Lifting Weights | Fit Pregnancy

Ask the Experts

Lifting Weights

Can I lift weights while I'm pregnant?

A: 

"Strength training is not only safe, it is actually very important during pregnancy," Shashoua says. "Women who stay fit and strong during pregnancy are able to get through the 1 to 3 hours of pushing that is sometimes required to deliver a baby better than those who aren't as strong," he explains. "It also helps women feel better about themselves." Regardless of her strength-training experience, a pregnant woman may initiate or continue a program, Shashoua adds.

To avoid injury, however, lift lighter weights and do a higher number of repetitions than nonpregnant women, Shashoua says. Consider hiring a trainer who is educated in prenatal fitness to teach you safe and proper form, even if it's just for one or two sessions. If you feel unstable, hold onto a sturdy chair while doing split-leg lunges or squats.