too heavy for you. You should be able to do 8-10 repetitions relatively comfortably with whichever weight you choose. If you are used to weight training, it helps to work on building and maintaining strength during your pregnancy. This will help your body cope with all the physical changes that come with a growing bump. Make sure you keep monitoring your form and if you are unsure of how to do something then always ask for help. It's important to avoid getting injured and to keep your baby safe. It is not advisable to start any new intense training that your body isn't used to during pregnancy. So if you want to take up weight training, it's important to seek advice first from your midwife or GP and to begin with simple workouts given by professionals who specialise in pregnancy.
Our website has lots more information about exercise in pregnancy.
Yoga is a great way to stay active and look after your wellbeing during and after pregnancy. There are some brilliant tutorials you can access online, just make sure they are specialised for pregnancy. The Yoga Midwife takes us through some simple poses to get you started.
We are all trying to cope with changes to our routine, including how we eat and exercise to look after ourselves. The important thing is trying to be as active as you can, without comparing yourself to others.
Stuck at your desk feeling uncomfortable and achy? Have a go at our simple pregnancy excises - you don’t even need to leave your desk.
Many people find it helps to set exercise goals to help them stay fit during pregnancy.