Safe Workout Equipment For Pregnancy Workouts

Safe Workout Equipment For Pregnancy Workouts, July 2021

Participating in physical activity makes us overall happier, healthier people, and the same goes for pregnant women.

A lot of women are skeptical about working out while pregnant, and their concerns are valid. A woman's body undergoes many changes when she is pregnant, and she now has her developing child’s health and wellbeing to care for too.

However, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant women do benefit from around 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day.

In fact, staying active during your pregnancy can do more than just brighten your mood; moderate exercise may even  help with common ailments associated with pregnancy, like constipation, sleeplessness, and morning sickness.

In today’s article, I am going to go over when you need to know about working out while pregnant and my top recommendations for workout equipment for pregnant women to keep you and baby active and safe. 

What To Do Before Working Out While Pregnant?

Talk to Your Doctor - Of course, all women and all pregnancies are different. Best practice if you are thinking about working out during your pregnancy is to always follow the advice of your doctor.

Even if something is labelled online as safe workout equipment for pregnant women, it might not be best for you as an individual. Your first priority is to get the green light from a medical professional before you kick off any new prenatal workout routines.

Familiarize Yourself With What Not To Do - If you are planning to use workout equipment for pregnant women, it is important to educate yourself on how to stay safe while exercising during your pregnancy. In general, while pregnant you want to avoid:

  • High risk activities or contact sports that increase your chances of falling or becoming injured
  • Sports that involve altitude changes (such as climbing or scuba diving) 
  • Movements that require you to lay on your back or stomach
  • Exercises that put stress on your abdominals
  • Holding your breath during exercises

Readjust Your Training Goals - Think “staying healthy and active” rather than “crushing personal records”. You do not want to be pushing yourself or challenging yourself during these workouts.

Do not overexert yourself, and do not attempt an exercise that you were not able to do before you were pregnant. Stick to using safe workout equipment for pregnant women, doing only what your body is comfortable doing, and lower the weights you lift (if you are strength training).  

A general guideline is to keep to an intensity level during your workout that you can easily maintain a conversation during (read: you are not huffing and puffing to catch your breath). 

Recommended Workout Equipment for Pregnant Women

Here are some of my top recommended choices for workout equipment for pregnant women. Remember that with each of these exercise routines, you always want to factor in time to properly warm up and cool down your muscles, to reduce your risk of injury.  

Remember to always consult with your doctor before trying out any of these exercise equipment for pregnant women, even if you used them before pregnancy.  

Treadmill - Bowflex T10 Treadmill

If you used to be a regular runner before your pregnancy, you can use a treadmill to continue running at the beginning of your pregnancy and while your doctor feels it is safe for you to do so.

We recommend the Bowflex T10 Treadmill.

As always, make sure that you are running with less intensity than you normally would (think light jog instead of cardio busting sprints).  

If you are not a runner, or if you are later in your pregnancy, a treadmill can be a great exercise equipment for pregnant women who want to walk.

Walking is an ideal, low impact exercise to stay active during your pregnancy, and a treadmill gives you the added bonus of walking indoors, which is especially nice during hot temperate months.  

Keep in mind that balance can become more challenging as your center of gravity changes with pregnancy, so you will want to stick to a treadmill that features handrails for added stability. 

Upright Cycle - Schwinn 170 Upright Bike

If you are pregnant, you may want to reconsider going on bike rides because they put you at higher risk of falling or injuring yourself.

We recommend the Schwinn 170 Upright Bike.

Consider instead using an upright cycle or stationary bike, which allows you to continue biking indoors, in a more controlled environment than the road or a bike path.

On an upright cycle, you can adjust the positioning of your seat and handles to keep you in a comfortable, low-impact position as your body changes. 

However, because the upright cycle keeps your body in such an upright position, I don’t recommend it for women in trimester 3 (or sooner if advised by your doctor). 

Recumbent Bikes - Schwinn Fitness 230 Bike

The recumbent bike is an alternative to the upright cycle that is also a great exercise equipment for pregnant women.

We recommend the Schwinn Fitness 230 Bike.

Their main difference? The recumbent bike has a backrest.

Women who cycle on an upright indoor bike might opt to switch over to a recumbent bike as their baby bump grows, because the recumbent bike’s backrest and reclined seat position helps with back pain and puts less strain on the abdomen. 

On both the upright cycle and recumbent bike, you can lower the resistance to make the workout less challenging.

You can also monitor how much time has elapsed during your workout to ensure that you are not pushing your limits when using this workout equipment for pregnant women. 

Elliptical Trainer - NordicTrack FS10i Elliptical

The elliptical trainer is another cardio exercise equipment for pregnant women that offers low impact training to keep you happy and healthy.

We recommend the NordicTrack FS10i Elliptical.

While on the elliptical trainer, you can adjust this workout machine’s resistance and shorten the stride length to make the exercise less intense and easier on your pelvis.

Take advantage of the elliptical trainer’s handles that allow you to steady your balance and control your movement to keep your workout safe and effective.  

Some elliptical trainers come with preset interval training features, but I would advise against using those since they can really get your heart rate up. To make the elliptical trainer an ideal workout equipment for pregnant women, focus on maintaining a comfortable, steady pace.

Yoga - Rogue Yoga Mat

Yoga is a great workout for women who are pregnant, but proceed with caution, because some popular yoga poses (like planks, twists, or poses that challenge your balance) are not safe for pregnant women to perform. 

We recommend the Rogue Yoga Mat.

Therefore, if you want to continue practicing yoga during your pregnancy, seek out prenatal yoga classes.

These prenatal classes are led by a trained yoga instructor who knows how to modify poses for pregnant participants, and you will be in a class with other pregnant women.

A quick online search for prenatal yoga classes in your local area can help connect you with a safe yoga program. Or, consider inquiring about prenatal yoga classes at your local gym or community centre.  

Rowing Machine - Concept 2 RowERG

Rowing machines provide users with a full body, low impact workout, and with the proper precautions, rowing machines are a good choice for workout equipment for pregnant women.

We recommend the Concept 2 RowERG.

Just like when you use any cardio machine while pregnant, you will want to adjust your form and intensity level to perform your rows with a more limited range of motion and slow, steady pace.

When using the rowing machine as workout equipment for pregnant women, I would recommend only using the rower at the beginning of your pregnancy.

The low to the ground design of most rowing machines can make them difficult to get on and off safely as your body changes, and with a bigger belly you are at a higher risk of hitting yourself with the rowing handle as you pull back on the machine. 

Dumbbells - York Dumbbells

Women who weightlift will be happy to know that as long as your doctor approves of it, you can strength train during your pregnancy.

We recommend York Dumbbells.

However, there are new rules you will have to abide by when using strength machine workout equipment for pregnant women.

Remember to stick to light weights (lighter than what you were training with before pregnancy), and don’t try out any new strength training exercises at this point in your life. 

When you are strength training while pregnant, consider using strength machines instead of free weights like dumbbells or barbells, to reduce your range of motion, your risk of injury, and need to unrack and re-rack weights. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, exercising during your pregnancy is not only okay to do, but also comes with numerous health benefits for both mom and baby. 

As long as you talk with your doctor, listen to your body, and stick to workout equipment that is safe to use for you and your baby, you can continue to live your active and healthy lifestyle throughout your pregnancy term.

Denver Matheson
 

I spend a lot of time at the gym and even more time in the kitchen giving my body what it needs to repair itself and grow stronger. The third most important place for any athlete is their research zone. That's exactly why this site exists, to help me share all of the information I've learned throughout the years just like people did for me in the first place!

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