back to Blog

5 HIIT Workouts That Are Safe to Do During Your Pregnancy

Fitness • March 8, 2019

Image via Shape

There’s a whole lot to expect when you’re expecting. Luckily, you don’t have to switch up your whole routine. If you routinely worked out before your pregnancy, it’s generally safe to continue your workouts, within reason. You should of course always consult your doctor prior to starting any routine, but as long as you’re not looking to jump into a brand-new-to-you workout, there are plenty of ways to continue moving your body safely and effectively, even with a baby on board. 

HIIT movements are a great way to keep your body active during pregnancy. At Fhitting Room, all of our trainers are both pre-natal and post-natal certified to keep you moving safely.

Here are 5 HIIT workouts (with modifications) from our certified trainer, Dennys Lozada – for you and your bump!

1. Plyo Box Plank Taps Modified from Plank Taps

Moving this exercise from the floor to a box will put less strain on your lower back. 

  • Stand in front of a knee-high box. If you don’t have a box, have no fear, a stable bench or chair is sure to be an excellent substitute. Place both palms on the box and step your feet back so your body is in plank position.
  • Bring your right hand to your left shoulder, ensuring your body stays in a straight line from your head to your heels. Your shoulders and hips should remain square to the ground. Don’t let them rotate!  
  • Repeat the movement on the opposite side, bringing your left hand to your right shoulder.
  • Repeat the movement, alternating arms each time.

2. Reverse Lunge-to-Bicep Curl Modified with Lighter Weights

The best way to modify a weighted reverse lunge is to reach for a lighter weight than your usual. Your bump can throw off your balance, so it’s important to not go too heavy with weights in order to avoid injury.

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest them along your sides. If you’re not sure which weight to use, start small until you find what feels most comfortable. (Or better yet, ask your trainer!)
  • Keeping your elbow close to your sides, curl both weights up, turning your palms to face your chest as you curl up.
  • Lower the weights back to your sides and take one large step backward with your left foot, bending your knees at 90 degrees. Make sure to keep your back flat and your shoulders stacked over your hips.
  • Rise back up to a standing position and step your left foot to meet your right foot.
  • Perform a second dumbbell curl and perform a second backward lunge, this time stepping back with your right foot.
  • Continue alternating between curls and backward lunges, alternating sides with every rep.

3. Bodyweight Step-Ups Modified from Box Jumps

No matter how you swing it, box jumps are not safe during pregnancy. Instead, try stepping up onto a box one foot at a time. Fighting gravity, especially with the added weight of your bump, provides plenty of resistance to get a good workout. 

  • Stand up straight in front of a low box or step. Keeping the box on the lower side is important, as your balance is more likely to be unstable during pregnancy. Remember, the key to making these workouts safe for you and your precious cargo is to start small and work your way up when you’re ready and as needed. 
  • Leading with your left foot, step up onto the box. Stand upright at the top.
  • Gently step down off the box one foot at a time, leading with your left foot.
  • Repeat the movement, alternating your lead foot.

4. Single-Arm Bent-Over Row with Dumbbell Modified Dumbbell Plank Rows

When performing bent-over rows, it’s helpful to use your free hand to stabilize your body weight. Your bump can compromise your balance and put pressure on the lower back. As easy as a workout may seem, remember that you have an additional weight that you may not fully be familiar with at this point in your pregnancy. It’s best to play it safe in the beginning as you start to get a feel for the way that your body is changing and remember that this change will be a constant and there may be a noticeable difference even from one day to the next.

  • Hold a 5 to 10-pound dumbbell in your left hand and take a wide stance in front of a box, bench, or chair, resting your right hand on the surface for support. Bending at the waist and keeping your spine neutral, let the hand holding the dumbbell hang down to the floor.
  • Carefully bring the dumbbell up along your side, then release with control. This is one rep.
  • Complete about 10 to 15 reps, then repeat with the opposite arm.

5. Speed Skaters

Going back to that lack of balance and thrown-off stability thanks to your bump, we have a trick to keeping you steady for this exercise. Gently touching the toe of your back foot to the ground as you perform this movement will keep your balance in check and give you the confidence that you need to perform this exercise safely. No wobbly skaters allowed! Even if it takes you a little more time to work your way through this exercise, it’s always best to be safe.

  • Take a reasonably large step (not a jump!) to the left with your left foot, crossing your right foot diagonally behind you. Allow the toes on your right foot to rest on the ground.
  • Reach your right hand across your body toward your left foot.
  • Repeat the movement, alternating sides. Take a large step to the right with your right foot, crossing your left foot diagonally behind you. Reach your left hand across your body toward your right foot.
  • Continue alternating the movement at a slow and steady pace, focusing on proper formation and maintaining that balance.

This workout routine was originally published in What To Expect.

hiit workouts
pregnancy workouts
prenatal fitness