Can You Do Sit-Ups While Pregnant?

There are many things that pregnant women worry about, particularly if it's their first pregnancy. One thing is how to keep exercising. In this article, we'll try to provide some practical advice on this topic.
Can You Do Sit-Ups While Pregnant?

Last update: 06 November, 2018

Doing sit-ups while pregnant isn’t recommended for all women. In this article, you’ll find out what the best ways are, when to do them, and in what cases they can be beneficial.

Can You Do Sit-ups While Pregnant?

Yes, you can. In some cases, a doctor will say you can after an evaluation. If everything is OK and you want to carry on exercising, then the following advice may well be useful.

Preparing Yourself

Before doing any sit-ups while pregnant, it’s important to do a bit of preparation and wear some comfortable clothing. It’s also a good idea to make sure to drink enough water so that you don’t get dehydrated.

That said, if you feel at all unwell or sick, definitely stop until you feel better and visit your doctor. The same goes for if you have a high temperature.

If you’re not used to doing exercise, it’s best if you start gradually. You need to use the right technique when pregnant to get the most benefits.

Can You Do Sit-Ups While Pregnant?

3 Ways to Do Sit-ups While Pregnant

While pregnant, the abdominal muscles stretch. This is why doing the right exercises can help to strengthen them and help you recover quicker after the birth.

Exercises While Sitting Down

Place your hands on your abdomen and rest your back against a wall, staying upright. Breathe in and expand your belly. Then suck your stomach in while breathing out, as though you were trying to hold the baby against your back.

With your back straight and without moving your neck or shoulders, gently suck in your stomach as if you were trying to hide your pregnancy. Hold this position, breathe in, and lift your shoulders while your chest expands. Repeat the whole sequence.

Exercises Lying on Your Side

Lie on your right side, bend your right leg slightly, and extend out your right arm. Place your left arm behind your head and lift your left leg as far as you can. Change and repeat on your left side. Do a number of repetitions.

Exercises While Kneeling

This is one of the most common. Get down on all fours, keeping your back straight and your head in line with your spine. Next, arch your back gradually and then relax while controlling your breathing.

Stages of Pregnancy for Exercising

During the first trimester of pregnancy, you’ll be able to do sit-ups comfortably. But from the second trimester onwards you’ll need to do them with less intensity since your growing waistline will give you problems.

Then, in the third trimester, you’ll need to stop doing them altogether and do low-impact exercise under supervision.

Benefits of Exercising Your Abdominal Muscles

Strengthening your abdominal muscles during pregnancy is an excellent decision. Without a doubt, you’ll feel much more vitality and energy.

It will also help you control anxiety and stress caused by the uncertainty of things to come. Working your abdomen helps to compensate for the extra weight pulling on your lower back.

It will also reduce leg cramps and tone your back muscles, strengthening your posture and improving your joint movement. You may even sleep better.

Can You Do Sit-Ups While Pregnant?

Studies have shown that exercising during pregnancy shortens the time in labor and reduces the risk of weight-related illnesses such as gestational diabetes.

Another benefit is that it helps to control intestinal movement since many pregnant women suffer from constipation. It’ll also improve your breathing during labor.

Risks and Precautions

It’s really important to remember that pregnant women shouldn’t do normal abdominal exercises.

One reason is that lying down face up puts pressure on the umbilical corddisrupting the oxygen supply to the baby.

It will also affect your health as lying down face up reduces blood pressure, causing you to feel unwell, faint, and dizzy. 

To avoid all these risks, keep your doctor informed about your exercise routine and ask if there are any changes you should make. If you notice any abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, or other condition go straight to your doctor immediately.

If a specialist says you can exercise, then let’s get to it! By following these recommendations you’ll still be able to get all the benefits while pregnant.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.